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Need help choosing between these two servers regarding to their performance:

First one, Intel Xeon 3460 with 16 GB DDR3. Second one, Inter Xeon 5620 (Only one CPU) with 12 GIG/ECC Registerd. Both run on RAID10 SATA.

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closed as too localized by Mark Henderson Jul 30 '12 at 0:11

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Do you have them already? If so, you can do some benchmarking to test their performance in the way you want. – Khaled Nov 14 '10 at 9:15
Their performance for what? Some things will benefit from more memory, some from faster processor. – RobM Nov 14 '10 at 9:35
I want them as a web and db hosting servers, at the same time. I don't have physical access to them now to test them. – ash Nov 15 '10 at 20:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The main features of these are:

Xeon 3460: Nehalem (Lynnfield 45nm architecture) -4 cores 2.8Ghz Hyperthreading, 1Meg/8Meg L2/L3 cache, two memory controllers capable of running at up to 1333Mhz. IO is DMI @ 2.5GT/sec, TurboBoost is 1/1/4/5.

Xeon 5620 (Gulftown 32nm architecture) - 4 cores 2.2Ghz Hyperthreading, 1Meg/12Meg L2/L3 cache, three memory controllers capable of running at up to 1066Mhz. IO is 2x QPI @ 5.86 GT/sec, TurboBoost is 1/1/2/2.

These feature-sets are too close to make any sensible recommendation between them without knowing the workload. The Lynnfield can use TurboBoost to scale up a single core to 3.4Ghz vs a peak of about 2.4Ghz for the Gulftown and the raw CPU speed difference in this example is high enough that even with the latter's improved architecture I would expect the Lynnfield to outperform for workloads that are specifically CPU bound. Ideally though you should try benchmarking if it matters a lot as per Khaled's comment. There are other important details such as speed of the RAM you are choosing between and how important IO performance is that may make a bigger difference than the CPU speed.

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As you are suggesting, for my usage which is a shared web and db hosting server, the one with larger memory is better. Am I right? – ash Nov 15 '10 at 21:00
Whether more memory is useful or not depends on what load it will have to handle - if you need or can make effective use of >12GB of RAM then that will be better but the difference in memory bandwidth will be more important if you aren't going to use the extra RAM productively. The Xeon 5620 will have 25%-50% more bandwidth than the Xeon 3460 depending on the RAM speed in each and that will definitely affect db performance. Whether that outweighs the 25-50% difference in CPU power depends entirely on the specific workload. – Helvick Nov 15 '10 at 21:22

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