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Server Decision Between CPU VS RAM

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by bloop, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. bloop

    bloop Member

    I'm planning to upgrade to a new server and run a nginx set up (no more cPanel and Apache).

    I will be consolidating 4 websites onto one dedicated server. The server will run 1 Xenforo forum 100-200 concurrent users, 3 Opencart stores (total 800-1000 visits everyday),

    I was deciding between the below servers.. please advise.

    AMD Opteron 6272 (16 core)
    64 GB DDR3 RAM
    2 x 500GB Software Raid 1


    Intel Xeon E5 1650 V2 (6 core)
    48 GB DDR3 RAM
    2 x 250 GB Software Raid 1

    The main difference is RAM vs CPU... Opteron is clocked lower but has 16 cores and 64gb of RAM.

    E5 1650 is clocked higher but on 6 cores and less RAM.

    They are priced very similarly with the Intel E5 priced slightly higher.

    I also have a question regarding Hard disk.. within my budget I am able to get either two 500GB or 250 GB (depending on which server I choose from above) in RAID 1; or I can get one 500 GB or 250GB with a 64GB SSD. I decided to go with two hard disks in RAID 1, since it's less complicated and with redundancy but I'd like to hear your opinion on this as well.

    Thanks for reading, any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  2. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    The Opteron is a better choice, CPU wise and more RAM.
    Make sure the disks are SSD. I think it would be better to not be raid, and use the 2nd for nightly backups (as well as offsite too).
    Without SSD, disk speed will be your biggest bottleneck

    That's a well more than capable server for your requirements.
    bloop likes this.
  3. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    The 1650 benchmarks twice as high as the Opteron. That of course isn't the end all be all, specifically when it comes to multi-threaded tasks, however. Don't have a whole lot of experience with the Opteron personally, but the 1650's are beasts, and definitely perform well in the server environment. Your sites don't appear to be crazy busy, so either of those systems should perform just fine. I don't foresee those CPUs as being an issue, regardless of which you choose.

    As Mouth said, disk I/O is very likely to be the bottleneck in the equation. However, I could never professionally recommend running a single drive server. Sure, it's easy to replace a drive if it fails and upload everything again from off-site backup, but you're still looking at a few hours of downtime at the very least, depending on how responsive your datacenter is. At least with RAID1, you're going to have to lose both drives simultaneously in order to have issues. If you could afford 2 SSD drives in RAID1, that will be the way to go.
    Xon likes this.
  4. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    I find it amusing that everyone pushes SSD all the time. yes, they are nice.. but so are SAS drives. And not using RAID (even if it is software RAID 1) is foolish.
    For what you recommend (another drive for a backup) you can simply have most hosts add one in for $20-25 additional cost.

    What in the world did we do before SSD drives were invented. Guess we just lived in the extremely slow age. ;)
  5. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    Useful in some cases, I don't think it's absolutely essential for websites though. Game servers though with high intensity I/O, oh...
  6. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    Just depends on the I/O usage. Accordingly, I don't blindly recommend SSD. In the old days before SSDs were invented, web pages were largely static .html files, requiring next to no disk I/O, no CPU, no RAM. We would routinely host a thousand sites or more on a P4. With everything now being database-driven and PHP, the CPU usage goes up, the RAM usage goes up, and the disk I/O goes up. We stopped using mechanical drives on our VPS nodes about 3 years ago because the SAS drives (we're talking 16-32 of them in a single server) could not come close to the performance of even a few SSD drives. The SSDs were cheaper than the SAS arrays, performed massively better, and there really was very little loss in disk space, in comparison. If you can afford the loss in disk space, and the additional cost, there really isn't any reason to go SAS or mechanical anymore, to be honest.
    Xon and Robust like this.
  7. Puntocom

    Puntocom Well-Known Member

    Are you going to move to dedicated server? I see way too much resources for your traffic. IMHO a VPS with 2GB RAM should be more than enough if well configured. I'd go with SSD in your case.
    Luke F, Xon and imthebest like this.
  8. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    E5 of course. Just upgrade that storage.
  9. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    For a server that is doing VM for VPS's, then yes, SSD does make sense. For a standalone, 1 site (maybe 3) average size forum then you can usually spend you money in some other areas that will be just as beneficial.
    There IS a point that SSD's should be considered, but most people's forums are not at that level.
  10. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Then you'd flip at mine. 32GB RAM, 2x1TB SATA RAID 1 for 1 site that has a grand total of 7 users (2 of them my accounts). Could a VPS server it... most definitely. Do I not want to share resources.... most definitely NOT. I always was a greedy little booger.
  11. Puntocom

    Puntocom Well-Known Member

    Definitely it's better to have an own server. Better security (y)
  12. bloop

    bloop Member

    Thank you everyone for your input, I decided to lower RAM to 32 to get SSDs, this is what I was able to come up with, within budget.

    AMD Opteron 6272 (16 core)
    32 GB DDR3 RAM
    2 x 256GB HW Raid 1 (no bbu though..)

    With regards to Xenforo, how many concurrent users would cause CPU bottlenecking anyways?
    WSWD likes this.
  13. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    A lot. You have to have a seriously large site before you need to start running multiple dedicated boxes for your forum.
    eberkund likes this.
  14. rainmotorsports

    rainmotorsports Well-Known Member

    The Operton has 8 cores, if you believe AMD's marketing department then the Intel should be classified as a 12 core. 8 Core, 16 Thread versus a 6 core 12 thread. In theory AMD's design is better than hyperthreading, but they banked on GPGPU floating point setups and lost. Not sure what if any fpu loads a web server actually has and that point might not matter.

    I would prefer the Intel myself which is per core, per clock a better cpu, the fact that a web server threads out well enough the extra cores might balance the difference in practice. If your ram usage is going to be high I think the AMD setup would actually be a good move.
    Xon likes this.
  15. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    What's your budget anyway, if I may ask?
  16. alegeek

    alegeek Member

    That's a nice spec machine but based on what you've posted its massively overkill for what you need. I run a forum with between 200 and 300 people online on a 2GB VPS that has two dedicated CPU cores and my server is only using about a quarter of the available resources.

    Why the need for so much power?
    imthebest likes this.
  17. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Maybe because he wanted it? I run dedicated servers myself, and don't need them. I can afford them and like having all the resources to my lonesome.
    WSWD likes this.
  18. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    That's the best reason right there. VPS in its very name is somewhat mis-marketing, as even though each VPS is somewhat of its own separate "server", at the end of the day, it's still shared hosting. There are dozens of other people on that server who can affect your site's performance, your site's security, etc., and even though you get your own chunk of server, own OS, etc., it simply can't be compared with a dedicated server.
    Mouth and Tracy Perry like this.
  19. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    KVM (y)
  20. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    KVM does absolutely nothing. It's still a shared server with shared resources. You are at the mercy of other clients. If another user crashes the server, your VPS goes down, XEN, KVM, OpenVZ, whatever. Shared is shared.
    Puntocom and Xon like this.

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