Someone I know is trying to sell an IBM Intellistation M Pro Dual Xeon 1.7Ghz. This person does not know much about Xeon.. He said the sytem has windows 2000 installed.
My question is can I run windows XP pro on it..? YES no problem. as for as the performance goes, compared a P4 3.0Ghz? to the 1.7 dual Xeon? Not sure, generally the Xeon would be slower due to 1300mhz in speed, but some multi-threaded apps probably would have it leading.
He is asking $300 with 512RAM. Good price, get him to throw in another 512 or offer him $250 so what I'm really saying is can I use it as any typical computer? YES...
Even a PIII will run Windows XP quite well, so the Xeon will be fine. Dual processor systems excel at media applications like the ones you are running as they are generally multithreaded and so can take advantage of both cores. As to whether its faster than a P4 at 3GHz, if the 3GHz one has Hyperthreading then the dual Xeon may be slower since there is such a large clock speed difference. Those older Xeons will also likely not have SSE3 which helps performance in newer multimedia programs that support it.
In any case, you will definitely need more RAM for the types of applications you are running. 1GB should be the minimum.
The xeon probably has a quad pumped 100mhz fsb. It will do you progs as well as a 2ghz P4B , or if they made P4C's @ 1.6ghz.
Those progs are heavy ram users. When you slow the fsb to a crawl, they dont work too well. Take a pass.
but you are kinda missing out on the hard drive, the case, PSU, cd/DVD
the used machine is (after a ram upgrade) better than a single core like the 3200 or the P4 3G (assuming Prescott) at thing that you mentioned, because even if the P4 have HT it won't help really as good as dual real processors (HT means split the interger calc and the float calc in a proc into two areas, if you got say one int and one float app open then HT will help, if not, it will actually drain resource because its always waitign there for a say interger app when all you got open are flating point app...) so for 300 dollars, i'd get the xeon, cuz its got the case, a HDD (i hope... may be small but hey....) a PSU and some sort of CD and floopy, and with some xtra $ you can up the ram (or else try to bargin like RichPLS said and get more ram, cuz the apps you are talking about are ram intensive....
EDIT not to mention the tweak factors for a dual proc machine... i would love to have one to tweak the hell outta of it.... be it OC or else turn it into some file server (NAS) or else just makeing into a very complicated firewall and proxy server
That old dual Xeon probably has 16bit RAMBUS RDRAM or PC100 SDRAM :-(
So forget about upgrading the RAM and if you do you'd be throwing money away because nobody uses RDRAM or PC100 anymore.
An Athlon 64 939 3200+ with 2 sticks of PC3200 @ 400MHz DDR in Dual Channel will destroy the memory bandwidth of the Xeon and don't forget AMD64s have an integrated memory controller and 1000MHz hypertransport.
I have owned Dual processor machines and they can be great, however I have also had traumatic experiences with some especially old dinosaurs like the early P4 Xeons.
Another advantage the AMD has is that it can run 64bit apps
Here are some IOZONE disk benchmarks I ran myself on a Dual Opteron 252 with 4GB REG ECC RAM and RAID5
You posted that as I was composing my message above......
RDRAM sucks, is obsolete and is not worth even messing with.
Please stay away!
Even a low end AMD64 will offer you a much better computing experience for $300.
And the good thing is the socket 939 still has some life left in it so down the road you could upgrade to a model 1xx Opteron or socket 939 Athlon 64 4000+ or better or even a Dual core Opteron or A64.
A Dual Core AMD offers about 70% the performance of 2 Single Core CPUs.