Xen home server - Which CPU?

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.
8 answers Last reply
More about home server
  1. 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!
  2. According to CPU world (http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/TYPE-Xeon%20E5-2600.html), 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?
  3. Quote:
    According to CPU world (http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/TYPE-Xeon%20E5-2600.html), 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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!
  6. 6 cores @ 3.3 GHz + really nice OC capabilities, really nice idea indeed.

    They dont have an IOMMU (VT-d in that case) though :(
    ( http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-(12M-Cache-3_20-GHz) http://ark.intel.com/products/63696/Intel-Core-i7-3960X-Processor-Extreme-Edition-(15M-Cache-3_30-GHz) )
  7. Quote:
    6 cores @ 3.3 GHz + really nice OC capabilities, really nice idea indeed.

    They dont have an IOMMU (VT-d in that case) though :(
    ( http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-(12M-Cache-3_20-GHz) http://ark.intel.com/products/63696/Intel-Core-i7-3960X-Processor-Extreme-Edition-(15M-Cache-3_30-GHz) )

    Imo the best option would be i7-2600 then!
  8. 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?
Ask a new question

Read More

CPUs Servers Build