HP DL380/DL385 G7 – Intel or AMD?

I’ve just been looking at the new 2U servers from HP. 

HP DL385 G7 (AMD) – The cheapest of the 2 CPU offerings

  • HP ProLiant DL385 G7 6174 2P 16GB-R P410i/1GB FBWC Hot Plug SFF 750W RPS IC Sr
  • AMD Opteron™ Model 6174 (12 core, 2.2 GHz, 12MB L3, 80W)
  • 2 CPU
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Smart Array P410i/1GB FBWC Controller
  • €5265 excluding VAT

HP DL380 G7 (Intel) – This is the cheapest 6-core Intel box

  • HP ProLiant DL380 G7 X5650 2P 12GB-R P410i/1GB FBWC 8 SFF 750W RPS IC Server
  • Intel® Xeon® X5650 (6 cores, 2.66 GHz, 12MB L3, 95W)
  • 2 CPU
  • 12 GB RAM
  • Smart Array P410i/1GB FBWC Controller
  • €5180 excluding VAT

You can get more computing power from the AMD server: 16 Cores and 16GB of base RAM compared to 12 cores and 12GB RAM in the Intel.  That could be the difference between an additional number of virtual machines, anywhere between 1 high end VM and 32 low end VM’s (based purely on CPU – additional memory would be required).

There is a 12 core AMD CPU model listed but it does not have a list price.  2 CPU’s would give it 24 cores!  That’s 48 Exchange 2010 VM vCPU’s or 24 SharePoint 2010 VM vCPU’s.  With the default 8:1 ratio that is 192 vCPU’s!

You should consider more than just hardware and scalability too.  If you are doing Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter per-CPU licensing for the parent partition (and VM’s) and System Center Management Suite (datacenter) per processor licensing for System Center then you save money with bigger CPU’s.  The more VM’s you can put on a host with bigger CPU’s –> fewer hosts & fewer CPU’s –> less licensing –> less space used –> less host management –> etcetera.

Right now, if I was doing a green field Hyper-V deployment then I would most certainly go with AMD CPU’s.  There is better value with their offering.

If you are expanding an existing Hyper-V deployment then you should stick with all-Intel or all-AMD so that VM’s can move between the hosts.

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