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Old   April 20, 2007, 06:45
Default server CPU vs desktopCPU?
  #1
phsieh2005
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HI,

Can someone explain what the differences are between a server CPU and a desktop CPU - specificially for CFD applications. For example, an Intel Xeon 5120 and core 2 duo? Thanks!

phsieh2005
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Old   April 20, 2007, 17:42
Default Re: server CPU vs desktopCPU?
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Charles
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The biggest difference is that the Xeon 5100 series CPU is aimed at use in dual-socket motherboards, whereas the Core 2 Duo is for single socket motherboards.

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Old   April 20, 2007, 18:12
Default Re: server CPU vs desktopCPU?
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phsieh2005
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Hi, Charles,

Thanks for the reply!

Does it mean that, for the same clock rate, there should be no significiant differences in terms of CFD application?

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Old   April 21, 2007, 03:16
Default Re: server CPU vs desktopCPU?
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Charles
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Not quite. There are two other factors that you need to look at. One is the front side bus frequency and the the other is the cache size. Memory access speed is a critical parameter for CFD performance, and on the Intel platform this happens via the FSB. AFAIK, the current Xeon chips use a 1333 MHz FSB, vs. 1066 for the Core 2 chips. Especially with the quad-core CPU, I expect that you will notice this effect. On a performance:cost ratio, I suspect that the Core 2 is a better option though.

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Old   April 24, 2007, 03:45
Default Re: server CPU vs desktopCPU?
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Ford Prefect
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Charles wrote: "On a performance:cost ratio, I suspect that the Core 2 is a better option though."

>> No question about that! Also think about more expensive memory, motherboard etc. when buying a server or workstation CPU setup.

Charles wrote: "Memory access speed is a critical parameter for CFD performance.."

>> And also remember the CPU cache, which can be really beneficial.
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