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  1. #1
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    Default Processor Question

    I am upgrading my UT box. I have a choice of either a Xeon 5160 or a Core 2Duo E6850 (yes, these are boxes that are a couple years old). My UT box will run most, if not all the apps, (moving from Free to Premium). My question is this, would I see a vast improvement in network speed? (Especially with Spyware Blocker, Web, etc.) I need to justify the use of the Xeon box to higher ups.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Untangle Junkie dmorris's Avatar
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    It depends on what you mean by "network speed"
    If you mean the bandwidth of a singular TCP session (like a file download) probably not.
    If you mean the bandwidth of thousands of HTTP sessions doing thousands of tiny get requests, then possibly yes.

    I would evaluate the difference in cost (which is basically a few dollars) vs the cost of time of even bothering to get the cheaper one and the possibility you might have to switch it out if it isn't fast enough, plus the time it takes to do so.
    I would guess that the just cost of the time you've spent pondering this question already exceeds the price difference.
    Last edited by dmorris; 02-08-2012 at 02:47 PM.
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  3. #3
    Untangle Ninja
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    There's no difference at all between those two processors. They're identical in every way, except for which socket each one fits into. So the question of performance is completely the wrong question to ask.

    The difference would be in the platform - the Xeon is very likely sitting on a better mainboard in a better chassis, probably has ECC memory and might even have Intel LAN ports on-board.

    The Core 2 Duo *could* be sitting on a decent entry-level server class board, but is more likely sitting on a desktop-grade board with a non-ecc memory, a desktop chassis, and probably a single Realtek LAN port.

    I'd take the Xeon any day.

    edit: also, depending on which mainboard is in that Xeon server, there might be a socket in there for another Xeon 5160 if you really need more CPU power down the road.
    Last edited by johnsonx42; 02-08-2012 at 11:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Not for Untangle use, you don't need ECC. Heck I'm wondering if it makes it perform WORSE.

    My first Untangle sale was for a church up the street. 2.4ghz Xeon Quad, 4gb of ram, 6 interfaces. I recently was forced to replace it due to mainboard failure. The replacement server was one of my appliances sporting a dual core Celeron and 2gb of ram.

    The appliance is performing BETTER.

    Figure that one out!
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  5. #5
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    Easy. A modern dual core celeron can easily outrun an old Netburst Xeon, even 4 of them unless the task actually runs 4 threads at 100% (and even then the Celeron might still win - it depends on whether you mean a Core2-based Celeron or a Core i3-based Celeron). Netburst has already gone down in history as one of Intel's greatest mistakes.

    As to ECC, no I don't count it as necessary for an Untangle, and I don't use it on my boxes (afaik the Atom platform doesn't support it anyhow). But all else being equal, ECC is still better than no ECC. The performance penalty is negligible, in fact I'm not sure there's any difference at all any more.

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    The Xeon in question is in the 3000 series, if that means anything. I don't keep up on the "family" names of chips much. It's just the Q6600 in a "server" option that didn't require ECC. It was entry level server stuff.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #7
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    oh, ok, I just assumed based on how you described it that was an old Quad-CPU Xeon 2.4. If it was a Core 2 Xeon, like a X3220 Kentsfield, than I have no idea why the dual-core Celeron seems faster. A new socket-1155 Celeron is faster in lightly threaded workloads, which UT usually is, but not enough faster that you ought to notice without running benchmarks. Who knows....

  8. #8
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Well, it is based on an Intel 3000ah mainboard that FAILED at just a bit more than three years in. When was the last time you had an Intel board fail? The errors are graphical, and centralized around the memory bus. So I'm wondering if the mainboard has always been a bit off and just got around to failing enough for me to notice.

    Either way, it's some crazy stuff.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  9. #9
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    I know a lot of people here would probably go with Xeons but I really find that there's no difference between a comparably specced Xeon and its consumer counterpart.

    The real advantage I see with the latest gen Xeons is that in addition to CPU hardware VT support (also supported by Core i3/5/7), you also have I/O VT support which is great if you're running lots of VMs. Aside from that, I'm not convinced that a Xeon setup is any 'better' than a regular Intel chip on a decent motherboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Not for Untangle use, you don't need ECC. Heck I'm wondering if it makes it perform WORSE.

    My first Untangle sale was for a church up the street. 2.4ghz Xeon Quad, 4gb of ram, 6 interfaces. I recently was forced to replace it due to mainboard failure. The replacement server was one of my appliances sporting a dual core Celeron and 2gb of ram.

    The appliance is performing BETTER.

    Figure that one out!
    Yeah, totally agree with this. ECC memory is pretty useless unless you're running a server that will cost the company $xx,xxx for every minute it's down. Even worse is that some setups mandate FB-DIMM w/ ECC which just drives memory costs up the roof (in some cases for a performance decrease thanks to the buffering).
    Last edited by cmdr_shepard; 02-12-2012 at 11:31 PM.

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