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Topic Title: AMD Quad 64 bit vs Intel Quad 64 bit
Topic Summary: Best Game Server Processor?
Created On: 06/18/2009 02:07 PM
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 06/18/2009 02:07 PM
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MicroViper
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I am currently looking at purchasing a single (game) server and having it collocated in a data center. I have been renting a Q9300 (2.5 GHz) with 4 GB of ram and have been fairly happy with it. However, I am spending a small fortune each year for the dedicated box. I work in I.T. so building, maintaining, and having a box co-lo'ed is no big deal.

I am willing to spend good money on the box. I am looking at 1U, 8-16 GB of RAM, Quad or Dual Quad processors, Dual Hot Swap 15k Drives in Raid 1, Windows Server 2003 (maybe 2008) 64 bit, etc. The machine will be capable of running several large game servers at a time.

The big question is... What processor(s)? Do you have or can anyone provide hard numbers comparing modern AMD vs Intel processors when used in a server role for gaming? I have looked all over the net and I am really having a difficult time finding good data for high performance gaming servers.

In advance, thanks for your help.

MicroViper
 06/18/2009 02:31 PM
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PC-GURU -
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lets sum this up in FACT ok.

clock for clock there is no binifit over Intel or AMD ether way. They are in fact clock for clock Identical. The core i7 will run slightly better then AMD phenom II but no a ton.

3.5 Ghz i7 = 3.7 Ghz phenom II.

3 Ghz phenom II = the 920 i7 for the most part.

AMD will cost around 30% to 40 % LESS to make to gain the same effect as the Intel option.

Price / performance AMD is the smarter choice.

With that in mind, I do a LOT of server based PC,s for my business. If this is planed as a Ethernet based server ( around the fastest option) a quad core for a server will be pointless due to bandwidth limitation of the Ethernet.

you will need to look into a much faster transfer rate like fiber optics to use a quad cores potential on a server based application.

For Ethernet based server a 3 Ghz dual core is more then sufficient.

Wireless based server a 2.7 Ghz dual core is more then sufficient.

If your thinking a quad core will help server transfer rates , you will be sadly disappointed with out increasing the transfer rate between systems.

unless of corse if this will be a server based system that will also being doing a lot in and of its self. Then a quad core would be of great benifit.

The 940 BE with 8 to 12 Gig of DDR 2 1066 or DDR 2 800 (ideal price /performance option.)

or 955 BE with 8 to 12 gig of DDR 3 1333 or 1600 (very very expensive option) due to price of DDR 3 memory.

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AMD phenom II 1090T @ 4.23 Ghz custom water cooled
Asrock 890 FX deluxe 3 mother board
4 GB DDR 3 1600 @ 1688 Mhz 7 7 7 24 T1 2688 Mhz NB
2x 1 TB WD Sata III 64 mb cache HDD,s raid 0
2x 5870 HD @ 1015/1300 Asus reference
Dual OS win 7 x64 ultimate & win 7 x32 Ultimate (bench os)

Edited: 06/18/2009 at 02:42 PM by PC-GURU -
 06/22/2009 04:41 PM
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Mime
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Originally posted by: MicroViper
I have looked all over the net and I am really having a difficult time finding good data for high performance gaming servers.


Server workloads are generally more parallel than what you find in a desktop PC, so if you can get a quad core chip, get one(or two). I would say that's more important than the dirty details concerning IPC and all the rest of that stuff. It's important... yeah... but your choice of one quad core CPU over another isn't going to make a night and day difference.

Not being able to find much hard information is usually par for the course on this stuff, and especially now with so much more emphasis being placed on IPC(instructions per clock cycle) rather than raw clock speed. About the best a person can hope to do is read as much as they can about the underlying architecture of the chip, and then try to muddle though which articles are junk and which ones might actually be useful. It used to be you could find actual numbers for the average IPC of a chip. These days AMD and Intel don't make those numbers known as widely if at all, so it's not so easy to sum up the performance of a chip that way as guru attempted to do. I'd be surprised if AMD and Intel ever had chips with exactly the same IPC, and yet what we usually see is one chip being a little faster in one area while the other is a little faster in some other area, and things mostly even everywhere else.


Edit:
Since you work around IT people you probably know that there's two ways to build a server. The cheap and simple way which gives you something more like a large PC, and the real way which gives you a real server. It sounds like you want a real server, so I don't have to tell you to stay away from wireless.

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Containment Breach

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Edited: 06/22/2009 at 04:54 PM by Mime
 06/23/2009 08:51 PM
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MicroViper
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Thanks to both of you for your input. Good information and comments. I am looking at some 2 X Quad Opteron 2.5-2.8GHz AMD Dell PowerEdge servers with 16 GB of DDr2 (800 MHz). The same basic config with Intel chips are 800-1200 more. Looks like bang for the buck (without performance loss) is all AMD... which I don't say lightly. I've always built Intel systems for my personal machines.

Wireless was never an option. First of all latency is a huge issue for FPS games and we will be paying good money for bandwidth. We're looking at 4-6 games on the box. A single 44 man COD5 game server pulls 300kbps - 512kbps. So 3mbps (roughly 960 gig monthly max) is possible assuming the box can handle it with out flinching. We shall see.

Thanks again,
MV
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