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Sunday, December 01

Geek

Min-Maxing With SuperMicro And Intel's Xeon E5-2600 v2

Supermicro's 1027R-WC1RT is a very nice small server.  It supports two socket 2011 Xeon CPUs, up to 1TB of memory (in theory, anyway; practically, it's more like 256GB), has an LSI 3108 RAID controller with 2GB of cache (8 ports SAS-3, RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60), 10 2.5" drive bays, dual 10GBase-T ports, and redundant power supplies.

With all that great stuff in the server, you just need to decide which CPUs to use, and the answer to that is blrrrgh.

Unless you're running Oracle or SAP or something like that.  Or you just took in $150 million of round C VC funding.  In that case, CPU prices aren't worth worrying about, and you should just go for the E5-2697 v2 (the fastest and most expensive model).

If that's not the case, then it's a balancing act.  How much CPU does your application need, and how much are you spending on the rest of the server.

Here are three handy charts showing the various available CPUs, ordered by GHz/$1k for the overall server cost, assuming a base server cost (with storage and memory, but no CPU) of $3k, $5k, and $7k.

TL;DR: If you expect to need a goodly amount of CPU, get the E5-2680 v2.  It's the top ranking or tied for first at all three price points.  If you know that CPU isn't critical (you're I/O, memory, or network-bound), the E5-2630 v2 is the one.  The next few CPUs above the E5-2630 v2 cost a lot more for very little gain; there's a huge jump in price before you get to significantly better performance.
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