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The UltraSPARC T2 processor is designed for large-scale parallel operations and IIRC low power consumption, not single-threaded performance.
I would expect the T2 CPU to be slower, but not that much slower.
Which version of bzip2 are you using?
bzip2 is a highly cache dependant workload. The T2 only has a shared 4MB cache for all 64 compute threads so expect single threaded cache dependent operations to be VERY slow - think slower then USIII @ 750MHz but faster then USII @ 450MHz.
If your just benchmarking to learn about the processor then congrats you found the weak spot, hopefully before deployment.
If you want to bzip files faster I recommend you install pbzip2, you'll then see the T2 use multiple threads and bzip that file in under 15 sec.
I am using the default version coming in the Solaris 10 update 9 DVD, which is 1.0.5.
Since I was not able to observe any CPU load while waiting for bzip2, I thought is may be slow due to something else. Guess the cache issue explains the reason, though still not sure why I couldnt see the bottleneck during the wait period. Any command that shows cache load?
I was simply trying to install sunstudio 12.2 to our new server and was shocked when the bzip2 took so much time. First I thought it was the xfs (using for the first time as root fs), than checked if it was paging but there was practically no load on the system.
So I will try pbzip2 as suggested. Thanks for help.
You won't see terribly much CPU load from singlethreaded programs.
Because the reporting tools tend to report percentages of the entire machine utilised.
Since the machine has 64 (virtual) CPU's.
Even a completely CPU bound process (busy loop) still will still only show up as less than 2% utilisation.