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one faster processor vs two slower processors for a server...

I'm spec'ing a server for a client, and have the opportunity to either get one (1) 3.8GHz Xeon, or two (2) 2.8GHz Xeon processors.  The system will have 4GB of RAM, and will be running 2003 Small Business Server Premium, with exchange and sql.  Drive will be in RAID5

i'm leaning toward the dual proc setup, but i'm looking for some real information to guide me.

any ideas?
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fl4ian
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fl4ian
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1 Solution
 
CallandorCommented:
The answer will depend on what applications are run on the server and how heavily loaded it will be.  2 x 2.8 cpus will be able to handle more requests as a database server, but will not be as good as a 3.8 cpu performing computational tasks.  You have to decide what the tradeoff will be, based on the expected load and type of applications.  For comparison, here's an article on 2 x 2.8 Xeons versus a single P4 3.4EE: http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20040514/index.html
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fl4ianAuthor Commented:
it looks like the 2.8 vs 3.4 was only in the price category.  the test bed looks like 2 x 3.06 ...  and they have different caches and different fsb.

i'm looking for a comparison closer to what my situation...

as for loading...  the system they have now is a Xeon PIII 1.2 GHz with 1GB of RAM, they are running out of RAM, the system is getting an attitude, and they want to upgrade to 2003 SBS.

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CallandorCommented:
Here's an article showing how mid-range dual core processors outperform single core higher speed processors when it comes to databases: http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2447&p=1.  You may want to consider a dual core Opteron instead of two Xeons.
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Scotty_ciscoCommented:
the biggest determining factor is can the applications that they are using make use a Symetrical multi processing if this is the case then 2 processors will way out perform 1 of the same speed with differing speeds that is a bit tougher but I have seen dual processor 200 MHZ machines running linux out perform single processor 600MHZ machines based on the application.

Thanks
Scott
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inverted_2000Commented:
I don't want to number hunt for you, but from experience with SBS and Xeons I'd take 2 over 1 anyway...even with that difference is speed.

I'd like to point out that if it was a Domain controller and it had a couple thousand people hitting it one after the other...then the single 3.8 processor would do better.  But for the money...dual 2.8 Xeons will handle much better...especially since you are placing SBS on there.

SBS will do the printing...the serving...the hosting....routing....the backups...bla bla bla and having a partner in there to help out will keep things even and cooler on the hardware and allow for multiple processes to be accomplished on the software side at the same time.

Hope I have helped,
inverted
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
I would not consider a dual proessor since as mentioned above, the programs being used must be able to use the two processors. I would consider as mentioned a Dual core CPU, but that depends on your motherboard.
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fl4ianAuthor Commented:
thank you, guys.
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inverted_2000Commented:
Logically Windows sees a "Dual Core" as 2 seperate processors...which is the exact same thing to Windows as Dual Processors.  Also...since SBS 2000...Microsoft recommend dual processors.

2003 supports up to 8 virtual processors:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;909382

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