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# Processors vs Ghz

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  • # Processors vs Ghz


    I'm builing an Exchange 2003 SP2 environment. What's better as an Exchange Mailbox server, 2 x 2.6Ghz Dual cores or 2 x 1.86Ghz Quad cores? I know that 2 x 2.6Ghz Quads give ~50% better performance than 2 x 2.6Ghz Dual cores, but I'd like to know how Exchange mailbox servers benefit from more processors.


  • #2
    Re: # Processors vs Ghz

    4 x 2.6GHz Quad cores j/k

    Good question. Everything else equal? Processor family? L1/L2 cache size? Air conditioning? The quad cores will run hotter.
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    • #3
      Re: # Processors vs Ghz

      As Jason said, a lot has to do w/ the processor family. Do realize the P4 (and its derivatives) is far less efficient than the P3 (and its derivatives). Core Duo is based on the P3 and thus gets higher performance w/ less GHz per core than my P4 945.

      I haven't looked at the quad cores but the "more heat" bit also depends a bunch on the processor voltage and wafer miniaturization (90nm vs 65nm or ???) so an older 3.x GHz dual core may actually produce more heat than the latest quad core and the latest quad core at 2.x GHz may run faster core per core than that older dual core.

      So know your chips.


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      • #4
        Re: # Processors vs Ghz

        Don't forget their is also a RAM equation to plonk into this. A slower CPU with a TB of RAM may be a whole lot better than an extremely fast CPU with 512MB RAM. (Extreme example but you can see what I am getting at)
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        • #5
          Re: # Processors vs Ghz

          On Exchange 2003, there is no real benefit from throwing more processors at Exchange. Nor more RAM either. Single zeon with 2gb of RAM will do for most sites.

          Obviously there are exceptions to that rather broad statement, but as you haven't provided any information on what you are specifying for, it is difficult to say anything else.

          Where you get the big gains in Exchange performance (and that applies to E2007 as well) is in storage.

          The more you invest in storage the better things will be. Multiple fast RAID cards, RAID arrays, disks etc. The only bottleneck is the amount you can backup and how quick you need to restore it.

          I have taken some massive spec machine (quad this, lots of RAM etc) but with poor storage configuration and replaced it with a low spec machine in comparison but with good storage and seen noticeable performance gains.
          The client thought I was mad, but was paying good money for my advice so went with it and was pleased as could be that they listened to me.

          Simon Butler
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          • #6
            Re: # Processors vs Ghz

            Thanks for the input Guys.

            Here's some reasearch I did:

            A) Microsoft states 8 cores will provide a 50% increase in performance over 4 cores. See

            B) Microsoft states that 8 cores at 1.86Ghz will ensure that Exchange 2003 will not reach full CPU utilization as other resources like memory will reach their threshold first. This will leave cycles for other apps like Archiving, anti-virus, etc, and will allow for 75% more scalability than 4 cores. See

            I tend to agree with Sembee, IOPS is what its really all about.