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-   -   Xeon vs Core i7 (http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t731148-xeon-vs-core-i7.html)

Gib Bogle 08-17-2010 05:52 AM

Xeon vs Core i7
 
I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main concern
(apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses multiple processors
(OpenMP). I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500, with the Xeon E5630 quad
core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. I do not run games.
Anybody have any experience that might help with this decision?

Lawrence D'Oliveiro 08-17-2010 07:31 AM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
In message <i4d83j$dik$1@speranza.aioe.org>, Gib Bogle wrote:

> I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500, with the Xeon E5630
> quad core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would actually be faster
> than a 2.8 GHz Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper.


As I understand it, Xeon chips are intended for use in servers, with
diagnostic and management capabilities oriented towards that use. So the
question is whether you need such capabilities or not.

Sweetpea 08-17-2010 08:54 AM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 17:52:51 +1200, Gib Bogle wrote:

> I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main
> concern (apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses
> multiple processors (OpenMP). I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500,
> with the Xeon E5630 quad core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would
> actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
> Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. I do not
> run games. Anybody have any experience that might help with this
> decision?


How many simultaneous threads is that application designed to use?

If only 2 then you'll be wasting your money going to a 4-core system.

Answer that question and you'll probably have answered your own
question. :)


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"

AD. 08-17-2010 11:19 AM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Aug 17, 8:54*pm, Sweetpea <Herit...@Sweetpea.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 17:52:51 +1200, Gib Bogle wrote:
> > I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main
> > concern (apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses
> > multiple processors (OpenMP). *I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500,
> > with the Xeon E5630 quad core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would
> > actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
> > * Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. *I do not
> > * run games. Anybody have any experience that might help with this
> > * decision?

>
> How many simultaneous threads is that application designed to use?


What application? Nobody mentioned an application.

>
> If only 2 then you'll be wasting your money going to a 4-core system.


How so? You're assuming the work just involves a single application
without having anything to indicate that.

Plenty of work involves juggling multiple apps. eg web development
could involve a local web server (possibly using multiple threads or
processes itself), a local DB server, a browser, an IDE (some of the
bigger ones do a lot of background stuff), unit tests running in a
command prompt etc etc. And letting the OS grab some CPU for itself
without interrupting the other apps isn't a bad thing.

Plenty of other workloads would benefit from more than two cores -
especially ones where Xeons or i7s are being considered as worthwhile
investments.

--
Cheers
Anton

William Brown 08-17-2010 11:52 AM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 17:52:51 +1200, Gib Bogle
<g.bogle@auckland.no.spam.ac.nz> wrote:

>I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main concern
>(apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses multiple processors
>(OpenMP). I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500, with the Xeon E5630 quad
>core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
> Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. I do not run games.
> Anybody have any experience that might help with this decision?




This is a good place to start from



http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=337


Sweetpea 08-17-2010 12:13 PM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 04:19:55 -0700, AD. wrote:

>> How many simultaneous threads is that application designed to use?

>
> What application? Nobody mentioned an application.


"and my main concern (apart from price) is speed of execution of code
that uses multiple processors (OpenMP)."


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"

Dave Doe 08-17-2010 12:53 PM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
In article <i4d83j$dik$1@speranza.aioe.org>,
g.bogle@auckland.no.spam.ac.nz says...
>
> I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main concern
> (apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses multiple processors
> (OpenMP). I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500, with the Xeon E5630 quad
> core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
> Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. I do not run games.
> Anybody have any experience that might help with this decision?


Go for the i7 - they're good - fast and cheap (for such speed) at around
$450. Great desktops. Are you going to take advantage (and spend a lot
of extra $) of the Xeon features? (you building a server?). Hence, IMO,
the i7 for a single processor desktop machine.

If you find a CPU comparison you'll find the 860,70 and the other
chipset one, right up there.

--
Duncan.

Dave Doe 08-17-2010 12:55 PM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
In article <MPG.26d54d6fa5cc5dde9897c7@news.eternal-september.org>,
hard@work.ok says...
>
> In article <i4d83j$dik$1@speranza.aioe.org>,
> g.bogle@auckland.no.spam.ac.nz says...
> >
> > I am about to buy a computer that I'll use for working, and my main concern
> > (apart from price) is speed of execution of code that uses multiple processors
> > (OpenMP). I'm looking at the Dell Precision T3500, with the Xeon E5630 quad
> > core 2.5 GHz, but I'm not sure that this would actually be faster than a 2.8 GHz
> > Core i7 quad-core system, which I think would be cheaper. I do not run games.
> > Anybody have any experience that might help with this decision?

>
> Go for the i7 - they're good - fast and cheap (for such speed) at around
> $450. Great desktops. Are you going to take advantage (and spend a lot
> of extra $) of the Xeon features? (you building a server?). Hence, IMO,
> the i7 for a single processor desktop machine.
>
> If you find a CPU comparison you'll find the 860,70 and the other
> chipset one, right up there.


other *socket* one, 930 IIRC.

--
Duncan.

AD. 08-17-2010 09:37 PM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Aug 18, 12:13*am, Sweetpea <Herit...@Sweetpea.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 04:19:55 -0700, AD. wrote:
> >> How many simultaneous threads is that application designed to use?

>
> > What application? Nobody mentioned an application.

>
> "and my main concern (apart from price) is speed of execution of code
> that uses multiple processors (OpenMP)."


So? You're still jumping to conclusions.

OpenMP is a programming API for SMP code. Nothing about using an
application or specific workload there.

It is quite possible the workload is c or c++ programming and/or
testing. There could be compilers, IDEs and the app itself running at
the same time.

Whatever the workload is and even assuming the worst case that it is a
single app that can only use a max of 2 cores, leaving spare capacity
for the OS, drivers and desktop responsiveness as well as background
(or other) tasks is beneficial. So it is highly likely that a quad
core will not be wasted.

--
Cheers
Anton

AD. 08-17-2010 09:48 PM

Re: Xeon vs Core i7
 
On Aug 17, 9:18*pm, EMB <emb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The Xeon has more L2 cache, but the i7 has a higher turbo-boost mode.
> Overall I would expect the Xeon to be faster, but I'm unsure you'll ever
> notice the difference in the real world - most of what you pay for with
> the Xeon is support for ECC memory and multiple CPUs.


Pretty much.

Also it really depends on the actual workload which chip ends up
faster. eg the Xeons larger L2 may or may not be a factor. If the
workload runs well (ie lots of cache hits) with the L2 of the i7, then
the faster clock will prevail. If the workload doesn't run well (ie
lots of cache misses) with either chips L2, then the faster clock will
still probably be better. But if the L2 sweetspot is higher than the
i7s L2 but lower than (or maybe just over) the Xeons L2 then the Xeon
could very well be much faster.

So without being able to benchmark the code, the choice probably just
comes down to features vs cost (including possibly more expensive RAM
and mobos for the Xeon). If you don't need the Xeons extra features,
the i7 would be a better choice.

--
Cheers
Anton


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