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CPU question


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Wasn't sure if this should go in Motherboards or Hardware. 


I am running the latest v5.x with Dynamix WebGUI.  No plans to move to v6.x any time soon.


I was running an ASUS C60M1-I, dual 1GHz as a secondary server.  Transfer speeds were OK, parity check speeds were dismal, and the Dynamix WebGUI crawled.  Really crawled.


I moved to a G550T that I had laying around, dual 2.2GHz.  Everything has picked up in speed a bit, especially the interactivity of the webgui.  The C60M1-I would basically slow to a crawl when there was any sort of file or network i/o going on (all the fancy graphs, page refreshes, etc).  The Celeron handles this much better.  Still, there are times when the gui is less than speedy.  Maybe this is the nature of the Dynamix webgui, I dunno.


I realize this is a largely superficial point, as file transfer speeds continue to be normal (slower than other folks, but at least more along the lines of what I am used to)


My second system now has a nice 1155 Intel MB, but no CPU.  So I need to get a cheap 1155 CPU, and I am looking at Celerons and Pentiums.  I like the low power "T" series, but I also like the standard 55w versions with their significantly higher clock speeds.


So my question is this: assuming very little price difference between what is now an old, slow, out of date CPU, would (as an example) a 3.3Ghz Pentium G2140 be a better bet than a 2.7GHz G2120T?  Nothing runs on my servers except unraid and Dynamix.  Just looking to speed things up a bit, specifically the gui, and wondering if a few hundred MHz would make any real difference.  I'd love to go with the 35w T series CPU, but I leave two windows open at all times monitoring my unraid servers, and if a faster CPU would make the interaction with the gui quicker, I'm all for it.



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There's no reason to limit yourself to a T series CPU ... go for the fastest one you can afford.    Personally I'd step up to an i3 or i5.    But whatever you buy, you don't need the low-power version => the CPU will normally be running at very low power anyway ... it only ramps up when you're demanding a high CPU % to satisfy the load (a very rare event with UnRAID ... but nice to have the additional capability for those times you need it).


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Your little AMD chip was probably dying on network access due to the Realtek NIC - they're the WinModem of the modern world, where most of the work is done by the CPU.  An Intel NIC does all the work itself, so the CPU isn't doing so much.


I think the faster CPU is probably a better option - they get the work done quicker, so can return to idle quicker, so I think they end up using less power in total.  I have a G1610T and a G1620, and I've used both in UnRAID. The G1620 runs great, the G1610T not so much.

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I'm surprised you've noted that much difference between a G1610T and G1620 => their PassMark scores are actually very close ... 2312 vs. 2652 => only a 15% bump for the 1620.


Of course the G2140 the OP's considering does much better -- it scores 3436 on PassMark => a 30% bump over the 1620.      As I noted above, I'd consider an i3 [e.g. an i3-3240 scores 4321]  or an i5 [an i5-3340 scores 5968]  for even more "headroom".    They do cost a bit more, but they provide a LOT more "future proofing" in terms of system "horsepower" => and the i5's have vt-d support for I/O pass-through in virtual machines.  You may not think you'll ever need that; but it's nice to have the option.




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Agreed, garycase - it's only 400MHz but it really does seem to make a difference.  I've not seen much of a difference as far as power consumption goes.  The 1610T saves maybe 1W at the wall, but runs at the higher power for a little longer, so it probably works out very similar in the end up.  The i5-3470S doesn't use a lot more either, and it totally flies through the work.


Also worth noting that on the right motherboard, the Celerons and Pentiums support ECC, where an i3 or i5 won't.


I have an old-style AsRock C216 WS board, which is S1155, and it'll only do ECC with a Xeon, a Celeron or a Pentium.  The i5-3470S I have in it doesn't support ECC, which is a shame IMHO.

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You may be on to something with the Intel NIC (seems obvious now but I hadn't thought of it).


My G550T in an Asrock with a Realtek NIC... Dynamix WebGUI essentially stopped working (30-45 seconds for a page to load, another 30 seconds for said page to populate, ie, the graphs under the server stats tab) when I was transferring several hundred 50-300MB files.  Now I am transferring a zillion little JPEGs, and the GUI is running great.


The G550T will live in an Intel MB shortly to replace the Athlon X2 250u in my primary unraid server.  And I just picked up an Asus MB (Realtek trash) to use with a G3220 for my secondary box.  Hopefully the added clock speed and newer fab in that CPU will help with the Realtek issue.



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Realtek is fine for stuff like browsing the web and such like, but I've found they do fall down terribly if you're trying to use them for server use.  I briefly had an Asus workstation board that used a Realtek, I had intended using it as a server.  On multiple OS the Realtek either just stopped working, or kernel paniced, or something.  I stuck in an Intel NIC (good old Pro/1000 PT) and it's been totally stable since.

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Probably your parity check speed issues are a function of your sata bandwidth. Try running 'TOP' while checking parity, and you will probably see you are not CPU limited. Save your upgrades for later if you ever want to do more with the system, and at that time consider a full update with new motherboard.

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