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Dual 5520 Quad-Core Xeon 2.26GHz with HT & Turbo(2.53 GHz) -vs- Single Quad-Core E3-1240v2 (3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz)

I run web hosting. I'm just wondering which would be more ideal. Personally, I am thinking that the E3 would be the better choice as it pushes requests faster. I don't exactly plan to overload this server only host a few sites and plan to keep the load under 2.0 if possible 1.0 as this will be a semi-dedicated hosting.

So the question is: Unless the processor is getting maxed out or the requests are getting spread out is having more threads worthless over a faster clock?

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How many requests per second are you expecting to have? –  Desmond Hume Mar 2 '13 at 23:19
    
Seems doubtful this could be answered with any real confidence without actually benchmarking. But if I had to hazard a guess (ONLY a guess!) I'd go for more cores. –  Nicole Hamilton Mar 2 '13 at 23:22
    
Several 100 to a few 1000 requests. I currently have a 4 core server that runs at about 1-2.0 LA and everything loads instantly. But yea, without any actual benchmarking I guess it would be hard. Running services would be Apache, nginx and MySQL. I'm thinking that as the server gets more and more loaded the more cores will come into play so twice the requests get served even though it is slower. –  Rachel Nark Mar 2 '13 at 23:34
    
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MySQL is extremely broad, it could be very simple, instantaneous queries, or queries that each takes a few seconds to process. –  vonbrand Mar 3 '13 at 1:25
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closed as too localized by Canadian Luke, Breakthrough, Nicole Hamilton, DragonLord, 8088 Mar 3 '13 at 0:38

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you aren't doing complex processing to service a substantial fraction of your requests, the I/O structure will saturate before either of those CPUs. If you are doing complex processing of independent requests, the extra cores will handle more concurrent overlapping requests.

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The E3 would be a much better deal, for a number of reasons, including

  • Its a much newer chip - the E5520 was released Q1, 2009, the E3 launched Q2, 2012
  • They have the same number of cores (4) and threads)
  • The E3 has a much faster clock speed and larger instruction set.
  • As it is an "Ivy Bridge" CPU its more power efficient - 69 watts as opposed to 80 watts
  • It takes faster memory (not a big deal)
  • It has slightly better support for Virtualization.

The Only advantage I can see in the E5220 is it supports a maximum of 144 GB memory as opposed to 32 Gigs.

FWIW, the CPUBenchmark tests say the E3 cleans the floor with the E5220, with about twice the overall performance (I happen to have been looking at putting a new server together recently. You might also want to look at the E3-1230)

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You got the core numbers wrong. The OP is comparing a Dual 5520 Quad-Core Xeon to a Single Quad-Core E3-1240v2. –  Desmond Hume Mar 3 '13 at 0:31
    
Ok, so two x E5520 performs at roughly the same speed as the single E3-1240v2, at twice 2.5 times the power output and about twice the cost. –  davidgo Mar 3 '13 at 4:48
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