NEC Benchmarks 8-way, Proprietary Chipset

NEC Computers Inc. just released benchmarks for its new 4-8 way server showing some degree of scalability for the unusual chipset.

NEC ( is trying to make a name for itself in the United States, where its server sales drop into the noise level far below the big four of Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and IBM Corp. The approach is the NEC Express5800/180Ra-7, announced April 25.

Customers can buy the server for about the same price as an entry-level four-processor server, NEC says. But if the customer’s processing needs grow, an expansion kit called a cage is available.

In four-way mode, the four processors plug directly into the motherboard. In eight-way mode, one cage plugs into the first processor slot and another cage plugs into the fourth processor slot. Each cage holds four processors.

NEC has chosen to benchmark the servers on the Transaction Processing Performance Council ( TPC-H benchmark for ad hoc query decision support. At launch, NEC had benchmarked the Express5800/180Ra-7 in four-way mode, yielding results of 800.4 QphH on a 100 GB database at a price/performance level of $267/QphH@100GB.

On April 27, NEC published eight-way results on the system of 1,194.4 QphH@100GB at $224/QphH@100GB. The result represents a 33 percent performance boost and a 16 percent price/performance drop.

Both test systems ran Windows 2000 Advanced Server and pre-release code of SQL Server 2000. NEC says the systems will be available Aug. 1.