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I'm building a server and I'm not completely sure yet about the correct processor choice. The server is mostly handling IIS and SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 R2.

From a pricing standpoint, the difference between a single X5650 (6-core) and dual E5620s (4-core each) is not much. The benefits I see with X5650 is the higher frequency (2.66 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz) which should result in better per-thread performance, and the fact that I can upgrade the system later with a second X5650 if necessary.

Thoughts?

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Well it's 12 threads vs. 16 but presumably buying a single 6C leaves you s spare processor slot free for future use? If that's the case I'd personally stick with one CPU myself, don't Roget to use 3, 6, 9 or 12 memory modules for those CPUs, not 2, 4, 8 etc.

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6 x 4 GB = 24 GB RDIMM is fine then correct? Also if I upgrade later to a second X5650? Or will I have an issue? –  AX1 Dec 10 '10 at 22:21
    
things changed from 1/2/4/8/16 etc when the 55xx series came out, now they come in 1/3/6/9/12/18 etc. Basically each CPU gets three memory channels, each channel can have a number of sockets, but if you have two CPUs then they should have the same amount of memory, if you have a dual CPU machine but only one CPU then you can use the memory sockets of that CPU but not the other. So if you have a dual CPU machine with one CPU then use 3/6/9/12 memory sockets, if you have dual CPUs then use 2x3/2x6/2x9/2x12 etc. If you let me know the exact parts list I'll be able to help more. –  Chopper3 Dec 12 '10 at 0:03
    
If I select the single X5650 in the Dell configurator, then I don't get to select 12 DIMM modules for my desired 24 GB of RAM, only the 6x4 configuration. The 12x2 configuration is only available for dual processor configurations. I don't want to have to change anything on the RAM though when I add the 2nd X5650 later. How could I solve this? Thanks for your help! –  AX1 Dec 13 '10 at 0:06
    
The server obviously only has 6 memory slots per processor - in which case you'll have to go for the 6 x 4GB to get 24GB. Let me know the exact model and spec of machine and I'll double-check. –  Chopper3 Dec 13 '10 at 12:26

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