Purchasing the correct hardware: dual-core intel? Big cache?

Bill Moran wmoran at potentialtech.com
Mon Apr 24 19:46:20 UTC 2006

I've been asked to make some hardware recommendations, I'm hoping some
folks on the list can make some suggestions.

We're looking hard at getting either Intel dual-core procs, or getting
hyperthreaded procs with huge (8M) caches.

We currently have a few dual proc Intel HT machines that we can test
out our workload on, and I'm trying to get a feel for how to determine
if a larger cache size will generate better performance than replacing
HT procs with full-blown dual-core procs.  We're looking at the 6850
from Dell, which supports both processor families:

The goal for these machines is to serve out PosgreSQL databases to as
many Apache+php front ends as we can hang off each one.  So we're trying
to purchase hardware that will create a DB server that can handle a lot
of web server front ends.

I have a Dell 2850 (dual HT procs) here that I can use for testing.
I'm a little fuzzy on determining how well the cache is working, so I'm
stuck on whether or not the 8M cache that's available on the HT units
is worth the money or not.  Can anyone suggest a testing methodology
that will isolate this particular aspect?

Bill Moran
Collaborative Fusion Inc.

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