Changing Hardware

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Changing Hardware

  • Thanks for posing the discussion Steve.

    Personally as a hardware enthusiast and database architect I go with the rule of doubling. If you can get new hardware that's twice as fast as the current hardware do so and upgrade the software too. Especially because a lot of times Microsoft makes a lot of performance enhancements to newer versions of SQL to better utilize the new hardware.


    Else keep what you have because it's a lot of work with not much gain....

    Except where storage is concerned, always go with faster storage especially on dev servers.



  • The question is - how to compare processors? By price? By technical specifications?

    I've been using AMD only since they made a processor which was good as Intel (and at that time it was faster in most operations) which was also a lot cheaper. If we did not have AMD and if we did not support AMD, Intel processors will never have today price tags.

    (I've had Cyrix also, but for about a year)

    From all these years using AMD's and by my personal experience, it is a myth that Intel is making better processors. I've had Intel processors in all my computer at various workplaces and when I come back home, 5 years older computer with AMD gives me an impression of a space ship. Of course, I am comparing processors by technical specifications only - number of cores, clock, etc.

    Regarding SQL Server I am not sure either. My PC is now 6 or 7 years old and I can see how fast SQL Server is working here compared to the client computer (I am working using remote desktop in this case). The difference is not academic, but it is for a few times. What runs on my computer for 3 seconds I was seeing running on new computers with similar Intel processor for 10 seconds. Memory? I still have 4 GB, in today's standards, that is not enough. Perhaps it is anty-virus or slow disk, I do not know.

    Somehow I feel more life with AMD, especially on multi-tasking where it is most visible.

  • Steve Jones,  Did you mean Glenn Berry in your opening sentences?  Thanks

  • Considering the current market - I would probably consider using an AMD Processor - now that AMD finally did something and released some products that made them better than Intel.

    Although these products are geared towards gaming, they can still work on processing multi-core workloads and daily task easily because of their 10- 16 cores.

    Still waiting to see when Intel will respond with better chips

    Who would not want to see SQL Server running with 16 cores?


  • Given that most medium to large companies predominantly use HP... you don't have much of a choice.

    My antique home PC is an AMD Athalon 3400 and it has served me well for a decade (or more)

    HP servicing, warranties and other factors mean that if you are on a Microsoft platform and with more than 50 users (we have over 1100) then the only way is Intel

    saying that... our design teams have about 100 large screen MACs


  • I'm hoping for at TCP-E Results at least to be the same with AMD as with Intel, if we're less than 5% off target I'd love to use some AMD Boxes, right now with Gen1 I still wouldn't go. But it's eventually not going to be easy to max out performance on Zen(2) for SQL Server, first you need to get the fastest possible RAM which will cost tons and probably won't be available in the largest densities (64+ GB per Module) or it might be double the price of normal RAM, secondly your software should hopefully support scheduling for these types of CPU Architecture (Multi Die Architectures) which I believe we're still at the beginning even tho several OS have improved support.

    Not to be picky but Glenn's article sounds rather like a list of hopes and wishes right now, if there was some comparable Zen Data included in the article we'd had a starting point for evaluation (yeah I know it's hard to get some for testing, no offense meant) but until then I'll continue to hope for a working TSX Implementation by Intel which isn't looking very promising either yet.

  • What? People use hardware machines in production? We need to keep the underlying hardware on compatible chipsets so that we can move virtual machines around.

  • rsnow wrote:

    What? People use hardware machines in production? We need to keep the underlying hardware on compatible chipsets so that we can move virtual machines around.

    So true …  but some of us oldies still can't get used to moving on from the days when we didn't have rack mounted blade servers.

    I remember building a Compaq ML530 G1 server. It was so heavy we had to fit wheels to it so that we could move it into the server room.

    it looked like a shopping trolley, but at least we knew where it was unlike these new fangled virtual servers 🙂



  • Hi,

    Independen for the brand, I believe that we everyone are chasing the best performance available. And that performance includes hardware and software. That´s why we seeing brands like Apple, ruling the laptop and desktop market in terms of performance. Even in the workstation market this brand are displaceing Dell´s workstations. We have to admit that the OS from Apple extract the best from the hardware, and of course, from the Intel's processors.In our case, the SQL world, the performance that we obtain from similar configurations from Linux OS, are much better than the performace than we obtain from Windows OS, both based on Intel's processors.Finally, in the Oracle´s world, the performance that you obtain if you use Oracle-Linux SO optimized, and run it in Intel´s processors will beat the performance obtained for a similar configuration in SQL-Windows. So, in conclusion, If the money are not the problem, I will still choose Intel´s processors.

  • Apple makes some fantastic hardware, but it's a fraction of global sales. While I don't see high end workstations listed in many surveys, Apple doesn't appear in the top 5 brands (HP, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Dell, Boxx). In general sales, they do get into the top 5, but not the top 2-3, depending on data.

    I do think Linux does a better job of getting performance from hardware in some situations, but you can get great performance from the OS. The top TPC benchmarks in some cases are Windows OS based. That is a self selected group of hardware submissions, but still, it does show well.

  • With how bad  some of our existing legacy code base is, fresh hardware wouldn't make a dent in it.

    I would love to be in the utopia where the only thing I can do to make my code run faster is change my CPU.

    I once had a conversation with a developer about some really bad code.. he said (and this is a verbatim quote) .. "I don't have time to rewrite that code, can't you just put some more hardware in"

    in short i think  CPU choice is normally the least of our worries 🙂


  • The only trouble is that... it is not just CPU, but the whole architecture around the CPU. Not once in history, AMD with lower working frequency was working faster than Intel counterpart. If that will be just CPU, we could swap one for another on the same motherboard and measure CPU as the only factor. Like we do with RAM.

    I am from the era when Bill Gates statement "640 KB is more than enough for just anything" was actual and at that time it does matter do you have 2 or 3 KB RAM more (loading resident programs into upper memory). 🙂 When programming was art, to put that much into minimum memory.

  • Banem.. you are lucky, I grew up on Zilog Z80, 6800 and 8502 assembly with 8K of RAM in assembly (Hex coding). when they let me loose on turbo pascal and visual FoxPro I nearly cried.

    most of my apprentices don't know what a TSR is or how himem and emm386 worked, heck, most of them don't know what MALLOC does … saying that , I don't have a clue about MVC or .net idispose… so we're even


  • I was talking about my professional career computers. 🙂 I grow up soldering Galaksija (Yugoslavian kit computer) with 2 KB RAM at age of 14(!). 🙂 Then with wide variate of home computers (not known in the USA), then Commodore 16, Spectrum 64, Commodore 64...

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