I am using a program that utilizes the PARDISO solver as part of the Intel math kernel library. I am currently in the process of deciding on a new computer to run the simulations on. I have a question or two on how benchmarks with the program will transfer across systems.
My current machine runs older dual quad-core xeons (E5345's) at 2.3GHz with DDR2 RAM at 667 MHz in 2 channels. On this system, running with 8 threads, the program in memory bound with small cases (3000 cells or so, about 1/3 the usual size) running at about 3/4 of the cpu cap and larger cases bottoming out around 1/2 of the cpu cap. I don't have any way to benchmark it on a more representative system before buying the new one.
I can very easily benchmark my code on the smaller case on 1, 2, 4, and 8 cores on my current machine, which is what I am currently doing. I will use that information to decide between less faster cores or more slower cores in the future computer. The issue is that in going to the new computer will be upgrading to RAM at 1333 MHz, in 4 channels, and the sandy bridge architecture. I have heard that the sandy bridge architecture is very strong in memory-throughput benchmarks, but have not be able to locate any benchmarks comparing it to older architectures.
Do I have any reason to expect a change from memory boundedness to cpu boundedness of my model as I upgrade to 12 or 16 cores of comparable clock speeds with the faster RAM and architecture? I understand this is likely hard to answer due to a high level of model dependence of the solvers performance but I am hoping someone has experience benchmarking across architectures and can give some insight as to what to expect.