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2*Xeon5520 or i7-950

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December 23, 2009 8:48:06 AM


Hi,

I want to buy a PC for CFD calculations and the CPU is the bottleneck.

Does anybody know which of these configurations is faster, when using all of the CPUs in multithreading? How much faster also?

- 2 CPUs Xeon 5520 2.26 GHz (each 8 threads and each 8MB L3 cache)
- A single 950 i7 3.02 GHz, 8MB L3 cache, 8 threads

Thanks in advance

More about : xeon5520 950

December 23, 2009 12:40:43 PM

If your program is able to utilize all the cores and its threads then two quadcores and 16 threads is definitely better than one quad with 8 threads. You can overclock the Xeon to match the i7-950 clock speed which will then make it twice as fast or able to do twice as much calculation. Thats if you can keep the CPUs cool enough and have enough RAM.
December 23, 2009 12:47:07 PM


I don't have much information about overclocking. Is it possible to do it for a week?
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a c 102 à CPUs
December 23, 2009 1:03:14 PM

In theory two Xeon 5520 processors should be up to 50% faster, but the results depend on how well threaded the application is. Since stability is important, I presume no overclocking of the i7-950. Building a stable system using Xeon processors and server grade memory might be easier.
a c 102 à CPUs
December 23, 2009 1:10:53 PM

bsoon_tan said:
If your program is able to utilize all the cores and its threads then two quadcores and 16 threads is definitely better than one quad with 8 threads. You can overclock the Xeon to match the i7-950 clock speed which will then make it twice as fast or able to do twice as much calculation. Thats if you can keep the CPUs cool enough and have enough RAM.

Very few, if any, server motherboard allows for overclocking. Besides you want a very stable system, not one that may crash after a couple days of running and then you have to start all over again. I would also recommend ECC memory which requires the use of Xeon processors.
December 23, 2009 1:19:52 PM

I agree with GhislainG with the not wanting crash of system and restart of calculations. So getting the server class CPUs seem the better choice plus the ECC memory would be more reliable. If you have the budget then try getting higher clocked Xeons?
December 23, 2009 2:38:20 PM


Well, I think the price difference is way too high for higher server CPUs like 5550, relative to 5520. I don't have any idea about performance difference though :) .
a c 102 à CPUs
December 23, 2009 2:56:15 PM

I agree that the performance difference isn't always worth it. The 5520 runs at 85% of the speed of the 5550. The 5550 also supports faster memory, but that provides a negligible performance boost for your application. http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=40200,37106,
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