1 CPU or 2 CPU for SBS2011

Posted on 2011-05-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
  I am trying to decide whether to get One CPU or Two CPUs on Dell PowerEdge R710 Server. It comes with one Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz and 24GB RAM. I am going to run SBS2011 with Exchange with 60GB store size (no SQL server) for 20 User network (mostly running WORD/EXCEL/OUTLOOK/ACCESS).

  Since R710 comes with two CPU sockets, if I decide to go with one CPU, will I be loosing some performance?
  If I get two CPUs, when would I know that I am benefiting from extra CPU?

Thank you in advance.
Question by:sglee
    LVL 56

    Accepted Solution

    Managing and measuring performance is as much art as it is science unless significant bottlenecks make clear indications of performance issues.

    With that said, with only 20 users and no SQL, I'd go with one quad-core processor. Two quad-cores would provide incremental performance gains, but at cost per CPU cycle, is probably not worthwhile in my opinion.

    The only caveat to that is how ong you plan on this server being in production and its measure of "criticality." For example, 2 CPUs would *definitely* provide more flexibility if you choose to retool this server as a virtualizatoin server down the road. IF that is on your roadmap within a warranty window, go with 2 CPUs now. IF it is outside of 3 to 4 years, even if you virtualize, running mission-critical roles on a machine out of warranty is a bad idea, so buying 1 CPU now is probably sufficient.

    LVL 21

    Assisted Solution

    by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
    Agreeing with Cliff.  SBS is (almost) never bound up by the CPU and the money is better used on a "real" RAID controller, instead of the embedded  ones, SAS drives and more RAM
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    We have an R710 with 2 procs and it is a powerful server.  It's used for most of our SQL environment.  I'd figure you would be fine with only the one proc.  Of course you could always add a proc later too.
    LVL 41

    Assisted Solution

    I single proc is quite capable as a virtualization platform as well. I was running Exchange 2007, BES, and Exchange 2007 CAS server on a single proc quad core R610 for 700 mailboxes. CPU was never an issue. I have dual quad core servers running 20 VMs and CPU is still always single digit utilization. The limit for me is RAM on the server, and to a lessor extent disk IOPS. I would save the money now (and electricity ongoing) and go with a single processor.

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