KBOYLE wrote:

> The Xeon is Intel's processor for servers and workstations. These days
> there is very little difference in cost between a Xeon and an
> equivalent desktop processor so I would go with the Xeon.

Take a look at the detailed comparison I gave of two CPUs I'm looking
at, one an i7, the other a Xeon E3. Only $30 separates the two, but
the two CPUs also look very similar spec-wise. It's tough trying to
see what the Xeon does better that I'll actually take advantage of in
exchange for losing some clock speed vs the i7.

> Of course you'll need an appropriate motherboard. Here too there are
> important differences between server boards and desktop boards. Server
> boards, even entry level ones that support a single processor,
> generally can accommodate a larger RAM capacity, use ECC RAM, can
> accommodate a larger IO and PCI bandwidth, provide on-board SCSI/SAS,
> and are designed to run 24 x 7. Workstation boards are similar but
> usually include or can accommodate high performance graphics which
> aren't needed on a server.

Generally speaking I'd say you are correct. However in this case the
max RAM supported is just 32GB either way. IO & Bandwidth look very
similar as well at least with the CPU specs. I haven't checked ECC
capabilities so that could be one slight advantage. And as to 24x7,
well, my current "server" is an old HP/Compaq dc5000 with a P4 CPU.
It's been running 24x7 for many years though I've replaced the CPU when
I discovered the L2 cache had failed. My i7-based desktop is nearly 4
years old now and also runs 24x7. I've lost one processor in it as
well, but I'm pretty sure that was a result of a power supply fan
failure I experienced earlier this year.

> One other point, VMware products generally experience fewer issues if
> run on approved hardware so if you have the option I would go that
> route.

That's my biggest concern. If I go a true workstation/entry-level
server board and Xeon CPU, even if it's the E3, I'm guessing I'll run a
lesser risk of issues with ESXi than with a desktop board and the i7.
Of course if I go with an actual used server there's even less risk as
I can at that point check VMware hardware compatibility list. Still,
for the combined cost savings I get with both CPU & motherboard, I'm
still tempted to try the i7 route.

BTW, here are the specs on the two CPus. You can see they are honestly
very similar to each other.

Intel Xeon E3-1245V2

Intel Core i7-3770K

If I could afford a decent Xeon E5 then there'd be no question I'd just
go that route. But since a decent E5 is over $400 alone (thinking the
2620) that's not gonna happen. Almost seems like, then, it's a flip of
the coin going with an i7 or an E3.

Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?