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Re: [K12OSN] Which server would you prefer?

On Mon, 2005-04-25 at 21:51 -0700, Jeff Nelson wrote:
> I'd go for the P-IV, it'll have lots more processing power and I/O
> throughput than the quad PPro, even if you add up all 4 processors,
> and if I'm not mistaken, desktop apps in the usual Linux distributions
> are not compiled with multi-processor support in mind, so you won't
> really get the full benefit out of the 4 processors.
> Jeff
> On 4/25/05, The Prof <joseph bishay gmail com> wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I've got 2 possible machines in front of me to make into a server:
> > 
> > 1) Pentium IV 3.2 Ghz machine with Hyperthreading and 2 GB RAM
> > 
> > 2) Quad Pentium Pro machine with 2 GB RAM
> > 
> > Which would you rather run as a k12ltsp server?
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > Joseph
> > 
> > 

The beginning of the week is always quiet on this list, so you may see
this slip past unnoticed by many :-(.  So I'll simply regurgitate the
answers given to this question when it's been posed numerous times in
the past.

The popular answer is contrary to Jeff's answer above.  In all cases
people with lots of clients have consistently advocated multiple CPU
servers, even when that choice has meant slower CPUs.  I guess you could
update that answer for newer CPUs with hyperthreading, which act as
(nearly) two processors in one package.  So, it would seem that you
would actually be comparing a server with the equivalent of 1.5 - 1.75
processors against the quad CPU machine.  

With multi-CPU servers, the idea is that the client load gets passed to
an unloaded CPU so that the box remains responsive at times that would
bring a single-CPU box to its knees.  I don't think Jeff's reference to
desktop apps is applicable in this case - would only be if the box was
used as a workstation rather than a server.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the frontline gurus would
probably weigh in favour of the quad box.  Let's see if they pick up
your question as the week unfolds :-)    

        Gavin Chester 

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