Im hoping to buy the Intel Xeon E5540, any advise would be appreciated, cheapest price, pros and cons etc.
Many Many Thanks Guys
I'd strongly suggest the Xeon E5640 instead of the E5540, unless your motherboard cannot handle the newer Xeon 5600 chips. The E5640 is 133 MHz faster for the same price, has 50% more L3 cache (good for a few percent increase in performance), runs cooler due to the newer 32 nm manufacturing process, and probably most importantly, doesn't cut RAM speed all the way down to DDR3-800 with three DIMMs per channel like the Xeon 5500s do.
However, my suggestion would be to get the Xeon E5620 or Xeon X5650 instead of the E5640. The E5640 is a 2.67 GHz quad-core unit costing $771. For about $200 more than an E5640 you can have the 2.67 GHz six-core X5650. You'd certainly notice two more cores in multithreaded work, which I am assuming you're doing if you are looking at these two-way-capable Xeon 5000 series chips. Or, you could spend about that same $771 on two 2.40 GHz quad-core E5620s. I don't think you'll miss a mere 267 MHz in clock speed, but you'll end up saving close to $800 on CPUs and you will certainly notice that.