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SQL 2008 - Best Processor

OS: Windows 2008
SQL: SQL 2008 Standard

We're building a SQL database that records transactions for reporting. The transactions are submitted to a SOAP interface from a variety of external systems which are in turn dumped into the database. The database then runs a variety of statistical analysis routines to produce management reports. This system is expected to handle 1,000,000 tp 5,000,000 transactions daily.

We're getting ready to order to production servers for the system and are wondering if SQL performs better on one Intel processor vs. the other. Example: Intel Xeon, AMD Opetron, etc.

Any comments are appreciated.
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Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & ArchitectCommented:
Processor Usage by SQL Server 2008:

1. Hyperthreading vs Non Hyperthreading
    --> Dont Enable Hyperthreading because it will create a logical CPU and it will perform only 10-30% of the work.

* When you have a server with 8 single CPUs occupying 8 separate sockets and no affinity mask set, SQL Server 2008 will see 8 CPUs and create 8 different schedulers. This is fine because each CPU is independent of
the hardware of the other CPUs. However, if you turn on hyperthreading a logical CPU is created on top of each physical CPU. This allows SQL Server 2008 to see 16 CPUs and create 16 online schedulers for those CPUs. But the strength of each CPU is different because the logical CPUs created with hyperthreading can only perform 10 percent to 30 percent of the work that a physical CPU can handle when the physical CPU is busy.

2. Dual Core and Quad Core.
   --> Dual-core and quad-core CPUs are multiple physical CPUs that share the same chip and can be placed in the same socket. A server with 4 dual-core CPUs will actually have 8 CPUs presented to SQL Server 2008, while a server with 4 quad-core CPUs will have 16 CPUs presented to SQL Server.

* In addition to saving money by allowing more processor cores on a single socket, multi-core processors can have a dramatic effect on the performance of a server.
* The lower the frequency the less power it takes.This has the result of a big performance gain in processing on multi-core processors.
* A second advantage of most multi-core processors is the shared L2 memory cache. Having a shared L2 memory cache between multiple cores on a single chip can result in more efficient thread processing as memory used for each thread is common to all processors and if a thread is moved from one processor to another on a multi-core
chip, data used by the thread can still be in memory that is local and not on another processor on another chip.

Hence my suggestion is that you can go for Quad Core Processors.
dthansenAuthor Commented:
Thank you for th reply. I understand your arguments for the quad core processor.

Is there a specific processor (Xeon, Opteron, Woodcrest, etc) that performs better with SQL?

Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & ArchitectCommented:
As you asked, A comparison Chart for you..


AMD Opteron performs better in this SQL test and Opteron server delivered six per cent higher throughput compared to a Xeon Woodcrest server, processing SQL transactions linked to a relational database

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