Power effient Desktop/Workstation for Virtualization

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vindicator8
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Power effient Desktop/Workstation for Virtualization

Post by vindicator8 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:36 am

I am considering new system with virtualization in mind. The system should be power efficient, so I will avoid Intel LGA1366 completely, and 125/140W Phenoms on AM3 socket. Since both Intel LGA1156 and AMD AM3 have same level of virtualization support, I am open for both AMD and Intel solutions.

I prefer build system with lower budget, because I don't see any remarkable benefit in high-end components and I see more efficient to upgrade more often instead of buying expensive parts that are soon to be outdated anyway. In addition both LGA1156 and AM3 sockets will be replaced soon, so they are not good for high and long term investment

I think best price/performance value have Intel Core i3 (and some i5 quads too), AMD Athlon II X4 and some lower Phenom II X4 processors. Core i3 have considerably faster per-core performance, but it has only 2 cores with ability to process 4 threads. Intel's power consumption is very low (fantastic in fact). Both Athlons and Phenoms have 4 cores, but also noticeably higher power consumption.

Are lower Phenoms X4 like 925/945 energy efficient? Can be these cpus easily undervolted? Are standard Athlons X4 more energy efficient? (AMD "e" series are heavily overprised especially considering Core i3 behavior). Or should i consider i5 750/760 although LGA1156 will be replaced within moths by more advanced LGA1155 Sandybridge with Sata 6 and USB 3 (third party) support conected via faster DMI 2.0 and PCIe 2.0?

Which way to go? Thanks for any CPU/MB advice...

scdr
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Post by scdr » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:12 pm

If you figure to upgrade more often - why the particular concern about energy efficiency? (Much of the energy use in a computer is in production/recycling, as compared to actual use.)

Seems like so far the energy efficiency benchmarks are mainly aimed at server CPUs (Opterons, Xeon's). Harder to find information for consumer
grade CPUs. (See, for instance, the thread on performance per watt in green computing.)

tay
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Post by tay » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:17 pm

If you want I/O virtualization, you are stuck with VT-d on the intel side. Only chipsets that support VT-d are the Q series Q41, Q57, etc.

Check intel.com for details.
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vindicator8
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Post by vindicator8 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:01 pm

scdr wrote:If you figure to upgrade more often - why the particular concern about energy efficiency? (Much of the energy use in a computer is in production/recycling, as compared to actual use.)
I reuse every piece of hardware somewhere else. And I don't upgrade very often. I just said i think it is beter to upgrade more often (after you hit the performance or feature limit) instead of buing 10% faster system, with 500% of price. That is why I bought cheap Intel E5200 last time. And I was satisfied until now, when I started to play with Virtualization technologies.

tay wrote:If you want I/O virtualization, you are stuck with VT-d on the intel side. Only chipsets that support VT-d are the Q series Q41, Q57, etc.

Check intel.com for details.
That is not correct. AMD 890FX and it's server variant have IOMMU.
On the Intel LGA1156 platform, since northbrige is completely moved to CPU, Vt-d is CPU feature, not chipset feature. All Corei5 6xx series (dualcore) and Corei7 8xx series (quadcore) and all xeons have Vt-d, no matter what chipset you use.

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:54 am

vindicator8 wrote:On the Intel LGA1156 platform, since northbrige is completely moved to CPU, Vt-d is CPU feature, not chipset feature. All Corei5 6xx series (dualcore) and Corei7 8xx series (quadcore) and all xeons have Vt-d, no matter what chipset you use.
I don't think this is entirely true. As I recall, VT-d requires both CPU and motherboard support on Nehalem. I'm pretty sure that's one of the features that differentiate Q57 from H55/H57.

http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=42706,42700,42703,

@vindicator8
If all you want is VT-x, how about buying an inexpensive Pentium E5400 or, heck, even a Celeron E3300?

vindicator8
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Post by vindicator8 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:30 am

ilovejedd wrote:
vindicator8 wrote:On the Intel LGA1156 platform, since northbrige is completely moved to CPU, Vt-d is CPU feature, not chipset feature. All Corei5 6xx series (dualcore) and Corei7 8xx series (quadcore) and all xeons have Vt-d, no matter what chipset you use.
I don't think this is entirely true. As I recall, VT-d requires both CPU and motherboard support on Nehalem. I'm pretty sure that's one of the features that differentiate Q57 from H55/H57.

http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=42706,42700,42703,
Yes. Motherboard must support this feature, but it is limited by BIOS itself, not the chipset. It is understandable Intel has this feature politics on his motherboards. But If you look at MSI motherboards, you can find plenty of P55 and H55 motherboard with Vt-d support. For example MSI H55-GD65:

Image

As far as plenty of MSI mobos support that feature, it must be limited only by CPU support.
@vindicator8
If all you want is VT-x, how about buying an inexpensive Pentium E5400 or, heck, even a Celeron E3300?
Sure. But core2 architecture does not support Nested pages, so this is the worst way of upgrade. Core iX and AM3 CPUs support it.

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