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Just benchmarked my netbook, web server, desktop and a few machines at work. Some interesting results, to really take advantage of x number of cores you need operations that are complex and or in a longer duration. Looking at a 24 Core Opteron server run the same number of tasks was actually slightly slower than my 6 core Phenom II. However, running a task that is 10X longer, the 24 core runs 3X faster. Factoring in that the Opteron cores are 900mhz or 29% slower, that's 4X faster, directly equating to the fact the Opteron had 4X as many cores. More details as I benchmark more machines.
I recently got a Rackable Systems 2U Dual Dual Core Opteron system off eBay for dirt cheap.  The problem however though as I noted previously was the noise, Antec .  Got 3 Antec fans and had my Antec 500w ATX power supply connected externally, much quieter, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving my ESXi server opened like that so I scrambled.  Found my original 4U file server case I purchased back in 2009 and started the migration. [caption id="attachment_4001" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Old 4U File Server case on the left, 2U Rackable Systems Case on the right"][/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_4002" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Motherboard inside 4U File Server Case"][/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_4003" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Transplant powered on"][/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_4004" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Revised Server Stack"][/caption]

 

Just scored 2 brand new AMD Opteron 2360SEs off eBay for $69.99 shipped.  These are the highest clocked Quad Cores out there at 2.5ghz.  I had a Dual Quad Opteron 2344HE back in Spring 2009, albeit they were 1.7ghz cores for a total of 13.6ghz versus my new server at 20ghz. It is kind of interesting thinking about it now, my main rig has a 6 core Phenom II has 19.2ghz of power.  It might have been cheaper to simply get another 1090T, 890FX/990FX series AMD motherboard, 16gb of ram and throw it in the same case? Let's see...
  • Phenom II 1090T (3.2ghzX6) - $190
  • Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard - $210
  • 16gb G.Skill DDR3-1600 - $180
For a total of $580 Versuses...
  • Rackable Systems with 2U Case, 2X2214HE Opterons - $150
  • 2 Opteron 2360SEs - $140
  • 10gb Kingston DDR2-5300 ECC - $90
For a total of $380, plus I plan on selling the original 2U case and Opterons so probably will end up spending $320. $200 off the bat plus whatever I can get back.  In addition I have plenty of room for more ram 16 slots versus 4 slots on the 990FX motherboard.  Worth it?  I think so  
I bought a Rackable Systems 2U Dual Opteron 2214 HE server for my VMWare ESXi playground.  For $125 it was a steal.  I brought it home to find out the sound was defeaning.  Not satisfied with the level of noise especially considering the Master Bedroom is 20-30 feet away from my Office.   Opening the case I found a 1U 70mm "leafblower" heatsink/fan on the front CPU and a 2U 60mm "leafblower" heatsink/fan on the back CPU.   Disconnecting those 2 fans along with the rear 3 80mm fans it was much better, but still had a ridiculously loud noise.  Looking at the PSU, it has a 40mm fan on the front.  Noting the motherboard had standard ATX connections, I hooked up my spare Antec EarthWatt 500w power supply.  Nearly silent.   Now onto the CPUs.  I attempted to take the Dynatron 1U heatsink's fan off, but was unable to, the screws are pretty much stuck.  The rear 2U fan however was easy to pull off, put a 70mm fan I took off a spare AMD AM3 Stock Heatsink.  Booting up to the bios and monitoring the temperatures, the 2U with the new fan was hovering around 38'C, while the 1U was hovering at 65'C.  Knowing that was under no load, I would need to do something.   Thus the ultra ghetto 120mm blowing air onto the 1U:     While not the prettiest sight, it is very quiet.  A little bit more than my 4U SAN sitting below it, but no where near the 50+ decibels it was before.