+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26
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 ...
  1. #1

    CHR1S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    4,489
    Thank Post
    1,575
    Thanked 478 Times in 302 Posts
    Rep Power
    215

    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 -

    cpus.JPG

    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.

  2. #2
    ben604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    314
    Thank Post
    81
    Thanked 29 Times in 24 Posts
    Rep Power
    22
    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?

  3. Thanks to ben604 from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  4. #3

    CHR1S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    4,489
    Thank Post
    1,575
    Thanked 478 Times in 302 Posts
    Rep Power
    215
    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.

  5. #4


    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rural heck
    Posts
    2,662
    Thank Post
    120
    Thanked 434 Times in 353 Posts
    Rep Power
    126
    Quote Originally Posted by ben604 View Post
    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?
    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.

    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 10:06 AM.

  6. Thanks to K.C.Leblanc from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  7. #5

    CHR1S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    4,489
    Thank Post
    1,575
    Thanked 478 Times in 302 Posts
    Rep Power
    215
    The new LGA 2011 1155 Xeons seem to bring them up to an almost similar level in performance, probably makes my question moot really.

  8. #6
    cpjitservices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Hessle
    Posts
    2,421
    Thank Post
    508
    Thanked 282 Times in 258 Posts
    Rep Power
    81
    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.

  9. Thanks to cpjitservices from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  10. #7

    SYNACK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    11,039
    Thank Post
    852
    Thanked 2,666 Times in 2,263 Posts
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    767
    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.

  11. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  12. #8


    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    6,576
    Thank Post
    228
    Thanked 852 Times in 731 Posts
    Rep Power
    294
    Quote Originally Posted by cpjitservices View Post
    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.
    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

  13. #9

    CHR1S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    4,489
    Thank Post
    1,575
    Thanked 478 Times in 302 Posts
    Rep Power
    215
    Some great points, thanks.

    One I perhaps overlooked is the virtualisation side, seems Xeon is still the safest bet in the long run.

  14. #10

    3s-gtech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    2,711
    Thank Post
    144
    Thanked 548 Times in 492 Posts
    Rep Power
    149
    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.

  15. Thanks to 3s-gtech from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  16. #11


    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    6,576
    Thank Post
    228
    Thanked 852 Times in 731 Posts
    Rep Power
    294
    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    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.
    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)

  17. Thanks to sted from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  18. #12
    OB1
    OB1 is offline

    OB1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    472
    Thank Post
    31
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    Rep Power
    47
    Hi Chr1s

    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.

    HTH.

  19. Thanks to OB1 from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  20. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,480
    Thank Post
    297
    Thanked 304 Times in 263 Posts
    Rep Power
    82
    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.

  21. Thanks to Soulfish from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  22. #14

    SYNACK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    11,039
    Thank Post
    852
    Thanked 2,666 Times in 2,263 Posts
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    767
    Quote Originally Posted by OB1 View Post
    Hi Chr1s

    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.

    HTH.
    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.

    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.

  23. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    CHR1S (29th March 2012)

  24. #15

    CHR1S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    4,489
    Thank Post
    1,575
    Thanked 478 Times in 302 Posts
    Rep Power
    215
    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.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Server CPU Usage at 100%
    By DSapseid in forum Windows
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 5th December 2008, 10:07 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13th May 2008, 02:22 PM
  3. 2003 Server Licensing Question
    By bschoolm in forum Windows Server 2000/2003
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 31st March 2008, 09:14 AM
  4. Adaptec SNAP Server 520 Question
    By ranj in forum Hardware
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 2nd July 2007, 11:35 PM
  5. Class Server noob questions
    By dagza in forum Virtual Learning Platforms
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31st October 2006, 08:26 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •