Alex Turner wrote:
Spend a fortune on dual core CPUs and then buy crappy disks... I bet
for most applications this system will be IO bound, and you will see a
nice lot of drive failures in the first year of operation with
consumer grade drives.
Spend your money on better Disks, and don't bother with Dual Core IMHO
unless you can prove the need for it.
I would say the opposite -- you always want Dual Core nowadays. DC
Opterons simply give you better bang for the buck than single core
Opterons. Price out a 1xDC system against a 2x1P system -- the 1xDC will
be cheaper. Do the same for 2xDC versus 4x1P, 4xDC versus 8x1P, 8xDC
versus 16x1P, etc. -- DC gets cheaper by wider and wider margins because
those mega-CPU motherboards are astronomically expensive.
DC also gives you a better upgrade path. Let's say you do testing and
figure 2x246 is the right setup to handle the load. Well instead of
getting 2x1P, use the same 2P motherboard but only populate 1 CPU w/ a
DC/270. Now you have a server that can be upgraded to +80% more CPU by
popping in another DC/270 versus throwing out the entire thing to get a
The only questions would be:
(1) Do you need a SMP server at all? I'd claim yes -- you always need 2+
cores whether it's DC or 2P to avoid IO interrupts blocking other
processes from running.
(2) Does a DC system perform better than it's Nx1P cousin? My experience
is yes. Did some rough tests in a drop-in-replacement 1x265 versus 2x244
and saw about +10% for DC. All the official benchmarks (Spec, Java, SAP,
etc) from AMD/Sun/HP/IBM show DCs outperforming the Nx1P setups.
(3) Do you need an insane amount of memory? Well here's the case where
the more expensive motherboard will serve you better since each CPU slot
has its own bank of memory. Spend more money on memory, get cheaper
Of course, this doesn't apply if you are an Intel/Dell-only shop. Xeon
DCs, while cheaper than their corresponding single-core SMPs, don't have
the same performance profile of Opteron DCs. Basically, you're paying a
bit extra so your server can generate a ton more heat.
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