What's the cheapest cost per core?

Jan 15, 2013
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#1
I'm building a computer lab for high CPU performance. Any number of cores and threads will work, but I need it to cost as little as possible for the level of performance I'm getting.

I don't want to go as old as Core 2, but I hear some of the older Xeons have good performance for their price.
 

Pantlegz

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2007
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#2
High performance is very vague, since you're talking about performance per core I'd assume multi-core performance but how many cores(I don't know of any quad core i3)? Old C2D perform terribly (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6670/dragging-core2duo-into-2013-time-for-an-upgrade) even compared to cheap-o Pentium dual cores of the last couple years that can be had for probably the same as old C2D's. Generally you should get more IPC with newer architecture. With that said I'd look at Pentium/i3's maybe one generation old with decent clock speeds for good performance:$ ratio.
 

.vodka

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2014
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Have a look at socket 1366 boards and xeons. Had a quick look at ebay, dual socket boards don't look expensive, and you can use 4C/8T or 6C/12T CPUs (130w Nehalems and 95w Westmeres). Keep in mind you need dual QPI link CPUs for dual socket operation, these are series 5000 xeons and up. You could also get a single socket board and W3520 for under $100 I think. Per core performance for the cost is outstanding (CPUs seem to start at $10-20).



If you just need high single thread performance and no need for cores/threads, get a G3258 and crank it up to >4.5GHz.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#4
I'm building a computer lab for high CPU performance. Any number of cores and threads will work, but I need it to cost as little as possible for the level of performance I'm getting.

I don't want to go as old as Core 2, but I hear some of the older Xeons have good performance for their price.
Xeon X5570 (LGA 1366 Nehlalem quad core with hyperthreading) start at $19 shipped on ebay buy it now listings.

2.93 Ghz base clock with 3.33 Ghz turbo (95W):

http://ark.intel.com/products/37111/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X5570-8M-Cache-2_93-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QPI
 
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Jan 15, 2013
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I'm building a set of machines so I need to include the cost of the motherboard and memory. Are there any cheap chips that support more than dual CPU configurations?
 
Mar 13, 2006
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Personal or work?
 
Jun 25, 2015
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1. What are you doing with these machines?
If they are for precision computing (e.g. physics simulations or financial analysis), or they are for mission critical computing, then we can take consumer CPUs off the table--you will want ECC support.

2. How many of these are you building?
3. Will they be run from the same place?
4. How much uptime will they have?

I ask these because as you cram more machines into the same space, the cost of the storage space, cooling solutions, and power to accommodate cooling solutions become non-trivial. If you have a power hungry CPU that's cheap and a power efficient CPU that's expensive, and they offer the same computing power, the expensive CPU can easily be more economical, because:
a. You will need to install better cooling equipment for the cheaper CPU.
b. You will need better air conditioning to accommodate more heat output.
c. You will need more room to accommodate the cooling solutions, so the rent per computing power goes up.
d. You will need more power to operate the CPU, the cooling equipment, and the air conditioning.

These over time can easily cause you to have a cheaper but more power hungry CPU that costs more to own than a more expensive but more power efficient CPU. It's one of the reasons that Intel is crushing AMD so heavily in the server market.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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#8
I'm building maybe 5 machines. Not worried about power costs.

The X5570 looks good, but I'd almost have to buy a dual CPU machine just to equate to one modern machine. Plus I have to buy a copy of Windows, memory, motherboard, and a hard drive for each one which drives up the cost.


Also looking at the E5-2660 for about $150.

http://ark.intel.com/products/64584...E5-2660-20M-Cache-2_20-GHz-8_00-GTs-Intel-QPI
 

Burpo

Diamond Member
Sep 10, 2013
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Mar 27, 2009
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I'm building maybe 5 machines. Not worried about power costs.

The X5570 looks good, but I'd almost have to buy a dual CPU machine just to equate to one modern machine. Plus I have to buy a copy of Windows, memory, motherboard, and a hard drive for each one which drives up the cost.
Look at used 2P LGA 1366 Workstations . These usually come with Windows 7 Pro and can be had for under $200 on sale.

For example, here is a Dell Precision T5500 with Windows 7 Pro for $169.99 shipped at Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...bbr=1&cm_re=dell_t5500-_-83-158-068-_-Product
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#11
That is something to consider also as pricing is dropping fast on the Sandy Bridge E5s. In fact, I wonder if (within one year) we end up seeing these octocores priced lower than the Westmere hexcores for the simple fact they are not overclockable.

P.S. E5-2670 (with higher clocks, but higher TDP) is available on ebay starting at $153.99 shipped.
 
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mysticjbyrd

Golden Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Jan 15, 2013
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Mar 27, 2009
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Costs more per core than just building a dual processor machine.
Dell Precision T5500 is a dual processor machine, but in that Newegg listing they are selling it with only one processor (second socket is empty).

Both the Dell Precision T5500 and T7500 mount the second CPU on a daughter board (daughter board comes with computer. In fact, the daughter board needs to be there even if a 2nd CPU is not being used because it also mounts the fan for the 1st CPU's heatsink)

 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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T5500 is horrible to work with. The daughter board is a PITA.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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#16
Is there an AMD equivalent for a better price?
 

waffleironhead

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
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#17
HP Proliant DL165 G7 server- 2x 12 core AMD Opteron 6172, 48GB RAM, 750GB HD

You can get dual 12 core amd servers for $200 these days on ebay. They are usually clocked around 2.1 ghz or so. Note these are pre bulldozer arch.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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#18
Dell CS24-TY 1U with 2 x L5520's or L5500 variant. (however ur gonna ditch these cpu's unless u can find a CS24-TY with hexcores) <---- look on ebay for these... make sure they are CS24-TY. They should have QPI and not a FSB.

You can then pick up 2 x L5639/L5640 for around 65dollars each (again Ebay), and drop them inside to make the machine a 12 core 24 thread beast.

However its a 1U... it will be LOUD, but if noise isnt an issue, and your after top performance per dollar, you can not beat a hexcore westmere.

Is there an AMD equivalent for a better price?
AMD can not touch intel in performance / dollar vs a westmere cpu.

Just how cheap are you looking for?
The package i listed out wouldn't cost you more then 500 dollars for a 12 core 24 thread machine.
And that's with roughly around 48gigs of ECC Reg ram.
 
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