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  1. #1

    Difference between Server and Desktop CPU

    these days, I have seen desktop CPUs are being used by hosting companies like Q6600 more and more. while some only use server chips like Xeon X3220.
    Desktop are cheaper and service chips are costly.

    What the difference apart from cost?

  2. #2
    The gap has closed a bit, however I firmly stand by Xeon being actual "server grade" hardware, manufactured with it in mind that it will probably be running 24/7. I feel the same way about SATA VS SCSI drives. I believe SATA, although is great, should be left to the home computing field unless you're offering budget hosting, which in that case, I can understand avoiding SCSI because of the price, however SCSI is clearly the server grade hardware, and SATA, desktop.

  3. #3
    It depends quite a lot. The X3220 and the Q6600 are in fact identical, though it is not always the case. Aside from being marked as server-grade, they tend to have lower power consumption, and perhaps added instruction sets, though rarely the case nowadays.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Seattle, WA
    The battle is between pricing and quality. It has been seen that these Home PC CPUs have grown to provide services which are very close to Server Grade CPUS.

    Thus, over time I am guessing budget hosters are all taking this into consideration.

    I have seen many hosters pricing Intel Atom processers as well.

  5. #5
    There are many differences. CPU sockets and chipsets are different, FSB speed, Clock speed, Power consumption and many more. I would suggest you to spend some time comparing processors in WIkipedia or any of the producers pages.
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  6. #6
    Q6600 and X3220 are functionally equivalent. And hey, who would've thought, right now the X3220 is $15 cheaper at! At the end of the day there are marketing and sometimes binning differences (i.e. voltage/power). And in general the trend continues throughout the 'single-socket server' market.

    Only when you move to dual/quad sockets then you will see differences in sockets, and marked differences in silicon, e.g. QPI/HT links, power and thermals (a dual socket in a 1U demands lower power-consumption chips due to space and cooling constraints) etc
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    The Xeon 3*** series all have a normal desktop equalivant that is exactly the same in stepping, cache, clockspeed, fsb, socket, power and whatever is left.

    However, the Xeon 5*** series do have additional features, like hardware virtualization, better powersaving techniques, flexmigration, dual processor setups etc.

    @ AquariusADMIN,
    how could you say SATA is desktop hardware? That is so not true. The real advantage of SCSI is the rotation speeds, which for many servers are not required at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    It's all about MTBF (Mean time between failure). Typically in memory, hard drives, and CPUs, server grade hardware has a higher meantime between failures. Server grade memory is also normally ECC (Has error detection/correction) while Desktop memory is not.

    Sometimes you will see desktop CPUs relabeled as Xeons or vise-avers. Also, Server grade CPUs often times come with more L2 cache. I think in many people's experience at this time in history, the quality of Desktop components is pretty decent and can get the job done without failure. They are normally not redundant though, although SuperMicro improves on this a bit.
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