SBS 2003 hardware: processor summary [Advanced SBS 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Howdy y’all – I am the publisher of the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices book and I like to hold virtual book readigs! BTW – my SBS 2008 book is now here!


Processor Summary

At the end of the day, there are two principal products for servers—AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon—and two processors that are more oriented for client machines— AMD Athlon 64 and Intel Pentium 4. Now, a Pentium 4 works just fine in server environments, and an Opteron would perform superbly in a graphics workstation, so don’t feel constrained by each manufacturer’s target applications. Just keep in mind that a Pentium 4 server and its complementary platform won’t sport the same manageability and reliability features as a higher-end Xeon machine. At the same time though, smaller businesses won’t always tax the Pentium 4 anyway.

When you choose the processor for your SBS 2003 server, keep three things in mind: budget, expected load, and headroom. Of course, you should only buy what you can afford, so don’t go over the top if it isn’t necessary. Further, businesses with only 20 client systems won’t need the raw horsepower that shops three times that size would require. But if you project significant growth in the next five years, it’s easier to buy the better hardware today rather than have to replace your server a few years down the road.




CHAPTER Chaper 2 1 So Understanding You Want to Hardwre Be an in SMB the SBS Consultant?!?! Environment

Table 2-3


Processor Feature Summary List


AMD Opteron

Intel Xeon

AMD Athlon 64

Intel Pentium 4

Memory Controller

On-die, up

to DDR400, ECC memory required.

Off-die, up to DDR2-400, ECC memory required.

On-die, up to DDR400, unbuffered.

Off-die, up

to DDR2-533, unbuffered.


1 28 KB L1, 1 MB L2.

1 6 KB L1 data, 1 2,000µop

L1     instruction,

1 MB L2.

1 28 KB L1, 1 MB L2.

1 6 KB L1 data, 1 2,000µop L1 instruction,

1 MB L2.

Bus Type

Point-to- point


Point-to- point


64-bit extensions

Yes, AMD64.

Yes, EMT64 (only Xeons supporting 800 MHz FSB).

Yes, AMD64.

Some, EMT64.

Other features

Highly scalable architecture, Enhanced Virus Protection,


DBS, Hyper- Threading, advanced platform support, SSE2, SSE3.

Cool‘n’Quiet, Enhanced Virus Protection,



Threading, advanced


support, SSE2, SSE3.



Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here!


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