How much better are Xeon processors than Core 2 Duo processors? What goes into the brand difference? I know that they're built on the same architecture, but I'm unsure as to which is better.
I've got two choices, both Intel processors built on the Kentsfield Core 2 architecture. Stats seem exactly alike, except one difference: the Core 2 Duo processor has a 9x multiplier (2.4GHz), while the Xeon processor has a 8x multiplier (2.13 GHz). I really see no advantage in taking the Xeon processor, which costs more. Multiplier difference shouldn't make a big deal.
So, anybody know what goes into the "Xeon" brand these days? The exact model numbers, by the way, are Q6600 for the Core 2 Duo and X3210 for the Xeon. Thanks everyone!
Xeon X3220 is currently at the same price with X3210. thus, your comparison should be based on X3220 (quad 2.4G cores, 8M L2, 1066fsb) which is an identical piece of silicon (kentsfield core) to Q6600. however, Q6600 is sold at $10~$20 cheaper than Xeon X3220 at various web outfits at this point in time....
looking ahead, the 1333mzh FSB based Yorkfield quad-core processors, C2Q Q9300 equals Xeon X3320, and Q9450 equals Xeon X3350.
Xeon, unfortunately, is just a generic brand name for "server chip". For a while, Core2Duo's were way better than Xeons because the Xeons were still P4 architecture using hyperthreading. So there are still some "Xeon" servers out there that are basically P4's with more cache.
3000 series Xeons are basically Core2s, and have the same 775 socket. The 5000's and the 5400 tend to have larger caches than their Core2 counterparts. For example Harpetowns with 12Mb L2 cache is common on Xeons but found only on the Core2Quad Extremes.
One further issue is RAM. Dual XEON boxes use fully buffered DIMMs which, I've read, are slower than regular DDR2. First of all FBDIMMS are only recently available at 800MHz, whereas regular DDR is available at DDR3 speeds on X38 chipsets. Secondly, FBDIMMs are, as it says "buffered", and this introduces a delay. Find Toms review of the skulltrail platform, which is basically a 5400 chipset based box. It proves to be less able at gaming tasks than an X38 box. So if you have a few single threaded things to do that require vast amounts of RAM, then a single socket Core2Quad/Xeon may be faster because it uses the faster chipset/ram. However if you need to server lots of people, then V8's (dual quad-processors) are obviously more capable, and the FBDIMMs have ECC and can support up to 64Gb. Single CPU machines only support 8Gb.
So, no, not really any difference between single socket Core2's and Xeons. But huge differences between single socket Core2/Xeons and Dual socket Xeons (but watch out for old dual socket P4 Xeons!).
with the introduction of Intel 5100 chipset, dual socket 771 server board can now use standard DDR2 ECC registered modules upto 48-Gig (6x 8G).
FBDIMM is really the Archille's heel of dual socket 771 platform. not only they are energy hog which uses several times of power than DDR2 modules, but also they perform less than DDR2 due to extra latency.
Wow, I'd missed that, but my point about speed still stands: the 5100 only supports DDR2 up to 667Mhz, whereas Supermicro make a rack mountable X38 (single socket 775) server that takes 1333Mhz DDR3. You can get the 5400 at 800Mhz, but its FBDIMM.
The 5000P and the 5400 both have 4 DDR channels, whereas the 5100 only has 2.
frankly, don't really care it's 2 channels vs 4 channels or what not. as long as 5100 chipset can take 16G (4x 4G dual-rank) or 24G (6x 4G dual-rank) in 128-bit dual channel mode, DDR2 modules are obviously the better choice than FBDIMM's because of the tremendous energy saving!
you can only use DDR2-800 FBDIMM for 1600fsb based harpertown's, otherwise it defaults to DDR2-667.
cwl, can you say more about that? As a colo noob I got a shock when I realised how much power cost. In my day job we have some 8 processor boxes that need their own circuit :-) Learning that even my lowly Quad-core would cost me an extra $20 in power was a shock. Do you have any numbers on FBDIMM servers vs DDR?
eh, each their own. We use C2D and Xeons. Make Sure your board is a server quality though. Desktop boards can't take the heat that a datacenter has. I know that quite well. Basically what each comes down to is what amount abuse each can take. Like the C2D mounted with a desktop board, and cheap ram, will fail, a lot. You spend a little bit more, and you get better quality, and less likely of failure. Also I have noticed, like win2k3 (I deal mostly with linux, but occasionally windows). Drivers for the desktop boards, and win2k3 do not get along so well.