Opteron vs. Xeon vs. i7 for PHP Applications with Imagick

Hello,

we like to buy 2 new Webservers for our Webcluster. Sombody can give me a recommendation which CPU is the best for a PHP Application?

We use Zend Server (Apache) with PHP 5.2 and the last Imagik version.
The CPU should handle max. 150 Apache childs. PHP memory limit is 100M

Thanks in advance.

regards
Ricardo
PantherMediaAsked:
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pmaribeiroCommented:
Hi,
i believe the CPU around to that kind of load would be an I7 X995 since is the best money can buy as cyou can on this CPU benchmarking:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

i hope it helps.
PantherMediaAuthor Commented:
Hi,

I know this benchmark before, but is it really good to use a i7 CPU designed for desktops as CPU for a server? An is it the best practice for an Apache with PHP5.2 running 150 Childs?
pmaribeiroCommented:
Well I7 is used for server also at this stage is the better CPU to process all data including in multi-tasking that is the case.
If you dont feel confortable you can use the Xeon higher model, but its has 25% less performance then the I7 i´ve suggested.

Its a question of budget.
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PantherMediaAuthor Commented:
Hi,

and what about my second question: "is it the best practice for an Apache with PHP5.2 running 150 Childs?"
SemperWiFiCommented:
Yes, the i7 has a higher frequency.  If you're doing a CPU-heavy task  with a small memory footprint, it's probably also faster.  (Rule of  thumb: a single read from RAM takes about as much time as 100  instructions.  You really want the data you're operating on to be in cache.)

The Xeon can do something that desktop CPUs can't: it can operate in a  multi-CPU setup.  You're not going to be able to fit four i7s into a  computer without special glue logic chips, and nobody makes those.

There is often confusion as to what makes a server-type CPU different from a  desktop counterpart. Besides the bus speed improvement, there is a  fundamental difference that proves to be important especially if there  is a lot at stake. Validation. It is about the effort spent validating processors that  differentiates desktop from server CPUs. As an analogy, it makes perfect  sense that a passenger aircraft engine would require much more  stringent validation than a car engine. The risk is undoubtedly higher  for an aircraft engine. The same applies to server processors. A desktop  processor is designed to cater to the needs of one person. On the other  hand, there is much more at stake with a server processor!

Let us cover each point one by one.

Validation
Server processors are put through all kinds of tests under stressful  conditions such as higher temperatures, strict environmental conditions,  and high computing loads. The time spent performing these tests  increases the costs and time to delivery considerably.

Dependable
Server processors are designed for reliability. For example, if your  desktop processor were to somehow fail, the whole workstation becomes  inoperable. Server CPUs have the smarts to be able to failover, in the  case of a dual CPU server, without having to crash or shutdown. Granted,  one would have to have a dual CPU configuration. It is important to  note that desktop CPUs do not support dual processor configurations.
Self Correcting
Server processors have the circuitry in place to correct memory  errors that can affect stability. The technology is called Error Code  Correction (ECC). Some desktop configurations are also capable of ECC  but the feature is not validated as is the case with server CPUs. Hence,  my stressing the importance of validation first and foremost.

Higher trafficking
Server CPUs are designed with buses that operate at much higher  frequencies (bandwidth). This means that they can process more data in  and out of memory and other subsystems. Heat can be a concern for these  buses as it impedes the flow of electricity and hence throughput. This  is why server-grade processors have their matching powerful fan blowers.

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PantherMediaAuthor Commented:
Hello Guru,

thanks for the great explanation! What you can recommend for my case -
Opteron or Xeon?
SemperWiFiCommented:
@ PantherMedia - No problem, that is why we're all here. Happy to assist. As far as Opteron vs. Xeon... ever heard the term "6 in one hand, half dozen in the other" ??

At the end of the day it will depend on the specific models of each flavor.

For what you are doing you should be quite pleased with either. But as you shop for servers you can use this list to compare specific units to one another in regard to CPU.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html 
SemperWiFiCommented:
"receive no sufficient solution" Really?

You know what, I don't get paid to be here helping people nor do I do it so I can ask questions... if you look at my question history you'll see it is quite clear I'm not here asking a bunch of questions. I couldn't care less about the points. I simply come here to help people. It is pretty lame when I come in and give you detailed explanations in order to explain the situation to you and you do nothing but ask the question get closed and say "receive no sufficient solution"


Talk about a lack of respect.
PantherMediaAuthor Commented:
@SemperWiFi

sorry if I offend your sensibilities! But I hoped to get an recommendation with best practice for

"what is it the best practice for an Apache with PHP5.2 running 150 Childs? (CPU Opteron vs. Xeon)"

So I like to ask an Apache Server running PHP 5.2 work better with Opteron or Xeon in standard situations'?
SemperWiFiCommented:
This post gave you a recommendation 33929689, I suggest you reread it along with the administrative comment which has also been posted.
PantherMediaAuthor Commented:
The benchmarks on cpubenchmark.net are to generally and not really a good practice for productive systems, because they not soucre on web applications. I need experience from people have experience with Xeon/Opteron on web applications based on Linux, Apache and PHP 5.2

SemperWiFiCommented:
I have been designing specific use systems for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, Science and Mathematics Research Entities to US Military Deployments including Edwards AFB for over 15 years. The reason you didn't get an Opteron/Xeon pick for web applications based on Linux, Apache and PHP 5.2 specific use is because one is not better than the other in this case.

This is why I used the term 6 in one hand half dozen in the other... because 6 and a half dozen is the same thing.

The fact is I know more about this than you and you want to act like you know something. You don't and you just want someone to pick your CPU for you. Flip a coin buddy and make Opteron heads and Xeon Tails and go with whichever side you land on... the process you're running just isn't that specialized and it simply does not matter. Just don't go with a desktop unit.  

Just like the admin stated, you're question was answered  specifically. It may not have been the answer you were looking for but  it is the answer that suits your specific question. "no sufficient solution for my case" is invalid.
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