Hardware Thread, A server CPU question in Technical; I've always been a believer that a server should always have a Xeon or equivalent CPU.
So looking at the ...
29th March 2012, 10:49 AM #1
A server CPU question
I've always been a believer that a server should always have a Xeon or equivalent CPU.
So looking at the CPU benchmarks, im starting to question this -
What reason would you choose or not choose the Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.40GHz 's double performance over the Intel Xeon E5620 @ 2.40GHz in a school server environment?
Seeing as the i7 is approx £100 cheaper too.
29th March 2012, 10:58 AM #2
Don't you get ECC Ram support with Xeons, but not with i7? Also, don't i7's only support up to 16GB Ram? Might be a deal breaker?
29th March 2012, 11:00 AM #3
But for a single server school setup, 16Gb is overkill.
I know this is all about the scenario you throw at it, simple DNS DHCP and DFS with 30/40 clients in this case.
29th March 2012, 11:01 AM #4
And also no dual socket support either. There's also the matter that you probably won't find a vendor who'll sell you a server with an i7.
Originally Posted by ben604
EDIT: For 30 workstations any old workstation (probably even an old one) with make a perfectly adequate server from a performance point of view.
Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 29th March 2012 at 11:06 AM.
Thanks to K.C.Leblanc from:
29th March 2012, 11:03 AM #5
The new LGA 2011 1155 Xeons seem to bring them up to an almost similar level in performance, probably makes my question moot really.
29th March 2012, 11:12 AM #6
Also Xeon's are supposed to be left on alllllllllllllllllll the time - I dont think an I7 would last as long as a Xeon under those conditions.
Thanks to cpjitservices from:
29th March 2012, 11:13 AM #7
Those benchmarks are for very specific things, the server grade stuff does come from the better QA bins and can have more stuff in the CPU to handle a more parallell load like virtualisation. They also support SMP for two or more socket situations.
29th March 2012, 11:17 AM #8
i wouldnt worry about that my old core 2 duo in my pc (which is on 24/7) has lasted 5/6 years no problems
Originally Posted by cpjitservices
29th March 2012, 11:20 AM #9
Some great points, thanks.
One I perhaps overlooked is the virtualisation side, seems Xeon is still the safest bet in the long run.
29th March 2012, 11:35 AM #10
Many desktop CPUs happily support VT, even some low end stuff from AMD does (like the little Athlon Neo CPU in the HP Microservers) and quite a few desktop chipsets do support ECC. There are more features that are important though, it tends to come down to the features of the chipset and associated motherboards along with the CPU - things like a whole load of PCI-E lanes, multiple onboard NICs etc. It's a whole package.
29th March 2012, 11:39 AM #11
fair point everything from core 2 duo (at least) on pretty much supports hyperv and even the microserver can do it well enough to run 08r2 host and a couple of win7 / xp vms at a reasonable speed and thats a poor netbook cpu (granted i doubt youd want it as a schools only server running hyper v (but actually for 30pcs it would actually probably be ok with some added ram and a better nic)
Originally Posted by 3s-gtech
29th March 2012, 11:42 AM #12
One thing that may have been overlooked is the age of the E5620. It came out Q1 2010, but the architecture it's based on (Nehalem) is from way back in 2008.
The 2600k is based on Sandy Bridge. A Much newer Architecture (Q1 2011) with lower power requirements. It's just faster.
Desktop and server chips come from the same Fabrication plant and are made with the same materials/process, so there should be no difference in their longevity. I've still got a Pentium 4 sitting around that's been on for about 4 years.
Xeons add ECC support and multi CPU support (do you need it?) but I7s support up to 32Gb of RAM with the right motherboard, which by the sound of it is plenty.
All the chips you've mentioned support virtualization, and these days you have to go quite far down the range to find a chip that doesn't.
29th March 2012, 11:57 AM #13
A better comparison is something like the i7-920 vs the Intel Xeon X3450 which is the single processor Xeon range. For the new Xeon the E3 range is single processor and the E5 range is SMP capable, and are the Xeon equivalents of the i7-2600 etc.
Just remember that the PassMark software benchmark isn't a server workload benchmark - it's a desktop load benchmark which is very different to the sorts of computation that you'd see a SQL server/VM host/Exchange server doing.
29th March 2012, 11:58 AM #14
There are all sort of quality differences, thats why i5's exist they are slightly mucked up i7's. The latest intel gear has onboard memory controllers so the chipset has no say if the CPU does not support it. While the lower end CPUs may have VT they may not have as many lanes to deal with DMA etc. they may also not have all the new virtuaisation extentions like VT-D and the new memory allocation stuff needed for Windows 8 Server. ECC is also very handy in servers when you don't want them shooting themselves in the head thanks to a single bit error happening after a couple of months of uptime, it does exist for a reason.
Originally Posted by OB1
Compare like for like fabrication wise and the xeons are better for servers, I agree that it is probably not worth the premium they ask but you want to build on decent foundations otherwise you open yourself up to the possibility of weird problems or limitations in future, especially with intel gear.
29th March 2012, 01:00 PM #15
I think the point here is there is not enough of a cost saving on such a mission critical item as to look at a cheaper equivalent. I might not need Hyper-V now this very minute but in 2 or 3 years, even in a primary environment, I probably will.
Again, in this environment ECC ram is probably not essential, but for the £50 or so it will cost as a premium it may save that in uptime over its life.
If the migration to cloud based MIS systems is within a year or two, the need for 2/3 servers becomes redundant when you can get away with 1.
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