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  1. #1
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    Replacing Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz

    We have a few Dell Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz systems that eat a lot of power. We're looking to replace them with something of similar performance, but eat a lot less power.

    What's the most inexpensive route to go to replace these systems with something of at least equivalent performance? We're open to a single processor/dual core if it will perform similarly.

    The boxes are primarily used for vBulletin forums (Apache and MySQL).

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    We replaced all our dual xeon 2.8's with Dual Opteron 265's (4 cpu's) and power decreased while performance went through the roof - far far better servers.

    I would say you could go with a single dualcore opteron and still have similar performance to your old dual xeon, while using a lot less power.

  3. #3
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    I'm wondering if some of the AMD Athlon X2 or Intel Core 2 Duo systems will perform as well.

    I should note that these are the 800 MHz FSB with 1 MB Cache Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz processors.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by qps
    I'm wondering if some of the AMD Athlon X2 or Intel Core 2 Duo systems will perform as well.

    I should note that these are the 800 MHz FSB with 1 MB Cache Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz processors.
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (or even 4200) should work nicely.

  5. #5
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    BTW, which Dell server are you using? How much power are you drawing?

    With the new Intel Core CPUs, forget AMD. More power, more expensive, less performance. Intel woodcrest is a good CPU. The 5148LV is the Low Voltage version of the 5140 CPUs.

    We have IBM eServer x325 servers:
    - Dual Opteron 246 (2 Cores at 2.0 GHz each, 1 MB L2 cache each core)
    - 2x80 GB IDE drives
    - 2 GB PC2700 memory
    - no RAID controller

    This server uses roughly about 180-200 Watts of power when idle.

    Now compare this server to our Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers:
    - Two Dual Core Woodcrest 5148LV CPUs (4 Cores at 2.33 GHz each, 4 MB L2 cache each core)
    - 5x73 GB SAS 10000 rpm drives
    - 4x2 GB (8GB total) FBDIMM
    - PERC 5 Raid Controller
    - DRAC

    FBDIMMS uses more power than traditional DDR memory. DRAC uses some power. And people reports that Dell uses more power than average supermicro server (I still have not confirmed this). In any case, this server seems to be using about 200 W of power when idle. With only 1 CPU (2 Cores), expect about 40-50 Watts reduction in power usage.

    I think it's good ... what do you think?
    Last edited by FHDave; 10-24-2006 at 07:22 PM.
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  6. #6
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    These are Dell PowerEdge SC1425 boxes. All have 2 GB RAM and one or two SATA hard drives. I think they pull 3+ Amps a piece, which is a lot.

    We're probably looking to build these out in 1U or 2U case, so we're not really looking at the Dell route.

    Is there any difference in power consumption between Socket AM2 vs. Socket 939? I know there is a low power version (65W) on the AM2, but I'm wondering if the regular versions of the Athlon X2 processors are any different between the two platforms.
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  7. #7
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    The Athlon X2 4400 is basically the same as the Opteron 175 but try and use the new AM2 not the S939. The AM2 offers DDR2 memory, even lower power usage, and more memory bandwidth. I would only use the 4000, 4400, and 4800 before they all have 2x1MB cache compared to the 2x512K in the others.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by qps
    These are Dell PowerEdge SC1425 boxes. All have 2 GB RAM and one or two SATA hard drives. I think they pull 3+ Amps a piece, which is a lot.

    We're probably looking to build these out in 1U or 2U case, so we're not really looking at the Dell route.

    Is there any difference in power consumption between Socket AM2 vs. Socket 939? I know there is a low power version (65W) on the AM2, but I'm wondering if the regular versions of the Athlon X2 processors are any different between the two platforms.
    I will recommend Core2 Duo E6600 (2x 2.4G/2M L2 cores) platform. we've shipped tons of them in mini 1U chassis with just 260w power supply. with SM PDSMI+ board, 4-Gig RAM, 2x raptors HW RAID1, IPMI2.0, these box won't draw over 1.5amp full load! some of our clients just can't get enough of them....

    if you dont need hardware RAID1, nor IPMI, then Intel or Asus made desktop-grade board is also very cost attractive (for 1~2 Gig RAM+1~2 SATA low-spec configration) to house the Core2 Duo chip which draws just 65watt full-load.

  9. #9
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    I can confirm that the Dell servers do indeed draw more power than an equivalent Supermicro box. We have a number of Dell 1425SC with Dual Xeon 2.8Ghz cpu boxes that draw a little over 2 amps of current at peak load, while the Supermicro boxes built out to the exact same specs are only drawing about 1.75 amps at full load. I'd say the different in power usage is at least 25%.

    Which CPU you should use will really depend on your budget - the Core 2 Duo E6600 is a great CPU, but the lower end models with 2M cache aren't nearly as fast. If your budget allows for an E6600, go for it - otherwise, an AMD 4400+ is a much better value for it's price IMO with 2 x 1M cache - it's basically the same as an Opteron 175.
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  10. #10
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    Yep - we love supermicro.

    We replaced all 70 of our servers recently with Supermicro dual dualcore opterons, moving away from Dell dual xeons and the overall power difference has left us with lots of capacity within the same racks that were previously full due to power usage!.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by UH-Matt
    Yep - we love supermicro.

    We replaced all 70 of our servers recently with Supermicro dual dualcore opterons, moving away from Dell dual xeons and the overall power difference has left us with lots of capacity within the same racks that were previously full due to power usage!.
    it's not really a "fair" comparision between dual Opteron vs old dual Xeon irwindale. should really try to compare those new dual woodcrest platform to dual Opteron platform.

    dual "regular" woodcrest (2x 65w) obviously draws less power than dual 'regular' Opteron (2x 89w). granted, FBDIMMs use more power than DDR/DDR2 modules, but unless you use load of RAM, the dual woodcrest server will use less power than dual Opteron if everything else is the same between platforms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob T
    .....
    Which CPU you should use will really depend on your budget - the Core 2 Duo E6600 is a great CPU, but the lower end models with 2M cache aren't nearly as fast. If your budget allows for an E6600, go for it - otherwise, an AMD 4400+ is a much better value for it's price IMO with 2 x 1M cache - it's basically the same as an Opteron 175.
    the issue on A64-X2 4000/4400/4800 is that it's so darn increasingly difficult to source them on either socket 939 or socket AM2 because AMD just don't want to produce them in quanties to have "conflict of interests" with Opteron 12xx socket AM2.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UH-Matt
    Yep - we love supermicro.

    We replaced all 70 of our servers recently with Supermicro dual dualcore opterons, moving away from Dell dual xeons and the overall power difference has left us with lots of capacity within the same racks that were previously full due to power usage!.
    I hear you, we have been using supermicro dual core servers for the past year and are quite happy
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for all of the info so far.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Core 2 Duo chips in comparison to the AMD Athlon X2 (2x1 MB Cache) chips? I know there's various head-to-head reviews for gaming, but I'm wondering how they perform with Apache/MySQL.
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  14. #14
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    I think what I have heard is that the AM2's server apache requests better but the Core 2 Duos serve MySQL better. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure thats what I read somewhere.

    Those Core 2's are pretty beastly processors though ;-)

  15. #15
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    http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=160103

    opteron vs xeon in vb performance

    50,000 user apache concurrency test

    Intel Dual P4 3.0GHZ Xeon = 1043.7
    Intel Dual P4 3.2GHZ Xeon = 1106.1
    Intel Dual P4 3.4GHZ Xeon = 1155.6
    Intel Dual P4 3.6GHZ Xeon = 1215.3
    AMD Dual Opteron 248 = 1345.9
    AMD Dual Opteron 250 = 1389.4
    AMD Dual Opteron 252 = 1426.0
    AMD Dual Opteron 265 dual core = 1587.3
    AMD Dual Opteron 270 dual core = 1778.7
    AMD Dual Opteron 275 dual core = 1874.6

    http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_cont...ron275&page=10

    50,000 user apache concurrency test

    Intel dual core 2.4ghz Xeon = 1099.8
    Intel dual core 2.6ghz Xeon = 1171.3
    Intel dual core 2.8ghz Xeon = 1199.4
    AMD Dual Opteron 265 dual core = 1510.1
    AMD Dual Opteron 270 dual core = 1686.6
    AMD Dual Opteron 275 dual core = 1722.2
    AMD Dual Opteron 280 dual core = 1968.2

    Looking to compile some MySQL concurrency numbers but it's hard to find comparable reviews but Opterons show as much if not more improvement in mysql as in above apache concurrency tests

    Amazing difference!

    Check out pricewatch prices as at Dec 3, 2005 http://www.pricewatch.com/m-3.htm

    $570 - xeon 3.6ghz 604
    $395 - xeon 3.4ghz 604
    $429 - xeon 3.4ghz 2mb 800
    $245 - xeon 3.2ghz 800
    $479 - xeon 3.2ghz 533
    $262 - xeon 3.2ghz 2mb 800
    $215 - xeon 3.0ghz 800
    $355 - xeon 3.0ghz 533
    $355 - xeon 3.0ghz 533
    $186 - xeon 2.8ghz 800

    vs

    $1260 - opteron 280 2.4ghz
    $1039 - opteron 275
    $845 - opteron 270
    $680 - opteron 265
    $825 - opteron 254
    $669 - opteron 252 -> better off with dual opteron 265 dual core cpus (4 physical cpus)
    $441 - opteron 250
    $275 - opteron 248 -> dual opteron 248 already kills dual P4 3.6ghz xeon cpus!
    $219 - opteron 246
    $174 - opteron 244

    Seems price to performance a dual opteron 248 or 250 server would be enough to kill dual P4 3.6ghz xeon cpus for apache and mysql tasks.

  16. #16
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    Opteron vs Xeon is old .... Everybody knows.

    Now, try Opteron vs Woodcrest ...
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  17. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    however, Opterons still remain very strong on Apache:
    http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_cont...eon5160&page=9
    Yea, I have seen that graph. But I wouldn't say Opteron is very strong on that graph. The results do not show the uncertainties/margin of error (I bet they only did the benchmark once, thus they cannot show statistical uncertainties). Including uncertainties/margin of error, I would say at the same clock speed, Opteron and AMD (for Apache usage) would be quite similar. But including other metrics (E.g. price, power consumption, etc), it will be interesting to know who will pull ahead.
    Last edited by FHDave; 10-26-2006 at 12:30 PM.
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  18. #19
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    That compares the old processors though...

    I think people would like to see the AM2 vs Core 2 or Woodcrest vs. Socket F, not Dempsey vs. Socket 940.

  19. #20
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    just posted this in another thread..

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/10/..._head_to_head/
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  20. #21
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    Thumbs up for Woodcrest.
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