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I'm about to rent a dedicated server and have narrowed it down to the following two. They are both the same price. Which in your understanding is more powerful, faster, and efficient and hence the better choice?

Server Option One:

Processor:        AMD Opteron 1216
CPU Speed:        2x2.40GHz
Bus Speed:        1000MHz
Cache:            2x1MB
RAM:              2GB DDR2 667 ECC

Server Option Two:

Processor:        Intel Xeon 3060
CPU Speed:        2x2.40GHz
Bus Speed:        1066MHz
Cache:            1x4MB
RAM:              2GB DDR2 667 ECC

Sorry for not being specific enough. The website I'm about to launch is expected to have very high traffic, 250-300,000 in the near term. It is based on WordPress so it does use a database though all files are cached to static html pages once every hour.

As for the OS it's going to be CentOS. I have been told to go with the 32 bit version since I am getting 2GB of ram with this server. Should I really go with 64bit with only 2GB of RAM?

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closed as off topic by Iain Oct 16 '12 at 11:57

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What kind of site? How much traffic does it see? What is your database usage? Please be more specific. – Tim Post Oct 6 '09 at 8:44
250 to 300,000 what? Hits per second? Visits per year? What? – John Gardeniers Oct 6 '09 at 10:07
Unless that 250-300,000 is per second, that doesn't count as "very high traffic". – womble Oct 6 '09 at 12:07

The differences in performance are miniscule. But architectural differences are there. I believe the AMD CPUs will have dedicated memory banks, while the Intel CPU shares their banks. This has been said to give AMD an edge as they have direct memory access to their dedicated memory banks, but I don't think you'd notice ANY difference for most workloads if you compared the two head-to-head.

Now, options on the servers, for performance, redundancy and remoting, on the other hand, are very important, more so than CPU architecture:

  • Redundant powersupplies
  • NICs
  • BIOS
  • RAM
  • ...and so on... Look for those.

Most important, however, are the disks and their performance/redundancy/configurations:

  • RAID hardware performance
  • RAID configuration
  • Diskdrive performance
  • Redundancy outside the RAID configuration such as hot-swappable drives, hot spare disk etc.

Second most important is the OS. The most performance you'll get from a 64-bit system, so go with that. You may run into some minor problems with older hardware for which there are no drivers, but since you ask for performance, 64-bit is the only way!

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With the Nehalem CPU (not used here), Intel uses the same architacture as AMD (connecting the RAM to the CPU). JFYI 32/64Bit: I agree. – ppuschmann Oct 6 '09 at 10:18
yeah, 64-bit! if you ever decide to upgrade memory past the 4GB limit, you'll need to either a) get a new kernel, or b) go to 64-bit anyways – warren Oct 6 '09 at 11:05

After a quick look on both product pages:

It seems the Xeon has more cache and is more energy efficient. Don't they provide some sort of benchmarking ?

Personaly, I'd go with the opteron, as I have a positive experience with Opteron servers, although I'm tempted to say that in fact, it ain't worth the hassle. Just pick one, it'll be fine ;)

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