Can someone enlighten me as to which I
should prefer based on the following
Active Directory/DNS Server (<50
- Dual Core Intel® Xeon® E3120, 3.16
GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB
- Quad Core
Intel® Xeon® X3220, 2.40GHz, 2x4M
Cache, 1066MHz FSB
For AD, I'd say Dual core. That's fine. Like others have said, AD/DNS is not CPU intensive. Don't sweat it. Personally, even these CPUs are overkill for an AD/DNS setup for 50 users. Now, if the number of users increases to say.. 500? 5000? These would be better suited. Maybe you can find a cheaper DC/QC CPU for the AD/DNS server?
Sql Server 2008 DB Server:
- Dual Core Intel® Xeon® E3120, 3.16 GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB
- Quad Core Intel® Xeon® X3220, 2.40GHz, 2x4M Cache, 1066MHz FSB
I'd go for the Quad core here, not for the slower FSB, but rather larger cache. However, #1 is 'wolfdale' 45nm CPU (~65W) but #2 is 'kentsfield' 65nm CPU (~95W). Someone could argue that #1 might be a better choice for the DB server as its slightly higher FSB and more L2 cache per core that make #1 an interesting choice over #2. I'm sure SQL 2008 is optimized for whatever resources can be given, but in general database servers can usually use every possible resource in a system if conditions and I/O become issues. I'll address this specific I/O issue later..
From an energy perspective (which you may/may not have interest in), the 'wolfdale' (#1) CPU in comparison to #2 is a better choice.
fyi - the price point of the
processers is the same the systems
will be windows server 2008 with 8GB
RAM and 2 250GB 7200RPM Drive
Sounds like someone is on Dell's website trying to build a server. ;) For the AD server, you don't need much RAM for 50 users. 2GB is more than enough. Allocate more RAM (denser RAM as well) into the database server so at some point in the future you can add more DIMMs to accommodate whatever resource constraints are occurring. You may never need to add more memory to the database server, but the ability to do so in the future will be extremely useful.
.. 2 250GB 7200RPM Drive
This is an I/O bottleneck. Using 2x SATA II drives for AD/DNS is fine. 50 users is no big deal, but for a database server it's a bigger deal.
For a database server to have any real performance for whatever may come it's way, SCSI/SAS in hardware RAID is the way to go. Yes it's more expensive. Yes, SATA II is cheaper with more storage. I realize SCSI/SAS might push the budget out of bounds, but the I/O bottleneck becomes less evident with faster buses and disks systems like SCSI/SAS. I'm just saying, if database performance could possibly become an issue, these SATA II disks are the cause. Not the CPUs. Not the RAM. SATA II disks are too damn slow.