New server hardware: RAM vs. Processors

By phtechinc ·
I am about to purchase a new server. The vendor offers a LOT of configuration options for ram and processor. Which should I be more concerned with? Lots of RAM (8-16gb) or fastest/multiple processors.

Server will run accounting software, remote connections, and store tons of CAD files.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

I'll ask a question

by CG IT In reply to New server hardware: RAM ...

how do the different components of a computer interact with each other to display information to users on a screen?

That should answer your question of what individual components one should consider in purchasing a server.

Collapse -

"Rule of Thumb"

by oldbaritone In reply to New server hardware: RAM ...

Later on, it's much easier to add more RAM than to upgrade the processor.

Generally, when making the purchase decision on a server, if equipment budget is a constraint I advise clients to spend the money on the processor rather than RAM.

Then when requirements grow, as they always do, it's a minor outage of a few minutes to add more RAM into the server and start it back up.

If the RAM is maxed out and the processor is too slow, the only upgrade option is a new server.

Collapse -

"rule of thumb"

by phtechinc In reply to "Rule of Thumb"

great points...
equipment budget is not a factor. Client wants hardware to last 8-10 years before upgrading again.
I'm leaning for 2x Intel Xeon 2.0Ghz w/ 8GB Memory.

Collapse -

2 ghz is pretty out of date now... {nt}

by Slayer_ In reply to "rule of thumb"
Collapse -

Funny how some only look at processor and memory

by CG IT In reply to 2 ghz is pretty out of da ...

and forget that the files are stored on a hard drive, thus the processor calling for files on the hard drive and that transfer rate can impact system performance.

While the computer will put files in memory and memory is faster, memory is a limitation. When there's no memory left, the computer has to dip to the hard drive for what it needs.

Here's an article to read. It's SCSI vs SATA but it has implications for overall system performance.

Collapse -

If you mean the 2 GHZ Xeon 1366 CPU

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to "rule of thumb"

Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5504 2.00 GHz, 4MB Cache, 4.8 GT/Sec, Socket LGA 1366

These are the base CPU and I would be looking at something considerably faster for a Long Term Server. But maybe that's just me.

These Quad Core Xeon's are very reliable but even still 2 GIG is very slow and something like a Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5520 2.26GHz, 8MB Cache, 5.86 GT/Sec, Socket LGA 1366 isn't that much more expensive.

However you also need to consider the Amount of RAM that is needed here not what you think is wanted. If they are running Applications off this server I would fit as much as the M'Board will take and still use some reasonably fast CPUs as that is going to be a Limiting Factor.

Also as pointed out above you need to consider the Access Time to the HDD here so you need to look at what is possible to fit here and what will be needed. If there will be a Ton of CAD Files and this server is providing them when requested that means lots of very large files so you need Fast CPU's Lots of RAM and Very Fast HDD Access just for this one item.

The link provided above comparing SCSI to SATA Drives is a good starting point but you need to really look into what they want to use the server for. If they are planning on Hosting Applications on it and also use it as a File Server you need Fast CPUs lots of RAM and extremely fast HDD Access.

Of course here it also depends on how many users will be connecting to this unit. A reasonably sized Real Estate office here used a Small IBM Blade Server for this but they all are using Thin Clients so the Server is doing it all.

They however use 10 Quad Core Xeons with 60 GIG of RAM and SCSI Drives. There is very little Response Time to load Apps and find data with this unit but after being in place for 14 months they are looking at speeding it up some more to not spend as long to get stuff off the server. This is the advantage of these units they are expandable and you can add more CPU's RAM and whatever else you need. The down side is that you lease them from IBM and don't own them outright.

Also what 64 Bit OS are you looking at using here?


Collapse -

I can help

by FranTur In reply to New server hardware: RAM ...

It's gonna depend on what the server is used for. What's the application? Give me a call on my direct line if you like. 877.467.2744...
with respect,

Frank Turner, MCSE

Related Discussions

Related Forums