4 core vs 6 core

I am trying to decide which CPU to get for my Fil Server with INTEL S3420GPLC motherboard with single CPU socket. There are so many CPUs to choose from in terms of # of Cores and Ghz.
This server will be used by about 20 users on the network,

Client Apps: mostly WORD/EXCEL/ACCESS/OUTLOOK
Server OS: SBS2011

XEON E5620 2.4Ghz/12M/1066/4C  +$210
XEON E5630 2.53Ghz/12M/1066/4C +$401
XEON E5645 2.4Ghz/12M/1333/6C  +$425
XEON E5649 2.53Ghz/12M/1333/6C +$651
XEON E5640 2.66Ghz/12M/1066/4C +$651
XEON E5650 2.66Ghz/12M/1333/6C +$895
XEON E5660 280Ghz/12M/1333/6C  +$1,100

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sgleeAsked:
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
If you are talking JUST a file server and 20 users then I wouldn't consider going above $425 dollar option. You are not going to see ANY performance gain once you pass that point with what you are doing.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
between
XEON E5630 2.53Ghz/12M/1066/4C +$401
XEON E5645 2.4Ghz/12M/1333/6C  +$425

Which one is better - more core/faster memory or faster clock speed?
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
The FSB wins! $425
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
What do you mean by FSB?
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viluxxCommented:
E5645  had 6 Cores and 12 Threads
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=48768
E5630  had 4 Cores and 8 Threads
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47924

For $24 more I will get the E5645 because of more CPU and Threads and speed is not a major factor here.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
So exactly like I said.......
You get the XEON E5645 2.4Ghz/12M/1333/6C
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I will get XEON E5645 2.4Ghz/12M/1333/6C.
Thanks you all.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Why?  CPU is not critical.  RAM is critical.  I'd get the cheapest CPU and add more RAM and/or faster disks.  

Also, if this is a file server, why are you getting SBS 2011?  That includes Exchange server and the CALs are more expensive.  If you expect to use Exchange, fine, but otherwise, don't get SBS 2011 - maybe SBS 2011 Essentials (maximum user count is 25 on Essentials).  

If you're using Exchange, you REALLY want more RAM.  Doesn't matter how much you were getting, you want to get as much as you can (though for 20 users, 12 GB should be ok - more is almost always better, but 12 would be my minimum (32 GB is the max).  

If you're not using Exchange and it's just a file server and maybe Active Directory, then SLOWEST CPU, FASTEST disks you can afford, and 4 GB of RAM should be more than enough.

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sgleeAuthor Commented:
XEON E5645 2.4Ghz/12M/1333/6C seems to be the least expensive CPU with 6 core.
The reason for SBS2011 ve SBS2008 was SBS2011 came with Exchange 2010 which I wanted.
Yes I could have saved some money by buying SBS2008 off Ebay ,I know.
But I like to learn new technology.
I am planning on getting close to 32GB RAM with SAS 15K 600GB 6Gbps Seagate HDs.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
As stated above your CPU will be hardly ticking over whatever one you pick if all you're doing is fileserving and Exchange. The only real CPU work it has to do is encryption and there's not much of that. What CPU do you have at the moment and what % utilization is it on?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
andyalder,
I never watched or monitored CPU utilization on the File Server on a consistent basis, but whenever I looked at it, it was about 3-5%. Current File Server has 4GB RAM with Xeon 3.2Ghz (CPU Speed of 3192) on INTEL SE7520BD23S motherboard. I am sure that goes up when the backup is running at night. The other thing is that I have a separate server running Exch 2003. The Exchange Server box has 4GB RAM with P4 3.4Ghz and it is showing 0-5% CPU Utilization with Cold Fusion Web Application Software running at the same time. The only time this CPU spikes up to 50% (for a couple of seconds) is when cold fusion loads data from an MS access table into the web page. I also noticed whenever I click on different folders in my OUTLOOK, it spiked up to 2-3%. Otherwise this server shows 0% utilization.

If 5 years old CPUs on these two File Servers are not fully utilized, then there is no point of getting a fast CPU, right?

The only thing is that SBS2011 warrants 4 core CPU and File Server function and Exchange function will be merged into one, so I thought I get more powerful CPU. Cold Fusion web application will cotinue to run off the old server, not part of SBS2011.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
You've got it. These fast 4 and 6 core CPUs are designed with virtualization in mind, running a dozen or so virtual servers on a single physical one; even the slowest one is fast enough for a single physical server running most apps.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
So are you suggesting that I need to get the cheapest xeon cpu with 4 core?

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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Yes, I'd get a 5620 and spend the spare cash on ram and disks (or beer).
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Would Xeon X3440 2.53Ghz/8MB/S1156/FT/Turbo/Quad-Core be OK?
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
I would look at it this way.....

The cheap 6 core processor costs you about an extra $200.

You have already said that you have a coldfussion web server running as well. How old is that? I Bet that it costs you more than $200 per year for the electricity to run it and the support contract you have on it? (You do have a support contract dont you?)

Now you spend the extra $200, move your web service onto the SBS box, decomission the other server and prob save money by year 2.

What I would actually do if I had the budget is to put the 6core in and install VMWare ESXi and virtualise the whole lot with an additional 2008R2 DC added in for redundancy. Virtualise the web on that too.
Now you only have 1 box to support, its new and its reliable.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
At this point, I am not experienced in ESXi. In fact I just installed it on a test server just to see what it is.
I can clearly see the benefits of it, but I don't feel confident enough to use it yet in production enviromment at some point.

The only issue that I see with ESXi /Virtualization is that we can put 5 differnet server OS on it to manage various Apps, but if you have a hardware failure, then all 5 OS and its apps are affected.
That is one drawback that I see with ESXi /Virtualization.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
That is why you pay for the best, have clusters and good support contracts.  It all comes down to money at the end of the day.

I have departments that have virtualised 11 physical servers onto a small cluster using just 2 Dell R710 servers with 2 quad core xeons and 48Gb memory in each with a SAN attached for the actual VM's.

Of course this is a lot more in terms of costs but it gives redundacy.

Whilst I see your perfectly valid points, you only have 2 servers to start with, 1 new SBS and 1 web. So that argument against virtualisation is hardly valid in this case.

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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Actually I have more servers.
W2003 File/Print Server, IIS/Exch 2003/Web Server w/ Coldfusion, Two 2003 Terminal Servers, 1 FTP Server on W2003, One Utility Server on W2003 to run odd programs such as Symantec Control Center, WebRoot Control Center, Time Clock Program .. etc. Two Internet Browsing Servers on W2003 where people use to surf the internet. I set these up because often enough users computers get infected by viruses while surfling the internet. Win2003 Servers sofware seems to be more robust in terms of trojan virus attacks coming from internet surfing.
When I looked at this whole array of servers built over the years and having seen what is capable of, if I can do server mirroring,
I think I can put Terimnal Server 1 and Internet Server 1 on to 1 Server box with ESXi  and do the same  thing to combine Terimnal Server 2 and Internet Server 2 using ESXi, but that all depends on the cost of the ESXi software. Again without some mirroring setup, I can't afford to put all in one box and hoping that there will never be a hardware failure.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
>I have departments that have virtualised 11 physical servers onto a small cluster using just 2 [servers...]

Just wondering but did you buy 22 Windows standard licenses, 6 Enterprise licenses or 4 datacenter licenses to stay legal for that? Virtualization's cool, it's also rather expensive in licensing especially if you've got Ms products on your cluster.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Yes ms licensing is a pain on a cluster due to having to allow for vmotion. We had a hole heap of enterprise licenses that were used as it happens. Enterprise wide agreement with ms.

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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
X3440 makes a lot of sense, all the boxes I use are 2 or more socket but 1P boxes with about 30GB of affordable RAM each are a better alternative. Why pay for the QPI bus between CPUs when the box only needs 1P?
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