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Merrill Aldrich

Technical content about Microsoft data technologies. All opinions expressed are purely my own and do not reflect positions of my employer or associates.

Poll: Hyperthread or not on 2 x 4 core Nehalem SQL Server?

Common wisdom with previous generations of server hardware was that SQL Server might not benefit from hyperthreading or could be degraded at high CPU usage; does anyone have definitive data about Nehalem (non-EX) servers and SQL Server 2005 or 2008?

Here are some resources: 

I am wondering whether Nehalem changes this story at all.

[Follow up 2/12/2010: I tested, and did some further reading, and decided to split the difference on this: transactional systems that have high numbers of connections and small queries have HT enabled, and our reporting/warehouse system that does fewer but more complex queries has it turned off.]

Published Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:05 PM by merrillaldrich

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Denny Cherry said:

The newer processors shouldn't have any impact on HyperThreading as it is still CPU sharing and those cycles have more important things to do.

January 14, 2010 5:42 PM

Glenn Berry said:

The Nehalems (Xeon 5500 series) seem to perform better with OLTP workloads with HT enabled. Every TPC-C and TPC-E benchmark submission I have seen has HT enabled for this CPU.

I have it enabled on my Xeon 5550 production server, with very good results. You should test it with your workload.

January 17, 2010 1:38 PM

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