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I'm currently planning to purchase a server for our MySQL database. I'm deciding whether to get an Intel 2 x quad core Core2Duo processor or 2 x dual core Xeon. Any feedback will be appreciated.

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What sort of load is this machine expected to handle? We're working in a vacuum. – John Gardeniers Mar 16 '10 at 9:07
It will store/retrieve current transactions from a Java application running off a separate server and also do analysis (for reporting; Jasper Reports) – FrancisV Mar 18 '10 at 3:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are no quad core processors in the Core2Duo line. The quad core line is Core2Quad, and you cannot put more than one processor on the same motherboard from that line of processors.

A good quad core is the Q9550 aka X3360 which runs on LGA775, only one per motherboard, but if you want to get more power from a single quad core you can go with an X3460 which runs on LGA1136 motherboards and requires DDR3 RAM but is faster than the Q9550 even though the clockrate is slightly lower.

Setting up 2 dual core processors seems like a waste of cash, since you'll be paying for both the processors as well as a motherboard with 2 sockets instead of a single processor and a single socket motherboard.

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On top, make sure you actually need all the power. Databases NOT going heavy analysis are a lot more likely to be limited by IO speed than processor speed. IO speed as in: you needs a lots of discs ;) – TomTom Mar 16 '10 at 8:11
...or you need lots of ram. high-performance DB systems should, as a rule of thumb, have enough memory to load the entire DB into RAM. – tylerl Mar 16 '10 at 8:55
Be aware, MySQL only recently has started working well with multicore processors. Prior to 5.1.3x or so, out of the box it could get CPU bound on complex queries under heavy load. The latest version 5.1.44 includes the Innodb plugin which works better, but there are still issues. MySQL was designed to take advantage of single high speed single core CPUs, not multi-core CPUs. Throwing one or more quad-core processors at a high load MySQL database may not work as well as you hope. – Craig Mar 17 '10 at 21:23
Thanks for the tips. It will be using a lot of InnoDB tables. I was hoping MySQL 5.1 would perform better on multi-core systems. – FrancisV Mar 18 '10 at 4:08

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