A SQL Server Hardware Nugget A Day – Day 8

For Day 8 of my SQL Server hardware series, I want to give my current recommended Intel Processor List for different sizes of database servers and different workload types. This list has a lot of changes because of all of the recently released Intel processors over the past couple of weeks. Intel has also rolled out a new naming scheme for the Xeon processors, which makes it even more interesting!

My basic premise is that for a database server, you want the very best processor available for each physical socket in the server (since SQL Server Processor licenses are relatively expensive). Unlike a laptop or web server, you don’t want to pick a processor for a database server that is one or two models down from the most expensive, “top of the line” model”.

You will most likely be stuck with whatever processor you choose for the life of the server, since it rarely makes economic sense to upgrade the processors in an existing server. You can also use “excess” processor capacity for things like data compression or backup compression, to reduce the pressure on your I/O subsystem. Trading CPU utilization for I/O utilization is usually a net win, especially if you have a modern, multi-core processor that can shrug off the extra work.

Intel® Xeon® Logo Logo   Intel® Xeon® Brand Logo

So here is my recommended Intel processor list:

One socket server (OLTP)
Xeon E3-1280 (32nm Sandy Bridge)
•    3.50GHz, 8MB L3 Cache, 5.0 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Four-cores, Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.90GHz), hyper-threading
•    Two memory channels

One socket server (DW/DSS)
Xeon W3690 (32nm Westmere)
•    3.46GHz, 12MB L3 Cache, 6.40 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Six-cores, Turbo Boost (3.73GHz), hyper-threading
•    Three memory channels

Two socket server (OLTP)
Xeon X5690 (32nm Westmere-EP)
•    3.46GHz, 12MB L3 Cache, 6.40 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Six-cores, Turbo Boost (3.73GHz), hyper-threading     
•    Three memory channels

Two socket server (DW/DSS)
Xeon E7-2870 (32nm Westmere-EX)
•    2.40GHz, 30MB L3 Cache, 6.40 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Ten-cores, Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.8GHz), hyper-threading
•    Four memory channels

Four socket server (Any workload type)
Xeon E7-4870 (32nm Westmere-EX)
•    2.40GHz, 30MB L3 Cache, 6.40 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Ten-cores, Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.8GHz), hyper-threading
•    Four memory channels

Eight socket server (Any workload type)
Xeon E7-8870 (32nm Westmere-EX)
•    2.40GHz, 30MB L3 Cache, 6.40 GT/s Intel QPI
•    Ten-cores, Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.8GHz), hyper-threading
•    Four memory channels

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2 Responses to A SQL Server Hardware Nugget A Day – Day 8

  1. Pingback: A SQL Server Hardware Nugget A Day – Day 9 | Glenn Berry's SQL Server Performance

  2. Pingback: A SQL Server Hardware Nugget A Day – Series Recap | Glenn Berry's SQL Server Performance

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