The release of IBM POWER 8 processors with AIX 7.1 introduced up to 8 SMT threads per processor core (logical or physical). Which SMT level (1, 2, 4, or 8) to use can be confusing and varies based on multiple factors. This article is meant to help with a starting point for your specific application.
Firstly, if running on a version of 2014.x or older, it is advised to use SMT 4 or lower. SMT 8 with those older versions of Cache' has shown a decline in performance and scaling in benchmarking applications.