I need to setup a dedicated server for running a web application with sql server at the back end. Only thing at this point matters to me most is the performance for web users. Here are my choices:

  • Intel Quad 2 Core Q9400 (passmark ~ 3500) + 8GB DDR2 RAM + 80 GB Intel Series 320 SSD Drive


  • Intel Xeon Quad Core x3450 (passmark ~ 5300) + 8 GB DDR3 RAM + 500GB 7200 rpm sas drive

Any clear choice between the two in terms of performance? It will have windows 2008-r2, sql server (web edition) database and IIS 7.5 serving web application.

closed as not a real question by John Gardeniers, womble, sysadmin1138 Jan 9 '12 at 21:37

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Ok, I'll be the first to say it then...*sigh*...we can't answer this without knowing where your server gets hit most - DB writes? reads? static reads? application? there's no way to answer this without at least some basic information - plus we don't do 'shopping questions' on here anyway. – Chopper3 Aug 23 '11 at 18:29
  • I was looking for a general answer for performance related to cpu and hard drive speed. Usually disk seems to be bottleneck for db operation but I thought somebody may have insight on how RAM plays in this picture. I do not have exact usage benchmark so asked a more general question. I did not mean this to be a shopping question otherwise I would have included the pricing too... – Samuel Aug 23 '11 at 18:34
  • I would say you get the best performance if you substitute the "OR" in your question by "AND". Having both of them makes it perform better. – mailq Aug 23 '11 at 19:23
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    The answer is, as always for this kind of thing: It can vary depending on your specific workload so the only way to get absolutely accurate, useful data is to benchmark your application with a realistic test matrix and find out for yourself. I know that's boring. I know you wanted to be told "that one is faster than that one" and I'm not telling you what you wanted to hear, but it's still an accurate answer. – Rob Moir Aug 23 '11 at 21:34
  • Given the lack of relevant information and that you're only looking for a general answer, the answer is one of those. If you need a better answer then you really have to ask a better question. – John Gardeniers Aug 23 '11 at 21:36

The problem is unless we know what kind of load you're looking at, we cannot offer a valid opinion. If you're talking about serving a lot of simple pages, you'd be better off with more processor power and memory for cache. If you're talking about a web service that does SQL intensive database queries for lots of disparate bits of data to aggregate and spit out, then the SSD is going to be the best thing for it.

Another question is how big is the database? If you only have a 4 -8 GB database, you might be better off getting a less expensive drive and spending the rest to get 12 or 16GB of RAM, which will let MSSQL load the entire database into memory, which will still be faster than an SSD.

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