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Anyone know XEON?

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March 6, 2006 1:02:31 AM

Question: If I buy a modern, current production Socket 603/604 dual processor motherboard and DDR2 400 ECC memory, can this platform support the older socket 603 XEON processors? If so, how low can I go? Would the 1.7s or P3-type XEONs work?

I ask because I’m looking to build a small server farm (6 or so systems) with lots of processing room to grow by purchasing modern components and populating them with old, dirt cheap XEON processors. Then when more power is required, upgrade the RAM and replace the old XEONs with 3.6Ghz XEONs or whatever once they’re dirt cheap without re-doing the systems.

Please only respond if you have some experience with this, bad info is going to cost me! Thanks guys.

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March 9, 2006 5:17:46 PM

I doubt it for 2 reasons:

1. Any intel mobo that supports DDR2 isn't going to support a P3 Xeon. There are major fundamental differences between the P3 Xeon and P4 Xeon. Netburst being one of them.
2. The heatsink mountings are almost certainly different on the motherboard. I guess you could try to use a modern heatsink though...

Now you could probably find an older P4 Xeon that'll work fine... just checkout the motherboard and make sure it supports the particular P4 Xeon you plan to use.
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March 10, 2006 6:48:42 AM

Quote:
I doubt it for 2 reasons:

1. Any intel mobo that supports DDR2 isn't going to support a P3 Xeon. There are major fundamental differences between the P3 Xeon and P4 Xeon. Netburst being one of them.
2. The heatsink mountings are almost certainly different on the motherboard. I guess you could try to use a modern heatsink though...

Now you could probably find an older P4 Xeon that'll work fine... just checkout the motherboard and make sure it supports the particular P4 Xeon you plan to use.


Netburst isnt the reason its the fsb diffrence (SDR FSB and QDR FSB) - even pentium m's fit desktop boards cause the FSB is common.

May as well buy a standard desktop system - better value (but i may be wrong cause you dont list what your using it for)
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March 10, 2006 10:36:10 AM

Quote:
Question: If I buy a modern, current production Socket 603/604 dual processor motherboard and DDR2 400 ECC memory, can this platform support the older socket 603 XEON processors? If so, how low can I go? Would the 1.7s or P3-type XEONs work?

I ask because I’m looking to build a small server farm (6 or so systems) with lots of processing room to grow by purchasing modern components and populating them with old, dirt cheap XEON processors. Then when more power is required, upgrade the RAM and replace the old XEONs with 3.6Ghz XEONs or whatever once they’re dirt cheap without re-doing the systems.

Please only respond if you have some experience with this, bad info is going to cost me! Thanks guys.


And no one even asked which mainboards you are planning to use..... :( 
To shame I say.... to shame.

So.... which mainboards are you looking to use ?, Tyan, Gigabyte, even Asus and others all have server board lines that may suit your requirements.

eg:

Gigabyte:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/products/Networking/Products...

Tyan:
http://www.tyan.com/

Personally I don't trust 'overclocker' friendly companies with server boards, Asus and MSI do have some aswell... but they have some 'interesting' server chipset implementation ideas to say the least. (In short they cut corners on some of their dual-socket boards to boost profits and just advertise heaps to make up for it).

Just post a list of say 25 or less mainboards you are looking to get, and we cacn check out each one, all the chipsets on the boards, and weigh up pros and cons, aswell as draw up CPU support lists / tables for each board.

You'll usually narrow it down to three boards using the above method.

It is highly likely that transitioning said systems from single-core Intel Xeon / AMD Opteron processors to dual-core ones might be a smarter move, esp from a space, power usage, and scaling performance perspective.

By October 2006 you should be seeing some damn fine server processors from Intel. (Hey, I'll push Intel if they are in a better position, even if my current system is an Opteron 270 :p )

http://www.intel.com/ - check out mainly the chipset and processor sections, and the whitepapers and techdocs within each section.

Personally I can possibly see a slim chance of the 1.7s working, but not the Pentium 3 Xeons, without being 100% certain can't say... all comes down to chipsets with Intel anyway (or as Intel say MCH's) so fire a list of boards at us, check out the chipsets and see which processors they support.... then try and find reasons why they might not work (eg: physical socket differences).

UPDATE: Almost forgot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeon ; has some info.
March 12, 2006 6:50:45 PM

Quote:
Question: If I buy a modern, current production Socket 603/604 dual processor motherboard and DDR2 400 ECC memory, can this platform support the older socket 603 XEON processors? If so, how low can I go? Would the 1.7s or P3-type XEONs work?

I ask because I’m looking to build a small server farm (6 or so systems) with lots of processing room to grow by purchasing modern components and populating them with old, dirt cheap XEON processors. Then when more power is required, upgrade the RAM and replace the old XEONs with 3.6Ghz XEONs or whatever once they’re dirt cheap without re-doing the systems.

Please only respond if you have some experience with this, bad info is going to cost me! Thanks guys.


I have to say the Opterons are much better than the current P4 Xeons, have more longevity left and are very competively priced.

Best boards: Tyan S28xx and S38xx series and the new SuperMicro AMD boards :-D

Let's compare Opterons vs. Xeons here:

Currently 2 x 940 CPUs with 1 OMC each and 4 stix of PC3200 have 2 TIMES the memory bandwidth = 12.8GB/s

4 x 940 CPUs with 1 OMC each and 8 stix of PC3200 have 4 TIMES the memory bandwidth = 25.6GB/s

8 x 940 CPUs with 1 OMC each and 16 stix of PC3200 have 8 TIMES the memory bandwidth = 51.2GB/s

In the Xeon line memory bandwidth is

1/2 with 2 CPUs

1/4 with 4 CPUs

It doesn't scale at all!


With socket 1207 AMD will be able to easily add Quad Channel RAM or Dual Memory Controllers for Dual-Core CPU's so:

You have 1 PHY CPU

2 cores

2 on board memory controllers

2xDual Channel RAM -- 2 stix / Core -- 4 stix total for TWICE the memory bandwidth!

In a 2way Dual Core SMP Opteron 1207 you would QUADRUPLE your memory bandwidth = 51.2GB/s MAX Theoretical Memory Bandwidth

In a 4way Dual Core SMP Opteron 1207 you would have 8 TIMES the bandwidth = 102.4GB/s MAX Theoretical Memory Bandwidth

in an 8way Dual Core SMP Opteron 1207 you would have 16 TIMES the bandwidth = 204.8GB/s MAX Theoretical Memory Bandwidth

It scales very well.

SuperMicro makes decent Intel boards too.

Supermicro cases are quite nice as well!!!!!!
June 23, 2006 4:06:43 PM

Ok, I’m resurrecting an OLD post of mine, just to say to anyone interested, that this does not work – at least to the best of my testing capability!

Thanks to everyone who helped out here.
!