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Best CPU (cores versus speed) for USB hosting

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December 4, 2011 12:15:04 AM

Hello,
What would be the optimal CPU to look for when building a PC that will serve from 2 to 6 USB mass storage devices. Are more cores advantageous to those with greater speed? The PC will host from 2 to 6 USB 2.0 mass storage devices (Drobo, etc.) across a home network. Thanx!
a c 185 à CPUs
December 4, 2011 1:09:00 AM

Well what is your budget? I am assuming this for a company so something like an i5-2500k or a i7-2600k would be great.
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December 4, 2011 3:14:24 AM

Let's say budget is not a factor. Would an intel at a higher speed be better than an AMD which would have more cores?
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December 4, 2011 3:31:10 AM

tonyaldr said:
Let's say budget is not a factor. Would an intel at a higher speed be better than an AMD which would have more cores?

Amd doesn't make processors anymore, as they previously stated a few days ago. But from benchmarks intel's i5-2500k which has 4 cores and 4 threads beats the amd bulldozer fx 8150 which has 8 cores and 8 threads.
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December 4, 2011 3:34:56 AM

An i5-K is overkill for a server, even with a lot of USB devices. For a home network, an i3 is all you need.
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December 4, 2011 11:03:51 AM

A cheap AM3 Athlon II or Phenom II will be than enough for a small home server.
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December 4, 2011 11:18:04 AM

Probably makes more sense to invest in USB 3.0, e-sata or dare I say it Thunder... nah. :D 
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December 5, 2011 2:30:39 AM

Although I appreciate the input, none of these truly address whether or not it is advantageous to devote more cores to the number of USB devices as opposed to a higher speed CPU. I was wondering if each core would devote itself to the management of each USB device, and therefore be a better choice or does it not work like that? Thanx again.
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December 5, 2011 3:06:46 AM

No, the cpu cores don't control the USB, the USB or sata controller does (depends on whether you use USB or sata for HDD). And for managing the HDD task, even a cheap lower end process will handle the HDD just fine. What is limiting you is the HDD connection bandwidth. Do what amdfangirl suggest and get USB 3.0 and esata for your external storage device.

Since you are running a home server, you will be running it 24/7 so PSU efficiency and reliability, HDD reliability, power consumption and heat generation is your priority. You need good PSU, HDD as well as low power cpu.
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December 5, 2011 12:31:12 PM

Thanx! I will be sticking with USB 2.0 though as I have read about eSata and USB 3.0 issues with certain NAS devices. Appreciate the info!
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