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Poor Matlab performance on AMD-based computer

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Ondrej on 29 Mar 2012
Recently, we purchased a new computation server for our department with 4x Opteron 6128 processors and 64 GB RAM, running Windows 2008 Server R2. We wanted to maximise number of physical cores in order to ensure that several users will be able to use the computer at a time without influencing performance of other users' computing tasks.
However, there is one serious problem. Users complain that Matlab is really slow compared to our previous (dated) server.
I've run the Matlab built-in benchmark utility with alarming results:
The individual benchmark scores in Matlab R2011b are (64bit, though 32bit scores are almost the same):
LU: 1.2580
FFT: 0.3110
ODE: 0.3148
Sparse: 35.3353
2-D: 3.1159
3-D: 1.3190
Is it really so, that Matlab on 4 8-core Opterons is worse than on Atom processor?
Is there anything that can be done in order to improve the performance? Since Matlab obviously uses Intel MKL BLAS even for AMD processors, I tried to find alternative BLAS libraries such as ACML, but I wasn't successful in getting them to work with Matlab.
I would be grateful for any suggestions.

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Answers (1)

Anders Munk-Nielsen
Anders Munk-Nielsen on 9 Oct 2012
I have the exact same problem :( I think AMD ought to take this very seriously! I would certianly recommend ANYONE to avoid buying an AMD based server if they're going to do Matlab computation stuff on it.
Anders Munk-Nielsen
Anders Munk-Nielsen on 20 Mar 2013
It's an AMD Opteron 6176, 2.30 GHz (4 processors; 48 virtual cores). I would STRONGLY recommend against getting an AMD processor unless you can somehow test that it will work first.
However, Stata runs perfectly, even when many many users are using it simultaneously.
Sorry that I didn't see your reply until now, apparently there's no email follow-up on these forums.

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