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I'm looking at purchasing one of two servers. They're of similar specs except the CPUs. Server 1 comes equipped with 2 x E5405 and server 2 only has one X3460. I've got a few servers that are configured like the first server and while I'm very happy with the performance I'm wondering if I can do better with newer hardware.

The server will be used for hosting game servers - mostly for the Source engine.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This might help you out a bit: Intel's ARK comparison of the two.

X3460 = Newer, more threads (but not more cores), better clock speed, higher FSB, less (but faster) cache, more instruction sets, and much better virtualisation support.

Ideally, you want two X3460's and I can't imagine the price difference would be that much more than two E5405's.This is not possible, due to what Chopper 3 pointed out below

Unfortunately though looking at a spreadsheet doesn't really tell you much about how it's going to work in real life.

Personally, I would bite the bullet and try it. If it's inferior (because you need more cores, not more raw speed) then you've got the option of adding a 2nd processor (for additional cost), or waiting until you need another server and replacing it with the server of the first specs.

I know that's not an ideal answer though. Maybe your OEM will loan you one for a week to try it out?

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Just out of interest the X3460 isnt dual-processor capable, the dual-processor capable version is the X5560. – Chopper3 Nov 25 '10 at 20:52
@Chopper - thanks, I haven't dealt with single-socket xeons in a while. I missed that on their comparison... – Mark Henderson Nov 25 '10 at 20:54
Me neither but I'm a chip-geek :) – Chopper3 Nov 25 '10 at 21:05

There was a huge overall leap in power between the 54xx series and 55xx models, both in terms of compute and memory/IO speed. I'd strongly recommend the newer chip.

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That's what I'm thinking as according to most benchmarks the X3460 is twice as good. – Radu Nov 25 '10 at 20:35

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