To dual-cpu or not?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Hello everyone.

I wish to build a high performance PC to run multiple instances of Microsoft
Virtual PC 2004 housing Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP images.

The "virtual" servers will be running MS SQL server and additional
applications, and the "virtual" clients will be accessing them over tcp-ip.

In short, this PC will be the simulation/testing and development environment
for multi-tier software.

One thing I know is that I have to have as much memory as I can afford.

What I do not know is:

1. Which type of Motherboard / Chipset ?
2. Do I need a dual-cpu setup ?
3. Should I go for AMD or Intel ? Which models?
4. Would a SATA MoBo with command-queuing SATA drives be good enough or is
SCSI a must?

Is for dual-cpu stuff, is Asus the way to go, or are there "better"
alternatives (SuperMicro would probably be out of budget, probably...)

Could you please share experiences on similar situations?

Any answers and suggestions will be deeply appreciated
Many thanks in advance,
-arifi
9 answers Last reply
More about dual
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    In article <2r05r4F150hu5U1@uni-berlin.de>, arifi@tnn.net says...
    > Hello everyone.
    >
    > I wish to build a high performance PC to run multiple instances of Microsoft
    > Virtual PC 2004 housing Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP images.
    >
    > The "virtual" servers will be running MS SQL server and additional
    > applications, and the "virtual" clients will be accessing them over tcp-ip.
    >
    > In short, this PC will be the simulation/testing and development environment
    > for multi-tier software.
    >
    > One thing I know is that I have to have as much memory as I can afford.
    >
    > What I do not know is:
    >
    > 1. Which type of Motherboard / Chipset ?
    > 2. Do I need a dual-cpu setup ?
    > 3. Should I go for AMD or Intel ? Which models?
    > 4. Would a SATA MoBo with command-queuing SATA drives be good enough or is
    > SCSI a must?
    >
    > Is for dual-cpu stuff, is Asus the way to go, or are there "better"
    > alternatives (SuperMicro would probably be out of budget, probably...)
    >
    > Could you please share experiences on similar situations?

    I run a development center and you are going down a bad design path. Do
    not mix your servers, you will develop problems that you can't resolve
    without extra time.

    Our typical server for development and testing (separate servers) is a
    ASUS PC-DL Deluxe with Dual Xeon 3 Ghz CPU's, 2GB RAM, Dual 250GB SATA
    on the Promise onboard RAID controller. Server cost is about $2000 in
    this version.

    For database servers (Oracle or MS) we purchase the PC-DL, Dual Xeon's,
    3GB RAM, Promise SX-6000 (6 x 250GB IDE) for the database data files,
    onboard Intel RAID-1 of 2 x 250 GB for the OS and log files, and with a
    chenbro server case and dual 550W PSU, the entire server cost (including
    a Windows 2003 Std/5Cal) is only $4300 (USD).

    Our development server is setup for development, a install script is
    made for a non-team member to install the app/db on the testing server
    and provide feedback - if it fails any step it goes back. The testing
    server is rebuilt, fresh, between testing cycles so that we can be sure
    that they remain pure (Ghost Images help this a lot). From Development,
    then testing, then pre-release there are three sets of servers, each one
    gets an install plan where if anything fails it goes back to the
    previous person to correct it. While you may think that this is overly
    complex and time consuming, we have a better than 99% first install/qa
    rating at customers site, and it actually saves them/us time in the
    process (once you get use to it).

    We've been using the ASUS PC-DL Deluxe boards for some time, I have
    several of them in my home even, and we've not had one fail yet.


    --
    --
    spamfree999@rrohio.com
    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Arifi Koseoglu schrieb:

    > Hello everyone.
    >
    > I wish to build a high performance PC to run multiple instances of Microsoft
    > Virtual PC 2004 housing Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP images.

    So you'll have multiple processor hungry threads...

    > The "virtual" servers will be running MS SQL server and additional
    > applications, and the "virtual" clients will be accessing them over tcp-ip.
    >
    > In short, this PC will be the simulation/testing and development environment
    > for multi-tier software.
    >
    > One thing I know is that I have to have as much memory as I can afford.
    >
    > What I do not know is:
    >
    > 1. Which type of Motherboard / Chipset ?
    > 2. Do I need a dual-cpu setup ?

    I would recommend one.

    > 3. Should I go for AMD or Intel ? Which models?

    This leaves Intel's current Xeons and AMD's Opterons, with the
    respective boards.

    > 4. Would a SATA MoBo with command-queuing SATA drives be good enough or is
    > SCSI a must?

    That depends on how disk intensive your tasks are. Something like one of
    these inexpensive LSI U160 HAs and a small 15K.3 or MAS may not hurt.
    How much I/O (disk, network) do you expect? (This should help you decide
    whether you could make do with PCI32/33 only or PCI-X or at least
    PCI64/66 would be worth considering.)

    > Is for dual-cpu stuff, is Asus the way to go, or are there "better"
    > alternatives (SuperMicro would probably be out of budget, probably...)

    I'm not quite up to date WRT duals, you'd better ask/search in
    2cpu.com's forums. I'd check out the "Newcomer's area" first.

    Stephan
    --
    Meine Andere Seite: http://stephan.win31.de/
    PC#6: i440BX, 1xP3-500, 512 MiB, 18+80 GB, R9k AGP 64 MiB, 110W
    This is a SCSI-inside, Legacy-plus, TCPA-free computer :)
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Stephan Grossklass wrote:
    > Arifi Koseoglu schrieb:
    >
    >
    >>Hello everyone.
    >>
    >>I wish to build a high performance PC to run multiple instances of Microsoft
    >>Virtual PC 2004 housing Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP images.
    >
    >
    > So you'll have multiple processor hungry threads...
    >
    >
    >>The "virtual" servers will be running MS SQL server and additional
    >>applications, and the "virtual" clients will be accessing them over tcp-ip.
    >>
    >>In short, this PC will be the simulation/testing and development environment
    >>for multi-tier software.
    >>
    >>One thing I know is that I have to have as much memory as I can afford.
    >>
    >>What I do not know is:
    >>
    >>1. Which type of Motherboard / Chipset ?
    >>2. Do I need a dual-cpu setup ?
    >
    >
    > I would recommend one.
    >
    >
    >>3. Should I go for AMD or Intel ? Which models?
    >
    >
    > This leaves Intel's current Xeons and AMD's Opterons, with the
    > respective boards.

    Asus, unfortunately, seems to care not the least
    bit for the Opteron dualie market.

    I'd go for one of the Tyan S288x boards.
    Two Socket 940's, eight DIMM slots, dual Gb NICs.
    Gives you the option of starting with a pair of
    Opterons now and upgrading to dual-core Opties
    later.

    Tyan rates them for 2 GB DIMMs, but I know of one
    person who has successfully tried upgraded an S2885
    from eight 2 GB DIMMS to four 4 GB DIMMs and four
    2 GB DIMMs for a total of 24 GB. All DIMMs from
    Crucial.

    Personally, I've built 4 workstation systems around
    the S2885. All owners were fully satisfied except for
    the need to use a PCI card to get some USB 2 ports -
    the on-board ports are only USB 1.1.

    One of those customers uses VMWare 3.0. He has two
    Opteron 246's, 8 GB of RAM, and runs about three
    dozen different VMWare virtual machines so he can
    test his web work with many different OS+browser
    combinations. Quite different from the OP's situation
    since in his case usually only the foreground VM that
    he is either developing in or testing in needs a lot
    of CPU time.

    >
    >
    >>4. Would a SATA MoBo with command-queuing SATA drives be good enough or is
    >>SCSI a must?
    >
    >
    > That depends on how disk intensive your tasks are. Something like one of
    > these inexpensive LSI U160 HAs and a small 15K.3 or MAS may not hurt.
    > How much I/O (disk, network) do you expect? (This should help you decide
    > whether you could make do with PCI32/33 only or PCI-X or at least
    > PCI64/66 would be worth considering.)
    >

    Boards in the Tyan S288x series have a 4 port SATA RAID
    controller, IDE ports, PCI-X slots, and optional on-board
    SCSI. Keeps all of your options open.

    >
    >>Is for dual-cpu stuff, is Asus the way to go, or are there "better"
    >>alternatives (SuperMicro would probably be out of budget, probably...)
    >
    >
    > I'm not quite up to date WRT duals, you'd better ask/search in
    > 2cpu.com's forums. I'd check out the "Newcomer's area" first.
    >
    > Stephan


    --
    Reply to rob.stow.nospam@shaw.ca
    Do not remove anything.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Many thanks for the replies..

    Now I have a clearer image of what I am looking at.

    As to Leythos' words:
    >>I run a development center and you are going down a bad design path. Do
    >>not mix your servers, you will develop problems that you can't resolve
    >>without extra time
    While I tend to agree, I cannot justify setting up >= 1 "real" servers for
    each of our customers and their different configurations. It will be just
    too expensive.

    Rob Stow's suggestion of the TYAN motherboard:
    >>I'd go for one of the Tyan S288x boards.
    >>Two Socket 940's, eight DIMM slots, dual Gb NICs.
    >>Gives you the option of starting with a pair of
    >>Opterons now and upgrading to dual-core Opties
    looks very good, but the TYAN distributor here in Turkey is not as
    well-known and probably not as well-established as the ASUS distributor,
    which brings support etc. questions to mind.

    Stephan, I will definitely go and look to the newcomers area of the
    2cpu.com's forums.

    Now, if we come back to my "Clearer Image", I must have underestimated the
    cost figures. I do not wish to shell out > 1000 USD for the MoBo + CPU +
    Single Disk. This, I believe, takes me out of the Xeon family, and puts me
    into the lower-end Opterons, if I want a Dual CPU system, and no ASUS. Are
    there P4 (Not Xeon) dual-cpu motherboards? Or do I want a strong single-CPU
    system. Did I say a clearer picture? Ehm.. I meant I am gettin more and more
    confused !!

    Cheers
    -arifi


    "Arifi Koseoglu" <arifi@tnn.net> wrote in message
    news:2r05r4F150hu5U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > Hello everyone.
    >
    > I wish to build a high performance PC to run multiple instances of
    Microsoft
    > Virtual PC 2004 housing Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP images.
    >
    > The "virtual" servers will be running MS SQL server and additional
    > applications, and the "virtual" clients will be accessing them over
    tcp-ip.
    >
    > In short, this PC will be the simulation/testing and development
    environment
    > for multi-tier software.
    >
    > One thing I know is that I have to have as much memory as I can afford.
    >
    > What I do not know is:
    >
    > 1. Which type of Motherboard / Chipset ?
    > 2. Do I need a dual-cpu setup ?
    > 3. Should I go for AMD or Intel ? Which models?
    > 4. Would a SATA MoBo with command-queuing SATA drives be good enough or is
    > SCSI a must?
    >
    > Is for dual-cpu stuff, is Asus the way to go, or are there "better"
    > alternatives (SuperMicro would probably be out of budget, probably...)
    >
    > Could you please share experiences on similar situations?
    >
    > Any answers and suggestions will be deeply appreciated
    > Many thanks in advance,
    > -arifi
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    In article <2r816fF16rlkhU1@uni-berlin.de>, arifi@tnn.net says...
    > Now, if we come back to my "Clearer Image", I must have underestimated the
    > cost figures. I do not wish to shell out > 1000 USD for the MoBo + CPU +
    > Single Disk. This, I believe, takes me out of the Xeon family, and puts me
    > into the lower-end Opterons, if I want a Dual CPU system, and no ASUS. Are
    > there P4 (Not Xeon) dual-cpu motherboards? Or do I want a strong single-CPU
    > system. Did I say a clearer picture? Ehm.. I meant I am gettin more and more
    > confused !!

    The non-Xeon P4 systems do not support SMP (Dual CPU's). In the early
    days of the P3 you could get Duals that were of any type, but Intel did
    away with the ability to use the cheaper CPU's in dual boards.

    A typical ASUS PC-DL Dual Xeon system costs as follows:

    PC-DL Deluxe Motherboard: $245
    Dual 2.4Ghz Xeon CPU's - each $240 or $480 for both
    2GB RAM - 4 x 512MB ($90 each - Crucial Memory) $360 for all 4
    SATA 250GB Drives 2 x $150 - $300 for both

    Case + 550W PSU = $200

    Total Cost = $1585 (without OS)

    For a server, there is no such thing as a strong CPU in a single CPU
    environment - the system will be CPU bound at some point. Even a slow
    Xeon Dual CPU system will outperform a fast P4 CPU under server loads -
    meaning that 2 CPU's are always better than one CPU for heavy duty work,
    even in workstations.

    --
    --
    spamfree999@rrohio.com
    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    Hello again,

    Once I saw your calculation, I jumped back to the dual vagoon! :))

    Apparently the PC-DL Deluxe houses the PDC20378 SATA Raid controller. I have
    digged out from a Linux newsgroup that this chip supports Native Command
    Queueing (do you know whether this is true? Promise's site search does not
    look like working...) Is there a more popular marketing name for this chip?

    If the PDC20378 really supports NCQ, I may actually wait till the Barracuda
    7200.8 series hits the market (has it?), which supports NCQ. Or should I
    not?

    I would probably start with a non-RAID two-drive system, one disk housing
    the OS and applications, the other dedicated to virtual machines and their
    virtual disks. But then, maybe I should separate the "virtual servers" to a
    disk, ans "virtual clients" to another??

    Questions.. questions..

    Answers ? :))

    Cheers + thanks
    -arifi


    "Leythos" <void@nowhere.org> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1bb89be93d86720c9896f3@news-server.columbus.rr.com...
    > The non-Xeon P4 systems do not support SMP (Dual CPU's). In the early
    > days of the P3 you could get Duals that were of any type, but Intel did
    > away with the ability to use the cheaper CPU's in dual boards.
    >
    > A typical ASUS PC-DL Dual Xeon system costs as follows:
    >
    > PC-DL Deluxe Motherboard: $245
    > Dual 2.4Ghz Xeon CPU's - each $240 or $480 for both
    > 2GB RAM - 4 x 512MB ($90 each - Crucial Memory) $360 for all 4
    > SATA 250GB Drives 2 x $150 - $300 for both
    >
    > Case + 550W PSU = $200
    >
    > Total Cost = $1585 (without OS)
    >
    > For a server, there is no such thing as a strong CPU in a single CPU
    > environment - the system will be CPU bound at some point. Even a slow
    > Xeon Dual CPU system will outperform a fast P4 CPU under server loads -
    > meaning that 2 CPU's are always better than one CPU for heavy duty work,
    > even in workstations.
    >
    > --
    > --
    > spamfree999@rrohio.com
    > (Remove 999 to reply to me)
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    In article <2r88a6F17eprhU1@uni-berlin.de>, arifi@tnn.net says...
    > Hello again,
    >
    > Once I saw your calculation, I jumped back to the dual vagoon! :))
    >
    > Apparently the PC-DL Deluxe houses the PDC20378 SATA Raid controller. I have
    > digged out from a Linux newsgroup that this chip supports Native Command
    > Queueing (do you know whether this is true? Promise's site search does not
    > look like working...) Is there a more popular marketing name for this chip?
    >
    > If the PDC20378 really supports NCQ, I may actually wait till the Barracuda
    > 7200.8 series hits the market (has it?), which supports NCQ. Or should I
    > not?
    >
    > I would probably start with a non-RAID two-drive system, one disk housing
    > the OS and applications, the other dedicated to virtual machines and their
    > virtual disks. But then, maybe I should separate the "virtual servers" to a
    > disk, ans "virtual clients" to another??
    >
    > Questions.. questions..

    First, if we're going to continue discussing this, you must learn to
    BOTTOM POST - it's the proper method when making a reply.

    Since I'm not running Linux (any variant) on the PC-DL I can't speak to
    drivers.

    What I can suggest is that you use the onboard Promise RAID controller
    and setup a MIRROR, then setup partitions for what you need. Let the
    RAID controller take the entire drive (0/1) and present it as a single
    disk. I have my dual 250's setup as RAID-1 and partitioned as follows:

    Part 1 = 12GB, C drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, H drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, I drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, J drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, K drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, L drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, M drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, N drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, O drive
    Part 2 = 4GB, p drive

    Each partition is a clients project (web project) and permits them
    FTP/IIS space on it - I use FileZilla FTP Server so that I don't have to
    mess with the half-baked MS FTP service - this lets me manage users and
    bandwidth to the partitions and not have to use OS level
    users/passwords.

    Since I don't run the VS, I can't tell you the best solution, I buy
    servers for what you are doing with VS.


    --
    --
    spamfree999@rrohio.com
    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    "Leythos" <void@nowhere.org> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1bb8f73dda39b5e69896f6@news-server.columbus.rr.com...
    > First, if we're going to continue discussing this, you must learn to
    > BOTTOM POST - it's the proper method when making a reply.
    >
    > Since I'm not running Linux (any variant) on the PC-DL I can't speak to
    > drivers.

    Ah no, I am not going to run Linux either, I only came across the mentioning
    of the NCQ support in such a newsgroup. Do you say this is only a driver
    issue? Meaning it's the drivers and not the chip hw that determines the NCQ
    support (specifically for the PDC20378, I mean)

    >
    > What I can suggest is that you use the onboard Promise RAID controller
    > and setup a MIRROR, then setup partitions for what you need. Let the
    > RAID controller take the entire drive (0/1) and present it as a single
    > disk. I have my dual 250's setup as RAID-1 and partitioned as follows:
    >
    > Part 1 = 12GB, C drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, H drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, I drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, J drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, K drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, L drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, M drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, N drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, O drive
    > Part 2 = 4GB, p drive
    >

    Thank you for all your input, Leythos - very much appreciated.

    -arifi
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

    In article <2r90haF16kcfuU1@uni-berlin.de>, arifi@tnn.net says...
    > Ah no, I am not going to run Linux either, I only came across the mentioning
    > of the NCQ support in such a newsgroup. Do you say this is only a driver
    > issue? Meaning it's the drivers and not the chip hw that determines the NCQ
    > support (specifically for the PDC20378, I mean)

    I have not clue on this, I just install Windows 2003 Advanced Server and
    then Dual 250GB drives (sometimes just Standard Server) or I use a Dual
    250GB setup on the Intel RAID Controller and purchase the Promise SX-
    6000 6 channel RAID controller for ATA drives (for database servers).

    Don't forget to make backups of the systems - tape is still a good
    thing.

    --
    --
    spamfree999@rrohio.com
    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
Ask a new question

Read More

Asus Motherboards