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Thread: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

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    Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Hi folks,

    As you can see from the spec in the title / next to my username I haven't upgraded in a while but am thinking of doing so as I have a need to run some pretty memory hungry and relatively IO intensive apps in VM images - enterprise stuff that can easily consume >= 8GB in a single VM.

    This is for work purposes (yeah, they should be paying not me, and yes there are potential VM licensing issues that I haven't looked at - yet). I am getting a new work laptop soon that will have 16GB RAM (lucky me) but they won't pay for an SSD of any size so I/O wise the laptop is still going to suck - especially with all the paranoid bloatware they make you install (AV & FW, an 'endpoint manager' / compliance scanner / patch manager and fecking Lotus Notes).

    Back to my desktop PC:

    Getting more than 8GB means a mobo upgrade so I would need a new CPU, mobo and RAM (obviously) and while I'm there I might as well trade up on the GFX card and SSD boot drive - keeping W7 and my installed programs inside 30GB is getting tricky... I'll be keeping my existing HDDs (4 * 2GB WD GPs) though I've also considered buying dedicated small capacity 7,200RPM HDDs for the VM storage.

    ...I don't really play games on the PC any more. I don't want a super crap budget card - it would be nice to have more GPU compute power than the HD3850 (not difficult?) with less heat as I like to run a pretty quiet rig.

    Also worth saying that my PSU is a Corsair HX450 - wondering if I'll need to upgrade this, presume not but happy to take advice on that too.

    Of course doing all this means I'll end up buying almost all of a new PC... and I have a spare HX450... so the other option is to build a dedicated VM box though that's obviously a fair bit more expensive than selling off the old kit.

    Thoughts?

    (other than tl;dr... )

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Do you have a budget? Or just as little as possible?

    Got to be sandybridge for those tasks I'd say. A 2500k and a P67 board, 16GB of RAM and something mid-range like a 5770/5830?

    Should be fine to keep your current PSU or you could upgrade to something with a bit more power just for piece of mind.

    Maybe something like this? https://www.aria.co.uk/WishList/mXO14Io6U4LMZ_Kp7ocBaQ,,

    It's 4.98*

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Thanks Peter.

    Budget-wise it's about bang for buck and as much longevity as possible. I've had the bones (CPU and mobo) of my current system since Feb 2008.

    I can't afford the top end and I'm not sure I'd pay for it even if I could (like buying a brand new car - I like the idea but I'd have to have a lot of spare cash to do it).

    I want most of the performance of the top end though and certainly last time around I think I got this through buying the right bits in the first place and a bit of overclocking (not gaming helps of course - harder to buy a GFX card that lasts 3+ years and harder to really stress your CPU doing something other than gaming / a lot of transcoding).

    So I'm happy to spend a bit more if it's likely to mean a longer lasting system, i.e. I might tempted by a 2600K rather than a 2500K to get HT thought I'm not 100% convinced of the merits of HT (or at least maybe not for £70 extra - I need to go stare at various graphs for a few hours...)
    Last edited by malfunction; 02-07-2011 at 01:12 PM.

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    Thanks Peter.

    Budget-wise it's about bang for buck and as much longevity as possible. I've had the bones (CPU and mobo) of my current system since Feb 2008.

    I can't afford the top end and I'm not sure I'd pay for it even if I could (like buying a brand new car - I like the idea but I'd have to have a lot of spare cash to do it).

    I want most of the performance of the top end though and certainly last time around I think I got this through buying the right bits in the first place and a bit of overclocking (not gaming helps of course - harder to buy a GFX card that lasts 3+ years and harder to really stress your CPU doing something other than gaming / a lot of transcoding).

    So I'm happy to spend a bit more if it's likely to mean a longer lasting system, i.e. I might tempted by a 2600K rather than a 2500K to get HT thought I'm not 100% convinced of the merits of HT (need to go stare at various graphs for a few hours...)
    Yeah fair enough, I thought that'd be the case, just thought I'd ask in case you had something set in stone!

    Most of the time the performance you gain just isn't worth the price increase of top end parts over the average stuff! If you're prepared to overclock then you can obviously get quite a bit of 'free' performance with lower end processors.

    Yeah, I wouldn't go for the 2600k really, it's only 100mhz faster with 2mb of extra cache and HT as you say, not worth the ~£70 I'd say. I know the HT doesn't help in games and stuff, causes more problems than anything I've been told. With running virtual machines though, I can imagine it would help as you get 4 extra threads. That extra £70 is quite a lot though.

    It's 4.98*

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    If the upgrade is being driven by virtualisation, I would look at a 6 core AMD for bang-for-buck.

    Also, depending on compatability you may be able to run VMWare ESXi which is free for 1 CPU socket.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    If you want to run games + vmware images, you are going to have to live with the 'slower than a snail on pot' IO of vmware server.

    If however you got ESX(i) you should gain massive IO improvement, but lose the ability to play games.

    Go for option 2 as vmware server/workstation is not what you need for large VMs.

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Thanks - that's a good point that for some reason I hadn't thought of at all - I was just throwing in the idea of running 2 machines and hadn't really thought about using ESXi instead of Server.

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    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    I would wait until Bulldozer is released. HardOCP are having a preview event this month. An 8 core/4 module Bulldozer would be great for virtualisation purposes IMHO.


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    • malfunction's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte G1.Sniper (with daft heatsinks and annoying Killer NIC)
      • CPU:
      • Xeon X5670 (6 core LGA 1366) @ 4.4GHz
      • Memory:
      • 48GB DDR3 1600 (6 * 8GB)
      • Storage:
      • 1TB 840 Evo + 1TB 850 Evo
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 290X
      • PSU:
      • Antec True Power New 750W
      • Case:
      • Cooltek W2
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2715H

    Re: Upgrade suggestions - Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210, IP35 Pro, 8GB PC6400, HD3850 512MB

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would wait until Bulldozer is released. HardOCP are having a preview event this month. An 8 core/4 module Bulldozer would be great for virtualisation purposes IMHO.
    Thanks - I thought Bulldozer was still a while off but if it's relatively imminent it would definitely be worth waiting for even if it's just to see how prices move on everything else

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