[Beowulf] HPCG benchmark, again

Brian Dobbins bdobbins at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 00:20:03 UTC 2022

Hi Jorg,

  We (NCAR - weather/climate applications) tend to find that HPCG more
closely tracks the performance we see from hardware than Linpack, so it
definitely is of interest and watched, but our procurements tend to use
actual code that vendors run as part of the process, so we don't 'just' use
published HPCG numbers.  Still, I'd say it's still very much a useful
number, though.

  As one example, while I haven't seen HPCG numbers for the MI250x
accelerators, Prof. Matuoka of RIKEN tweeted back in November that he
anticipated that to score around 0.4% of peak on HPCG, vs 2% on the NVIDIA
A100 (while the A64FX they use hits an impressive 3%):

  Why is that relevant?  Well, *on paper*, the MI250X has ~96 TF FP64 w/
Matrix operations, vs 19.5 TF on the A100.  So, 5x in theory, but Prof
Matsuoka anticipated a ~5x differential in HPCG, *erasing* that
differential.  Now, surely *someone* has HPCG numbers on the MI250X, but
I've not yet seen any.  Would love to know what they are.  But absent that
information I tend to bet Matsuoka isn't far off the mark.

  Ultimately, it may help knowing more about what kind of applications you
run - for memory bound CFD-like codes, HPCG tends to be pretty

  Maybe it's time to update the saying that 'numbers never lie' to
something more accurate - 'numbers never lie, but they also rarely tell the
whole story'.

  - Brian

On Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 5:08 PM Jörg Saßmannshausen <
sassy-work at sassy.formativ.net> wrote:

> Dear all,
> further the emails back in 2020 around the HPCG benchmark test, as we are
> in
> the process of getting a new cluster I was wondering if somebody else in
> the
> meantime has used that test to benchmark the particular performance of the
> cluster.
> From what I can see, the latest HPCG version is 3.1 from August 2019. I
> also
> have noticed that their website has a link to download a version which
> includes the latest A100 GPUs from nVidia.
> https://www.hpcg-benchmark.org/software/view.html?id=280
> What I was wondering is: has anybody else apart from Prentice tried that
> test
> and is it somehow useful, or does it just give you another set of numbers?
> Our new cluster will not be at the same league as the supercomputers, but
> we
> would like to have at least some kind of handle so we can compare the
> various
> offers from vendors. My hunch is the benchmark will somehow (strongly?)
> depend
> on how it is tuned. As my former colleague used to say: I am looking for
> some
> war stories (not very apt to say these days!).
> Either way, I hope you are all well given the strange new world we are
> living
> in right now.
> All the best from a spring like dark London
> Jörg
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