Board and processor upgrade suggestions


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I currently have an  Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU E7300 @ 2.66GHz CPU Benchmark and board that maxes out at 4gb of ram + a sata adapater, with 22TB of storage using 7 drives+parity+cache. It is time for a new setup because I keep running out of memory and it is overall pretty slow and pauses streaming to catch up, etc. I have an LGA1150 Intel Core i5-4570 @ 3.20GHz CPU Benchmark sitting in a box but I do not have a board for it.  I am wondering if it is worth finding a board for this processor or just buying a newer vintage used board and processor off ebay that would surpass the processor I have for similar money or not much more. I know a lot would depend on what I am using it for, but that varies from 1-2 streams, some downloading, an off and on XP virtual machine. This will not be a heavily stressed setup, but ripping what I have apart and putting something new in the enclosure is something I don't feel like doing again anytime soon if I don't need to. Thanks a ton.

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Posted (edited)

I'm in the same board, so I'll follow this topic.  My setup is an Asus Intel board with a E8500 Dual core.  It's more than 10 years old and indeed getting a bit long in the teeth.

 

I'm also on the lookout for a nice setup.  Now leaning towards AMD because they give you more bang for your buck, but on the other hand they immediately force you to also install a video card with it because their APU's are hard to come by (the more powerful ones anyway, like the 4700G or 4750G Pro)  Usually you can't even buy them officially (OEM only). Another downside from those APU's is that they always seem to lag one CPU generation behind (currently Zen 2 cores - the 5700G, which will feature Zen 3 cores, is still not out yet), and I also think they can't address as many external devices because of the integrated video card, and the APU doesn't support passthrough.

 

Now, for me that last issue won't probably be a big one because I still use my Unraid box mostly for file storage and streaming, not VM.  But that might change in the future, and as you say yourself, I also don't feel like upgrading every 2 years or so.  So I also want a bit of overkill on this machine.

 

I've also noticed some hardcore users are using Intel Xeon or AMD Threadripper CPU's on their boards, which are usually professional server boards by Supermicro or the like then.  This is good for their use case, but way too much for mine.  I know it might not be an excellent idea to run a server 24/7 from enthusiast hardware, but that is exactly what I've been doing for the past 10 years and will continue to do so. I simply cannot justify the added price to myself because I'm not using Unraid professionally.

 

I'm currently reading the thread about the Gigabyte X570 AORUS range.  Those would be a good candidate I think (supports ECC RAM I believe, while Intel non-Xeon setups do not)  To be honest, I'm more of an Asus man myself (like the ASUS TUF Gaming X570 series), but it seems in this case, Gigabyte has them beat.  (not sure why yet though, still reading up on that).

Edited by BartDG
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Posted (edited)

I'm interested too.  I am doing more with my unraid than I first thought I would, so I want 4 cores or more -maybe 8 cores would about right.  I want low power like TDP 35 Watts or less.  Intel screwed me with the 1151 socket then they quickly made all new CPUs incompatible.  I have to choose betrween buying an old used Intel i7-7700T for about $300, or get a new CPU and Motherboard.  It seems AMD give a much longer life to the sockets.

Edited by xrqp
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  • 1 month later...
On 5/10/2021 at 11:24 AM, BartDG said:

and the APU doesn't support passthrough

Hello Bart. Are you sure of that? It would be disapointing for me as i targer to buy the new 5700g as soon as it is avaiblable to build a gamling VM for my children

Thanks by advance for your reply

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On 5/10/2021 at 4:24 PM, BartDG said:

I know it might not be an excellent idea to run a server 24/7 from enthusiast hardware, but that is exactly what I've been doing for the past 10 years and will continue to do so.

Commercials servers are designed to run 24/7 under load.

Not to be confused with home servers spending most of their time in the idle state.

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On 5/12/2021 at 7:50 AM, xrqp said:

I want low power like TDP 35 Watts or less.

A low TDP processor does not necessarily translate into overall energy savings and might actually lead to higher energy consumption as compared to a more powerful and faster processor.

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On 6/19/2021 at 7:34 AM, fabduhameau said:

Hello Bart. Are you sure of that? It would be disapointing for me as i targer to buy the new 5700g as soon as it is avaiblable to build a gamling VM for my children

Thanks by advance for your reply

It's what I've read here on the forums. No first hand experience, no. Because I still don't have an AMD unraid setup. 

Edited by BartDG
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18 hours ago, Lolight said:

A low TDP processor does not necessarily translate into overall energy savings and might actually lead to higher energy consumption as compared to a more powerful and faster processor.

It should be easier to get good data about energy consumption.  Idle power, watts per caclulation, etc.  I guess not enough people care.  Until then, the TDP is a practical data point.  I assume the mobile versions of CPUs (low power) would be appropriate.

 

I ended up getting a used Intel i7-7700T for $250.  The T at the end means for mobile (low power).  Now, the lowest my entire unraid computer goes is 38 watts, I assume when nearly everything is idling.  I have 6 hard drives and 1 nvme drive.   My power supply is 450 watt, Seasonic G-450, 80 Plus Gold.

 

I was hoping AMD may have a breakthrough on energy efficiency, but it seemed product availability was not good, and info on energy remains hard to find. 

 

 

Edited by xrqp
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15 hours ago, xrqp said:

Until then, the TDP is a practical data point.  I assume the mobile versions of CPUs (low power) would be appropriate.

TDP is only useful for determining how large a heatsink and how much airflow is required. It has NOTHING to do with overall system efficiency. In your specific instance, the i7-7700T and i7-7700K appear to be sibling processors, with the only difference being the T version has a hard limit imposed on maximum frequency. They will use exactly the same amount of power under light loads, but as soon as you start a heavy computation task, the T will stay throttled back and the K will go to max power. That means your task will take much more time to complete on the T version, keeping all your other items like RAM and drives at full power waiting for the T to be done, while the K is finished and can allow the whole system to go back to idle much quicker.

 

As a general rule, each new redesign of a chip family brings more efficiency. So to get the best performance per watt as a broad rule you want the newest chipset and die type, and the most powerful CPU in that die type excluding gamer type tweaks. Overclocking tends to reduce performance per watt, so stay within the normal desktop range.

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Jonatham, you mentioned the affect of frequency.  There may be a curve for freq. vs effic. but but I cannot find it.  Maybe the T model keeps the freq in a more effcient spot than the K (if we ignore other equipment affected by making it all run longer).  Adding how the other equip is affected preferably would be included, if I knew how.  

 

I am guessing hi freq is less effic because it get hotter, and hotter conductors have more resistance, compounding the issue and wasting more on heat.  I am not confident in that guess.  If my guess is correct, do better CPU coolers save energy on the CPU?  

 

Some info for reference only (still does not give the effic numbers we need):

Intel defines TDP "represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload."  So, as you say, it is not an efficiency number directly.  For i7-7700 T and K:

  • TDP for T is 35W, for K is 91W.  (K is 260% of T, or 160% above T)
  • Passmark for T is 7895 , for K is 9710 (K is 123% of T, or 23% above T)
  • Processor Base Frequency: for T is 2.90 GHz, for K is 4.20 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency for T is 3.80 GHz, for K is 4.50 GHz
Edited by xrqp
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