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Intel Server Gaming Rig

Last response: in Video Games
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April 9, 2013 10:04:35 PM

Hi all,
So I just came into possession of a new Server that I will be using as my daily work station as well as for gaming with high intensity games such as Arma, Flight Simulator, Crysis, etc.

Right now I have a server board which's details are listed below:
Motherboard: Intel S3420GP
CPU: Intel i3 530 2.93 GHz, 2926 Mhz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 550 Ti
RAM: 8 gb DDR3
Display is 1920 x 1080
Running windows 7 64 bit

The new set up is as follows:
A Intel 1U R1208GL4DS rack (http://serversdirect.com/product.asp?pf_id=SY2137&gclid...)
CPU: Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-4650 (2.7 GHZ)
GPU will stay the same as the NVIDIA GeForce 550 Ti
Ram: 16gb DDR3
Display and OS will stay the same as 1920 x 1080 and windows 7 64 bit

My question is this:
I have not used it yet and won't be able to for about a month, and want to know how it will compare with my old rig.

Specifically, the Xeon E5, and whether it is well suited or suited at all for gaming.

Keep in mind that I am aware that many games will only utilize 2 or 4 gb of ram, as they are 32 bit programs, and even some 64 bit games will have a max ram usage coded in.

Look forward to hearing your opinions,

Callum

EDIT: I don't know if it is worth being added, but the current rig is struggling with the games listed at low settings, and I believe the weak link to be the i3 that is being used.

I have talked to my friend who works with Intel and he feels like the server boards architecture should have a minimal to no effect on game FPS and that the only thing he could think of was that server boards go through a redundant referencing of RAM accessed to ensure that the correct information is being used and that it is not corrupted.

I may be putting words in his mouth but that is what I recall from the conversation we had.
a b 4 Gaming
April 9, 2013 10:35:32 PM

Without gaming benchmarks existing for that server, its tough to say how it will perform in gaming. My guess is that it shards the Sandy Bridge architecture. It is clocked fairly low though. No game is really going to make use of 16 threads either.

If I had to wager a guess, I would say it will perform about like a low clocked Sandy Bridge i7 in gaming, so yeah you should see some improvement.

The real problem here though is that graphics card. The 550ti is pretty weak for newer games at 1080. I would suggest upgrading to at least a GTX 660 or Radeon 7870.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2013 8:45:51 AM

jarianslake said:
If you look on Intel's site: http://ark.intel.com/products/56258/Intel-Server-System...

It states that under graphics: Integrated Graphics.

Does this mean that the graphics card would be unable to be mounted and that it is handled by the CPU?


No, that simply means that the chip has on-board graphics that can be used instead of a card if you want to. According to that site, it has 2 PCIe slots which are what a graphics card goes into so you should be fine there. My bigger concern would be the amount of space in the enclosure, how much cooling and ventilation it has, and the output of the power supply.

Frankly, I don't think this thing is going to give you that big of an improvement over what you currently have. It just wasn't designed to play games.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2013 8:50:14 AM

Any game will be limited by the 550Ti so I think you will notice no performance increase. Though the CPU has integrated graphics you can still use a dedicated card. Servers are not good for gaming in general due to the ECC RAM being slow and the CPUs tend to be slower clocked. Also the price of servers make then amazingly poor value for gaming, for example this $600 PC will outperform either machine massively in gaming in terms of CPU & GPU power http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pc-gaming-overclock-build....
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a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2013 8:53:21 AM

simon12 said:
Any game will be limited by the 550Ti so I think you will notice no performance increase. Though the CPU has integrated graphics you can still use a dedicated card. Servers are not good for gaming in general due to the ECC RAM being slow and the CPUs tend to be slower clocked. Also the price of servers make then amazingly poor value for gaming, for example this $600 PC will outperform either machine massively in gaming in terms of CPU & GPU power http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pc-gaming-overclock-build....


Agreed. The problem is, he has this already and wants to get what he can out of it.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2013 9:11:49 AM

I know I was just giving it as an example of why servers are bad for gaming. Anyway I think we agree a better graphics card is what is needed for better gaming and without it (and even with it to some extent) the CPU upgrade will make little or no difference.
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