I'm taking a wild guess but I'd say more cache is better, Why is Xeon range so expensive compare to standard PIII? Why are they the preference for servers? Why do they have large caches? Why was the Pentium Pro 200 so expensive? Heck it's still expensive and available (not new) in the UK?
Anyone shine some proper info on this. I too would like to know about cache benefits and their relatively against mhz.
Cache holds a subset of the code/data the CPU is currently working on. (Or, in ideal cases, the entire set.) Typical cache, at 300-700MHz, is a helluva lot faster than your 100 or 133MHz RAM. The more cache you have, the less often the CPU has to go out to slower system RAM to get the code or data it needs, and the faster things proceed.
Newer PIIIs only have 256K cache, versus the 512K of older chips. BUT, it runs at processor core speed rather than half of that, and it's also on a 256 bit bus rather than 64. So overall, even with less of it, you'll probably see performance improvements.
I have some 2MB cache Xeon 450's on the way. I'm curious to see how they perform - they ought to be great in a database server.
In regard to the server choices that started this thread - I'd go with the 700s.
It's always hard to answer the "how many customers can I put on this machine?" questions. But as a point of reference, I currently have a machine with a single PII 350 serving about 260 domains. It runs a load average of .3-.4, so it's not exactly overloaded.
I'll see if I can catch it in the bios, or at startup, since this is a server, but I happen to have it mounted under my desk (gotta love 1U servers) and am running win98 on it. (Just until I need it for something else)