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Old 2016-03-09, 00:23   #1
VictordeHolland
 
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Default Mixing Xeon E5-26xx processors on Dual CPU motherboard

I've got a Dual CPU motherboard (SuperMicro) which fits Xeon E5-26xx (v1 and v2) processors.
- SuperMicro X9DRL-iF
http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...0/x9drl-if.cfm

Currently it houses a single Intel Xeon E5-2620 v1
http://ark.intel.com/nl/products/645...-GTs-Intel-QPI

I'd like to upgrade it with another E5-2620 v1, but those are hard to find second hand in the Netherlands at the moment.There are a few second hand Xeons E5 26xx (v1) available (assuming they are not sold in the meantime):
E5-2630 for €125
E5-2650 for €200 and €350 (don't know why there is such a big difference)
E5-2670 for €275
2x E5-2680 for €385 a each (maybe a deal can be made for the set)

The question is: I know it is not ideal, but is it possible to combine different E5-26xx CPUs on a server/workstation motherboard? As far as I know it is not possible to combine v1 and v2 CPUs on the board. But what about a E5-2620 and a E5-2630? Both have 6 cores, 15MB L3 cache, 95W TDP, 7.2GT/s links, the only difference between them is the clocks (2.0-2.5GHz vs. 2.3-2.8GHz).

Another option would be to buy a brand new E5-2620 v1 which costs €375. But then I could probably better spend a little more and buy 2x E5-2650 or the 2x E5-2680.
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Old 2016-03-09, 18:15   #2
Madpoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictordeHolland View Post
I've got a Dual CPU motherboard (SuperMicro) which fits Xeon E5-26xx (v1 and v2) processors.
- SuperMicro X9DRL-iF
http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...0/x9drl-if.cfm

Currently it houses a single Intel Xeon E5-2620 v1
http://ark.intel.com/nl/products/645...-GTs-Intel-QPI

I'd like to upgrade it with another E5-2620 v1, but those are hard to find second hand in the Netherlands at the moment.There are a few second hand Xeons E5 26xx (v1) available (assuming they are not sold in the meantime):
E5-2630 for €125
E5-2650 for €200 and €350 (don't know why there is such a big difference)
E5-2670 for €275
2x E5-2680 for €385 a each (maybe a deal can be made for the set)

The question is: I know it is not ideal, but is it possible to combine different E5-26xx CPUs on a server/workstation motherboard? As far as I know it is not possible to combine v1 and v2 CPUs on the board. But what about a E5-2620 and a E5-2630? Both have 6 cores, 15MB L3 cache, 95W TDP, 7.2GT/s links, the only difference between them is the clocks (2.0-2.5GHz vs. 2.3-2.8GHz).

Another option would be to buy a brand new E5-2620 v1 which costs €375. But then I could probably better spend a little more and buy 2x E5-2650 or the 2x E5-2680.
Nope, can't mix models. It's not even recommended that you mix steppings if you can help it at all.

To be honest, I've never actually tried to mix models of one generation of Xeon, but I know they say you shouldn't/can't and my gut tells me the clocking differences alone would say "don't do it". But having never tried it, I don't actually know what would happen.
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Old 2016-03-09, 19:37   #3
henryzz
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At best you would probably have to run both at the slower speed.
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Old 2016-04-06, 17:38   #4
VictordeHolland
 
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Thanks for the reactions to confirm what I already though.
In the meantime I've bought an additional E2620 for a reasonable price.
I would have liked to buy 2x 2670 from eBay (they are only $80,- but shipping and getting them through customs is just a pain in the ***.
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Old 2016-04-06, 21:53   #5
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At one off pricing, they're around £90 each in UK ebay. So not as cheap as US, but no customs to get it over to you. Was debating if I should go for a pair myself but with new mobo and rest of system to go around it, decided against it.
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Old 2016-04-07, 10:56   #6
VictordeHolland
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackerel View Post
At one off pricing, they're around £90 each in UK ebay. So not as cheap as US, but no customs to get it over to you. Was debating if I should go for a pair myself but with new mobo and rest of system to go around it, decided against it.
Thanks, I'll look into it!
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Old 2016-04-07, 22:37   #7
henryzz
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Makes me wonder whether building a system based on these cpus could be done at an efficient cost. After looking around newegg for a bit it looks like such a system could be put together for around £1000.
Maybe this could compete with George's builds. The older generation of the cpus might be the difference here.
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Old 2016-04-07, 23:27   #8
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I actually tried pricing up and working out the value of building a system around a pair of these Xeons. UK pricing follows:
Pair of E5-2670 £170 from ebay
Asrock dual socket mobo, from £253
Half decent modular PSU with support for two CPUs £100
Ram £120 for non-ECC or £192 ECC (8x4GB in either case)
Random 120GB SSD at £40 enough for an OS boot
Decent air coolers, two at £50 each
Probably want a decent and big enough case to take it, assuming £100
Total: £883 with non-ECC ram, £955 with ECC.

GPU not included - I have plenty spare.

The problem with such a build is the lack of FMA. It would really destroy AVX workloads. Factoring in FMA I estimate it would be 35-45% better "bang for buck" than a similar class i7-5820k or i7-6700k build without overclocking (those cases assuming quad or dual channel 3200 ram respectively). Considering the CPU only, and not the rest of the system, the performance per watt is lacking. Skylake takes the lead there being 50-70% better, Haswell-E around 20% better. If you factor in the rest of the system it would likely be closer.

If you can cut the costs further by finding a suitable used mobo and lower cost PSU for example, I think it would be more exciting to play with.
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Old 2016-04-07, 23:41   #9
henryzz
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Wouldn't this system be memory bandwidth limited anyway or would it not reach that level due to lack of FMA?
Very similar to my pricing.

Would you really need to purchase an SSD? Don't you have an old hard drive that would suffice. Prime95 shouldn't need the additional speed.

Maybe we need to wait for the next generation with FMA to get to this price.
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Old 2016-04-08, 02:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackerel View Post
Pair of E5-2670 £170 from ebay

The problem with such a build is the lack of FMA. It would really destroy AVX workloads. f.
Mackerel, what generation of E5-2600 Xeons are you referring to?
Both the V3 and V4 have an FMA instruction.
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Old 2016-04-08, 08:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryzz View Post
Wouldn't this system be memory bandwidth limited anyway or would it not reach that level due to lack of FMA?
Each CPU has quad channel memory. I just hope the OS is smart enough to put the ram usage local to the correct processor. Lack of FMA also helps reduce that load.

I do have other HDs, but I can't justify such a build as a pure cruncher. It would likely be used for other tasks too had I got one. SSD cost isn't really significant at this level. If supporting components could have been found more cheaply then I could have gone the pure cruncher route, but the mobo in particular is lacking in lower cost options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tServo View Post
Mackerel, what generation of E5-2600 Xeons are you referring to?
Both the V3 and V4 have an FMA instruction.
The really cheap ones you can find on ebay right now are all v1. That's what bought them onto the radar of enthusiasts as they're cost competitive with consumer kit now. Newer one are still significantly more expensive.
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