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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    i7 vs. Xeon? Whats a good processor?

    We are having trouble deciding on a server we are about to build for use as a vps node. We hop to put 30-40 boxes on it.

    What are sure about is that it will have 12gb ECC ram, 4 x Western Digital RE4 drives, adaptec 2405.

    Pretty sure last time I checked i7's dont support ECC, however they do rank much better and cheaper than xeons on benchmark sites.

    So would you use an i7 as a server processor? If not, what xeon processor would you go with for a vps node?

  2. #2
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    Well first of all: go for the Sandy Bridge range. Since Xeon E3 and i7 in that range are pretty similar priced, the E3 is the best CPU for servers since it supports ECC memory.
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  3. #3
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    Really the E3? Thats brand new out and quite expensive. We were looking more along the lines of the E5520 or E5620 but couldnt decide if we needed just a single processor or two as we are currently running 2 x 5405's in our servers but then again they dont support HT.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitrixHost View Post
    Really the E3? Thats brand new out and quite expensive.
    Actually the E3 is very affordable.
    E3- 1230 is a better choice then 1220 as it supports HT
    E3-1240 is slightly more expensive but gives good value for money
    E3-1270 is a good choice
    E3-1280 is relatively expensive. Not recommended at this point until price drops.
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  5. #5
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    Woops! Was thinking of the E7, my bad. So you would go with the E3-1270 over 2 x E5620's? Or should I go with dual E3-1270's?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitrixHost View Post
    Woops! Was thinking of the E7, my bad. So you would go with the E3-1270 over 2 x E5620's? Or should I go with dual E3-1270's?
    Dual E3 is not possible. The E5 will be dual CPU but its not out yet. The E7 is already available and very impressive! quad cpu boards make these CPU's are good choice for those that need a lot of processing power.
    I would wait for the E5 or go for 2 servers with each a E3-1240 or E3-1270
    Some E3 mainboards also support SATA3, another benefit of the E3 above the older Xeons.

    But if you cannot wait and need nodes with a lot of ram, 2 x E5620 or 2xE5650 (5650 has 6 cores, 12 threads each) is a good choice as well.
    Since your original question asked comparison between i7 and Xeon i assumed you wanted a comparison between either the new Sandy Bridge range or the older i7 / Xeon 34xx range.

    There are no dual i7 setups. i7 counterpart is the Xeon 34xx also a single CPU setup.
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  7. #7
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    Sandy bridge dual processors aren't available in market now. You should look for E3-1230 or 1270 depending on the speed requirement.

    E3 won't beat any dual quad processors like 55xx series or 56xx series. For dual processors E5620 or 5520 would be my choice.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CitrixHost View Post
    Woops! Was thinking of the E7, my bad. So you would go with the E3-1270 over 2 x E5620's? Or should I go with dual E3-1270's?
    Sandy Bridge Xeon's are based on the 1155 Socket. You won't find motherboards with 2x1155 sockets.

    Wait until Intel ivy bridge in Q4 2011 with LGA 2100 to support multiple CPUs... or use the old LGA 1366 (or whatever the old Core i7 used)
    ^_^

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    I am just trying to come up with something that wont bust my budget but will also be a good fit for the vps node I am building. Like if 2 x 5620's is overkill, would the E3-1270 be more then sufficient? We run 2 x 5405's with a little over 30 vps's on our node and the load is never above 5.

  10. #10
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    Yes the 1270 would likely be sufficient. 5405 is three generations older and your load of 5 would mean that 5 cores are loaded, you got 8.
    By the way: the E7 is already available in quad CPU setups. They are extremely fast.
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