LGA 2011-3 Upgrade Path?

josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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Hey all,

LGA 2011-3 was released 10 years ago but still remains highly viable in today's setups due to continued supply from off lease equipment. An E5-2678V3 that supports dual CPU architecture and cheap DDR3 memory modules goes for just $75 each. While the base clock speed seems unimpressive, the all-core turbo exploit for V3 CPUs coupled with DDR3 support brings that to a price/performance ratio that compares well with modern offerings.

Due to this, I have found it really difficult to justify upgrades to a different architecture. At what point do you guys decide it's time to move on from LGA 2011-3? At what point does the performance bump outweigh the ability to acquire RAM in bulk for cheap? As the saying goes, more RAM is usually better than higher clock speeds.

Even after deciding to upgrade, is AMD still the go to or has Intel sufficiently closed the gap with recent pricing adjustments?

With the current stock situation, the prices of Ryzen 5000 should stay elevated for the significant future. On the other hand, Intel 10th Gen chips have been undergoing consecutive price cuts to bring them below AMD in the cost/performance ratio. An 8-core i7-10700K last went for $20 less than a 6-core 5600X.

Appreciate all input.

Thanks!
 

zack$

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Aug 16, 2018
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DDR4 prices sunk last year and it was a good time to upgrade if you were still on DDR3. Prices have now gone back up. For me, the price of ram is a huge deciding factor.

From a cpu perspective, well, this just all depends on your needs. E5-V2's still provide a lot of horsepower for homelabs. However, if those lga-2011/lga 2011-3 chips done meet your current needs, then upgrading is a more simple choice.

From a TCO perspective, a lot of people are consolidating what was once 2-4 servers into one because the new CPUs are just that good. This, of course, saves on power costs which is a significant factor for some.

At the end of the day, if you haven't hit a performance roadblock, costs will likely be the main factor in your decision.
 

funkywizard

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For a desktop PC I'd much rather have something that turbos to 5ghz, even with just 6 or 8 cores.

For a server, it's hard to beat a dual E5-2680v4 (or similar). Performance per dollar is top notch. Used Dual Xeon E5v4's can be comparable to an Epyc Rome with 16 - 24 cores. However, if you want more performance in one server than that, the only decent options are to get an Epyc Rome server with between 32 and 128 cores.

Give it another year or two I suppose, you'll see the latest and greatest pretty far ahead in general, and possibly even ahead in performance per dollar. The next batch of server hardware to hit the secondary market in large quantities in the next two years will be Intel Scalable. Scalable is barely an upgrade from E5v4, so I think, provided supply constraints ease at all, new hardware will look pretty competitive to used in 2022 or 2023.
 
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josh

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DDR4 prices sunk last year and it was a good time to upgrade if you were still on DDR3. Prices have now gone back up. For me, the price of ram is a huge deciding factor.
That's probably when I bought the most of my DDR3 at 11-13 per 16gb stick

From a cpu perspective, well, this just all depends on your needs. E5-V2's still provide a lot of horsepower for homelabs. However, if those lga-2011/lga 2011-3 chips done meet your current needs, then upgrading is a more simple choice.

From a TCO perspective, a lot of people are consolidating what was once 2-4 servers into one because the new CPUs are just that good. This, of course, saves on power costs which is a significant factor for some.

At the end of the day, if you haven't hit a performance roadblock, costs will likely be the main factor in your decision.
Does a single 8-core new CPU really outperform 4x12-core E5-2678V3?

For a desktop PC I'd much rather have something that turbos to 5ghz, even with just 6 or 8 cores.

For a server, it's hard to beat a dual E5-2680v4 (or similar). Performance per dollar is top notch. Used Dual Xeon E5v4's can be comparable to an Epyc Rome with 16 - 24 cores. However, if you want more performance in one server than that, the only decent options are to get an Epyc Rome server with between 32 and 128 cores.

Give it another year or two I suppose, you'll see the latest and greatest pretty far ahead in general, and possibly even ahead in performance per dollar. The next batch of server hardware to hit the secondary market in large quantities in the next two years will be Intel Scalable. Scalable is barely an upgrade from E5v4, so I think, provided supply constraints ease at all, new hardware will look pretty competitive to used in 2022 or 2023.
The single core turbo is definitely an important consideration for desktops. Is the jump from V3 to V4 really that significant? V3 is still compatible with DDR3 while V4 would require DDR4, at which point one might as well jump to the new gens?

The lack of new Intel server hardware is definitely valid consideration. But by that time Epyc hardware should have filled the gap?

Another consideration for the new CPUs is that AM4 has been around for some time now while an LGA1200 board should give another 2 more cycles of upgrades?
 

zack$

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That's probably when I bought the most of my DDR3 at 11-13 per 16gb stick



Does a single 8-core new CPU really outperform 4x12-core E5-2678V3?



The single core turbo is definitely an important consideration for desktops. Is the jump from V3 to V4 really that significant? V3 is still compatible with DDR3 while V4 would require DDR4, at which point one might as well jump to the new gens?

The lack of new Intel server hardware is definitely valid consideration. But by that time Epyc hardware should have filled the gap?

Another consideration for the new CPUs is that AM4 has been around for some time now while an LGA1200 board should give another 2 more cycles of upgrades?
The AMD parts DO out perform 4xlga2011-3 parts (@Patrick has been emphasizing this for quite some time). Don't know about an 8 core as you mentioned though. However, with the trend of vendor locked AMD CPUs, the second-hand market is not all up for grabs. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the 2nd hand market in the future (you also cannot discount that someone may find a way of unlocking them as well).

Also, there are benefits of E5-V4 CPUs over V3. Power savings and better virtualization come to mind. However, seeing that your on DDR3, its not gonna be a cheap upgrade path. Again, the cost for DDR4 right now is not the best (and expected to rise further).

I also agree with @funkywizard, the Intel Scalable CPUs are not worth it right now. Too expensive and the lower parts don't have even performance increases to justify the spend.

If you had DDR4 and needed something with decent single thread/multi-core performance, pcie lanes and a genuine server part, lga2066 (w-21xx) seems like the place to go right now in terms of an upgrade path from V3/V4. W-22xx are still too expensive, IMO, but hold potential for another upgrade path in the future from W-21xx (the W-2295 is an absolute beast!). If you had a lga2011-3 CPU, your only gonna need a new motherboard to upgrade to lga2066 [DDR4 Ram (maybe clocked down) and heatsink are interchangeable].
 

funkywizard

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That's probably when I bought the most of my DDR3 at 11-13 per 16gb stick



Does a single 8-core new CPU really outperform 4x12-core E5-2678V3?



The single core turbo is definitely an important consideration for desktops. Is the jump from V3 to V4 really that significant? V3 is still compatible with DDR3 while V4 would require DDR4, at which point one might as well jump to the new gens?

The lack of new Intel server hardware is definitely valid consideration. But by that time Epyc hardware should have filled the gap?

Another consideration for the new CPUs is that AM4 has been around for some time now while an LGA1200 board should give another 2 more cycles of upgrades?
If you got ddr3 16gb for $10 ea, sell them for $30 ea and buy ddr4 16gb for $45 -- the price difference is not much, once you ignore "falling off the back of a truck" pricing you got that one time.

E5v4 is not miles ahead of E5v3, but they're pretty cheap, perform a little better per core, have more cores, etc.

Epyc v1 won't show up in the aftermarket super cheap in big numbers like Intel products do -- there just weren't enough of them made. Epyc Rome should be a little better, but even those have been supply constrained and didn't pick up massive market share, so I wouldn't bank on those being dumped for next to nothing in huge quantities like you've seen with Xeons.

Over the last few years, you've seen truckloads of cheap used dual Xeons -- L5520 / L5639 / E5-2660v1 / E5-2680v2 / E5-2680v3 / E5-2680v4. Price wise these used systems have compared favorably to brand new single socket E3 servers, while offering several times the raw cpu performance, ram, etc. The slow pace of innovation at Intel in the last 8 years or so has been a huge factor in keeping used servers relevant well past the normal corporate refresh cycles.

The jump from L5520/L5639 to E5v1 / v2 series was a huge performance boost. E5v1/v2 upgrading to v3 / v4 was not as big in terms of performance per clock, but you saw huge core count increases at about the same TDP so that was also a nice big improvement.

Just based on market shares, you'll probably see cheap Intel Scalable out there in a year or two, but that's not as exciting to me. I guess you'll see more systems with out of the box support for a large number of nvme drives, so that will be nice.

If AMD can boost performance per core by another 20% in their next gen Epyc, while bringing price per core down by also, say, 20%, that will be rather compelling compared to used scalable, even at giveaway prices used hardware tends to go for.
 

funkywizard

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lga 2011-3 is from 2014, lga 2011-0 is from q1 2012

Two enterprise cpu generations or if some killer feature is introduced (think of new pcie versions or nvdimm support)
Yeah, I really have enjoyed buying 2011-3 systems / motherboards when E5v3 is getting liquidated, and then being able to put E5v4 cpus in there a year or so afterwards. We stockpiled a couple hundred quanta 1u 2011-3 barebones servers for $150 ea, and then only bought ram and cpus as needs dictated. Allowed us to standardize on one platform and lock in a good supply of the hardware without tying up too much money, and then take advantage of falling prices on cpus and ram because we didnt buy those up front.

Similar advantage for E5v1 / E5v2 except many early 2011 boards can't support v2 cpus so that was more of a crapshoot.
 

funkywizard

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Took a second look at Intel Scalable just to be sure. Assuming the 28-core top SKU will always be too expensive (as tends to be the case for a flagship sku), you have a couple of 22 and 24 core CPUs that, if they come down in price, would be a compelling upgrade from E5-v4 systems with 14 - 18 cores currently. I posted a new thread about this so we can keep an eye on it.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Does a single 8-core new CPU really outperform 4x12-core E5-2678V3?
Depends entirely on your workload, but there's definitely workloads where it can and does. If any part of your workload is bottlenecked by a single thread for example, all the additional cores in the world won't help you. If you've got a highly threaded load then the extra cores will go a much longer way.

Running the same two-threaded ffmpeg workload on both my aged E5-1650v3 vs. the 3700X put the AMD chip at ~170% of the Intel one - that's a big jump in performance without even taking the difference in cores in to account. The performance difference from the 5000 series chip I've got pending install will likely be twice as fast as the Intel one.
 

TLN

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Does a single 8-core new CPU really outperform 4x12-core E5-2678V3?
For desktop use? I believe so.
I got Dual 2683v3 (28 cores/56 threads total) in my desktop and I'd rather go with latest ryzen instead.
Happily using 2698v3 in my small home server though.
 

josh

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Depends entirely on your workload, but there's definitely workloads where it can and does. If any part of your workload is bottlenecked by a single thread for example, all the additional cores in the world won't help you. If you've got a highly threaded load then the extra cores will go a much longer way.

Running the same two-threaded ffmpeg workload on both my aged E5-1650v3 vs. the 3700X put the AMD chip at ~170% of the Intel one - that's a big jump in performance without even taking the difference in cores in to account. The performance difference from the 5000 series chip I've got pending install will likely be twice as fast as the Intel one.
For desktop use? I believe so.
I got Dual 2683v3 (28 cores/56 threads total) in my desktop and I'd rather go with latest ryzen instead.
Happily using 2698v3 in my small home server though.
For VMs? Can a single Ryzen can handle 24x 2-4 core VMs?
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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For VMs? Can a single Ryzen can handle 24x 2-4 core VMs?
(Assuming you're directing this to me as well)

As always, "it depends". Depends on the CPU you're using (big difference between a 4 core and a 16 core) and the nature of the workload on the VMs themselves as to what vCPU:pCPU ratio they'll tolerate before performance starts to tank. (There are many other considerations as well but those are the big two)

For the sake of argument, if you've got 24 2-core VMs whose workload is always at 100% on both, then no ryzen has enough cores to service that amount of threads. If you've got a few 4-core VMs that spend most of their time at ~50% CPU load and the rest spend their time doing practically nothing then you can get away with a much higher ratio.

FWIW we've got some 64 core Epycs at work happily burbling away at a 6:1 vCPU:pCPU ratio because the load is lots of little bursty threads so nothing's ever locking the entire scheduler the whole time.
 
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msg7086

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RAW performance wise 5900x seems to outperform dual 2683v3 by a lot, so I would say it should be able to handle the workload.

Also, 2-4 core on a slow core is different than that on a fast core. A VM that needs 4 slow Xeon cores may only need 1 or 2 fast desktop cores. So a total of 60-70 vcores on a dual Xeon platform can be reduced to 30-40 vcores on a Ryzen.
 

josh

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Oct 21, 2013
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RAW performance wise 5900x seems to outperform dual 2683v3 by a lot, so I would say it should be able to handle the workload.

Also, 2-4 core on a slow core is different than that on a fast core. A VM that needs 4 slow Xeon cores may only need 1 or 2 fast desktop cores. So a total of 60-70 vcores on a dual Xeon platform can be reduced to 30-40 vcores on a Ryzen.
Do you by any chance have any experience with Intel 10th Gen? The 8-core i7-10700F was recently going at 220USD and the i7-10700K with unlocked multiplier went for 280USD.
 

msg7086

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Unfortunately no. And since I already have an AMD mobo, upgrading to AMD would be cheaper. I'm not into buying a new mobo every one or two gen.
 

chieften

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Sep 20, 2018
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seriously look into xeon w-2295.18 core/36 thread intel cpus from late 2019 for $1400 usd. If you have the nice lga 2011 coolers too they should work just fine on the lga2066 cpus.
 

josh

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seriously look into xeon w-2295.18 core/36 thread intel cpus from late 2019 for $1400 usd. If you have the nice lga 2011 coolers too they should work just fine on the lga2066 cpus.
$1400 vs the $200-300 per 10th gen i7 seems pretty steep. Too bad they don't do dual CPU on the i7s.
 
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chieften

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$1400 vs the $200-300 per 10th gen i7 seems pretty steep. Too bad they don't do dual CPU on the i7s.
Maybe I am missing your big point. i7 chips are among the worst in the intel lineup and nobody else that I know would ever mistake the use case for a xeon e5 v4/3 with an i7 10th generation.

Also neither the i7 nor the W-2200 series does dual CPU, and so I am not sure the point you are making here either. If your budget is limited to $200-300 dollars then you are going to get the performance and technical limitations associated with a $200-300 dollar chip. From that reference point it seems you have already answered your own question.
 

zer0sum

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I'm in the same boat, and my love affair with my dirt cheap E5-2678V3's looks like it's not coming to an end quite yet :D

Maybe some v4's will finally drop enough to entice me this year :)