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Xen home server - Which CPU?

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 25, 2011 6:25:38 PM

Im planning an home Xen server build, running about 10 VMs under light-medium load,
and would wish to know which CPU(s) (and maybe corresponding motherboards) would be best.

A stable IOMMU is a must, as I plan to use this feature to pass through several devices to different VMs.

My budget is around 3000$ for the whole build.

I was looking at AMD's Bulldozer Opterons 6000 series and Intel's 5600 Xeon series in a 2P configuration. However, it looks expensive and overkill for what I'll be doing.

What kind of platform would you suggest?

Thanks for your time.

More about : xen home server cpu

a c 184 à CPUs
December 25, 2011 6:43:40 PM

Quote:
Im planning an home Xen server build, running about 10 VMs under light-medium load,
and would wish to know which CPU(s) (and maybe corresponding motherboards) would be best.

A stable IOMMU is a must, as I plan to use this feature to pass through several devices to different VMs.

My budget is around 3000$ for the whole build.

I was looking at AMD's Bulldozer Opterons 6000 series and Intel's 5600 Xeon series in a 2P configuration. However, it looks expensive and overkill for what I'll be doing.

What kind of platform would you suggest?

Thanks for your time.

Hi :hello:  In a few weeks intel should be releasing their new sandybridge xeons. Which will have 8 cores and 16 threads, I would wait a bit more!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 25, 2011 6:52:17 PM

According to CPU world (http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/TYPE-Xeon%20E5-2600....), the only Intel Xeons with 8 cores are 2P ones...

It would surely make a really nice and powerful build, and would fit in my budget (albeit it would be a little bit tight, unless I just buy one CPU and upgarde later).

However, given my usage, wouldnt such a config be overkill?
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a c 184 à CPUs
December 25, 2011 7:04:00 PM

Quote:
According to CPU world (http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/TYPE-Xeon%20E5-2600....), the only Intel Xeons with 8 cores are 2P ones...

It would surely make a really nice and powerful build, and would fit in my budget (albeit it would be a little bit tight, unless I just buy one CPU and upgarde later).

However, given my usage, wouldnt such a config be overkill?

looks like you should be able to get an i7-2600 which has great virtualization, though I'm not sure how it performs because I have not researched into performance of these processors for vmware.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 25, 2011 7:37:15 PM

True, the i7 2600 would be a good pick, and the whole build would hit well below the 3k$ mark.

I have some doubts over the performance however, mostly because of the low core count compared to the alternatives. Would the higher frequency overshadow this?
a c 184 à CPUs
December 25, 2011 8:22:58 PM

Quote:
True, the i7 2600 would be a good pick, and the whole build would hit well below the 3k$ mark.

I have some doubts over the performance however, mostly because of the low core count compared to the alternatives. Would the higher frequency overshadow this?

Well it has 4 cores and 8 threads, since you are running around 10 vmwares, another option would be the i7-3770k or 3960x which have 6 cores and 12 threads and are the most recent cpu's from intel! They are also unlocked and can be overclocked a ton!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 25, 2011 9:01:56 PM

amuffin said:
Imo the best option would be i7-2600 then!


Or go the overkill solution with Xeons E5s :p 

I've already had bad experiences with 'enthusiast' motherboards trying to get a stable IOMMU, and the server-grade i7 motherboards are much less featureful than the 2P ones (which look a lot like the 'enthusiast' motherboards) :??: 

I guess I'll save up some more money and wait for Xeons E5, goin the overkill solution. ;) 

Thanks for your insight. By the way, any thoughts on AMD's offerings for this particular use case?
!