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How does the POWER9 chip stack up?

In case you’re wondering, the POWER9 chip compares favorably with the available alternatives.

The POWER9 competes directly with Intel’s highest performance Xeon Scalable Processors (SP) but offers up to twice the performance per core and just shy of twice the memory bandwidth performance, making it the perfect choice for performance-hungry, scale-up applications. So, while Intel may currently hold a larger market share than IBM, the POWER9 servers offer exciting features and functionality and are being adopted by organizations wanting to save on costs, without sacrificing speed and capabilities.

Let’s review a few of the benchmarks of each:

POWER8

POWER9

  • Delivers 1.25-1.5 times per core the performance ability
  • New hardware for both enterprise and small/mid-range applications
  • Improved on-chip acceleration
  • New dynamic performance mode
  • An increase in fabric bandwidth up to 90%
  • Compatibility with CAPI 2.0 & PCIe Gen4
  • Up to 24 cores available per socket
  • Upfront investment similar to POWER8

Intel Xeon

POWER9

  • offers heterogeneous and accelerated solutions
  • Industry leading capability to process data-intensive workloads
  • Supports future generations of new storage class memory
  • Superior per socket bandwidth memory
  • Advanced AI capacity
  • POWER9 has 33% more memory
  • 2 times the per-core performance
  • Delivers cost savings


Infrastructure really does matter. If you don’t take into consideration your application and workload characteristics and map these to the right architecture, your infrastructure will ultimately increase your IT costs. That's why IBM Power systems are the smart infrastructure of choice for your mission-critical workloads with lower TCO based on the proven performance, reliability, and availability of the POWER9 processor.

For more information on POWER9 systems and how they can revolutionize your operation, download our Power Systems infographic here.