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CPU for File Server

Posted on 2014-03-03
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CPU SelectionI am trying to pick the right CPU for two projects:
(1) 5 user network, mostly Word/Excel/Internet and one business related MS ACCESS database program (150MB in size, about 20 new records created daily, mostly existing record lookup). Server OS: SBS2011. RAM: 16GB.

(2) 7 user network, mostly Word/Excel/Internet and one big database business software that runs SQL (I don't have to have SQL server, it installed SQL express during install) with database size of 100GB (when all the files/documents/emails attachments are zipped). It is a law firm where they constantly insert new case records and update existing case info all day. There is an interface between legal software and Word/Excel/Outlook/Adobe Std., so these apps are constantly opened and closed from the legal software.

 That said, when I tried to order DELL PowerEdge T320.  I know I need some type of XEON, but there are many CPUs to choose from and I am not quite sure how much I need to spend on CPU. I don't want to overkill, but certainly don't want to hear from the users that "NEW SERVER IS SLOW". I am going to get 32GB of RAM and  either thru Hyper-V/W2012 or VMWare ESXi V5.5 so that I can also setup Terminal Server.
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Question by:sglee
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Cliff Galiher earned 308 total points
ID: 39901667
If you are going to virtualized and run RDS, go as big as you can reasonably afford. RDS will use it, and it gives you better future proofing.
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by:Lee Ingalls
Lee Ingalls earned 608 total points
ID: 39901674
Your first option won't require much CPU power -- 16GB RAM would be sufficient but more RAM never hurts. You can always add more if needed.

Your second option 32GB RAM is a good start. But consider number of transactions and threading and make sure the bus and disk IO is not a bottle neck.

Here is the VMWARE vSphere hardware requirements documentation to use as a baseline:
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50%2FGUID-DEB8086A-306B-4239-BF76-E354679202FC.html
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by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 304 total points
ID: 39901879
Neither of the environments you mention will be seriously bottle-necked with just about *any* modern Multi-core CPU involved. You could get the cheapest XEON they have and see no performance degradation whatsoever. CPU speed stopped being a huge issue a a few years ago. RAM and Disk IO speeds are more important these days. Even terminal server for 7 users isn't going to cause much of an issue with a low end XEON. Heck, I've got an AMD Phenom II quad core running Exchange, Remote Desktop Gateway, AD, DNS, DHCP, and a bunch of other systems separated on VMs and it doesn't even look at me funny.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39903232
@ acbrown2010
" Heck, I've got an AMD Phenom II quad core running Exchange, Remote Desktop Gateway, AD, DNS, DHCP, and a bunch of other systems separated on VMs " --->
Would you mind the specs of your server in terms of CPU, RAM, HD (speed,  type), VMWare or HyperV for virtualization?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39903471
What is the difference between Xeon E3-1220V2 3.1Ghz and Xeon® E5-2403 1.80GHz series. Apparently Intel® Xeon® E5-2403 CPUs are more expensive ... Are they worth that much more?
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by:Lee Ingalls
Lee Ingalls earned 608 total points
ID: 39903660
Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2 @ 3.10GHz
Socket Type      LGA1155
CPU Class            Server
Clockspeed      3.1 GHz
Turbo Speed      Up to 3.5 GHz
# of Physical Cores      4
Max TDP      69W
CPU Mark      6503
Approx Price $199

Intel Xeon E5-2403 @ 1.80GHz
Socket Type      LGA 1356
CPU Class            Server
Clockspeed      1.8 GHz
Turbo Speed      Not Supported
# of Physical Cores      4
Max TDP      80W
CPU Mark      3489
Approx Price $195

Comparison from PassMark -CPU Performance Comparison
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39903695
@Lee
Thanks for the link. It sounds like Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2 @ 3.10GHz is a better value.
When I looked at the chart, god, there so many variations in each CPU Category. For example, i3/i5/i7 there are a ton of different ones ... how do you decide which one to get?
So complicated ...

I will stay with Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2 @ 3.10GHz for my server.
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