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Dual Xeon E5 2620 (2 Ghz) or Single Xeon E5 1650 (3.2 Ghz)

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January 2, 2013 9:37:32 AM

Dear Guys, Happy new year first.

Second, I am trying to choose between the above two combinations for a workstation that is going to be used mainly for SQL queries (using SQL plus, developper, or TOAD), ACL (Data analysis tool, data extraction, etc.), Excel (lots of rows and columns reaching excel limits) and other data analysis related matters. Some usage of VMware for testing purposes might be as well done on this machine.

I am inclined to the E5 1650 rather then the dual xeons, the money difference is not huge, maybe around 200-400 USD. I will play on that difference to get SSD, and for the Video card, I dont need it a fast one for the above work, so instead of Quadro 4000 on some of the models I have seen, I might get the Quadro 2000. I only need the card to be able to run two 1080p monitors, no image processing or games :)  (it is for my colleague, if it was for me, well...) :) .

Both will have plenty of rams, 18GB - 24 GB 1600 ECC.

The questions are:
1- Which combination would be better for my needs?
2- Can I use less then the quadro 2000 for my needs, should I get the 600, or better keep the 2000 for better performance.

Regards, waiting for your kind replies.
January 3, 2013 4:29:52 AM

Hey guys;

Your comments would be much appreciated. SHould I go in the direction of my inclination towards the faster processor or the dual (benchmarks winning) dual processor?
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January 3, 2013 6:02:07 AM

If you are confident you can actually provide a steady stream of 24 threads to the processors, then the dual 2560 will provide slightly better (~25%) performance. Based on my experience with these kind of systems, I don't think that is very likely as work tends to occur in smaller batches. For 12 threads or less, the 1650 is going to be considerably (up to 60%) faster.

This is honestly a struggle I have frequently with server design. I can get a relatively cheap AMD server with 64 cores these days, but they are not very fast cores. So if I have a little small process going on that stresses 3 cores, then it's going to be slow. A desktop quad core can beat it. But If I am running a giant parallel processing batch that pounds all 64 cores, it screams. It makes sense to think about your workload.

I'd argue that if your workload can take adavantage of 12x2.0 Ghz cores with the dual 2560, then you'd be better served with AMD. A dual opteron 43xx system is very affordable compared to the slow multiprocessor Intels.

As far as GPU, if you aren't doing CAD or 3D, it makes no sense to get a Quadro or similar. Just get a $50-100 graphics board like a Nvidia GT630 or a Radeon 7750. .
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January 3, 2013 6:17:22 AM

Thanks twelve25, I am a little bound by which system or model I can buy since I am trying to follow the models that are in the store list that I have in my company. They are not IN the store, but they are in the system to choose from.

My original thinking was inline with yours, this is not a server, this will be used by an individual, so I beleive 12 fast threads are better valued for the task then 24 slower threads.

Most of the times the work will be office work. SQL Queries as mentioned. Data analysis but I dont think that I will use logarithmic functions or something highly mathematical, but the data size might be large.

Most of the tools might not make use of 24 threads to my mind. I thought the faster 12 threads would be much utilized then dual 2GHz. Now the slight usage of VMware might favor the dual setup, but since it is not a server, and just for testing and some light (different OS usages), I am still inclined for a faster clock processor (maybe this is old school now) :)  In all aspects, the 3.2 GHz clock makes this single processor pretty high on benchmarks, as you said 25% less faster then the dual setup. But of course this is synthetic.
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January 3, 2013 6:41:00 AM

Even on VMware, you'd have to be hosting, say 10 virtual processors all wanting 100% before the 12 slower cores make sense. If It were me, I'd not be looking at the dual processor system.

Keep in mind that the e5-1650 is just a server tuned i7-3930K. If you are building your own, I'd go 3930K because it's unlocked and the same price. So you could overclock if you wanted.

http://ark.intel.com/compare/63697,64601,63696
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January 3, 2013 7:30:20 AM

The ECC support seems important for the business type of work. But a question, is why does the system bus shows 0GT for the E1650 while not for the other single processors in the page you have linked? Do they mean that it cannot work in a dual configuration (obvious)? or what? but still they have a system bus, doesnt it have a speed?

Is the NVIDIA QUadro 600 enough to drive two 1080p monitors comfortably or better go with the 2000 model for my business work. The 4000 that exists in some of the models I have seen, seems an overkill.
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January 3, 2013 2:25:52 PM

Intel should have listed N/A on the FSB speed because as a QPI processor, the e5-1650 has no front side bus! It is probably 25-50% faster than the regular FSB, but this will only matter for heavy I/O operations like a server would use. I doubt it will make a noticeable difference on a desktop workstation.

ECC means you can have a memory error and keep on working. I rank it critical on a server, but only one person depends on a desktop being up and memory errors are quite rare so it's not important for me on desktops.

For non 3D/CAD work, almost any video card can drive 2 1080p monitors well. Just make sure it has the right connectors and you are fine. A bottom end Quadro will even be overkill. For about the same price, an AMD FireGL V4900 is about twice as powerful as a Quadro 600, so look for AMD options if available. The QUadro models are getting pretty old and are overpriced for performance.
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January 4, 2013 5:39:02 AM

Thanks twelve25, I am now more comfortable in the decisions to take. Your reasoning did not negate what I had in mind.

As mentioned, the models seem set to choose from, with minor changes that can be done. The workstations in the store are mainly lenovo, I will choose the E5 1650, I will ask for around 16GB, it comes with 18 GB, strange i thought it should be mutliple of 4, for quad channel. I will ask for an SSD 256GB for OS and apps, and 2x1TB HDDs for data (this will help storing VMs on multiple HDDs, better performance.

I am tied to NVIDIA as selection, so I might as well go for the Quadro 2000 (the 600 will do), but maybe the 2000 will provide some edge in better visuals and graphics for my colleague for the 5 years to come.
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