Which CPU socket for new build? 1366 vs. 1356 vs. 2011

HighNoon

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Apr 27, 2017
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Hi all,

After years of planning I'm finally getting around to building my first server. The primary purposes of this server will be the following:

1. PLEX server - hoping to handle 5 transcodes at once but realistically 2-3 would be acceptable
2. NZBGet/Sonarr/Radarr
3. Windows 10 VM for BlueIris security camera software. 2 cameras to start, will add more in the future but probably no more than 8 total
4. General data storage/backup
5. Unifi controller (maybe)
6. Likely other VMs I will use to learn new OSs and tinker but not anything resource intensive

So far I have a Fractal Design Define R5, a Seasonic Platinum 860 PSU, 8x 8TB WD Reds and an old Samsung 840 PRO 256GB for cache but I still need CPU / Mobo / RAM / HBA(?). I'm pretty set on a dual Xeon setup because I've never done a dual-CPU build before and I think it would be cool but as far as which CPUs I have no idea. For OS I will probably use unRAID.

I've been shopping for CPU/Mobo for a while now looking for a good deal but I'm not totally sure what I need. Power usage within reason is not a huge concern for me as my power bill is usually pretty cheap. However since the server will be in my office I do want it to be as silent as possible so if lower power is necessary for lower heat and therefore noise I would possibly compromise. As far as sockets... 1366 certainly seems to be the best bang for the buck but I don't know if I'm missing any features by not having a newer chipset that a socket 1356 or 2011 board would have. Cheapest dual socket ATX 1356 or 2011 boards I can find are $300+ which seems crazy. I'd like to spend more like $150 on mobo max. CPUs I'd like to keep to $100 each. RAM I'm thinking 8GB sticks so 48GB for 1366/1356 or 64GB for 2011 but I haven't checked RAM prices yet. I just want the best value. I'm also 100% fine with used parts.

I greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!

xposted on the unRAID forums:
Which CPU socket for new build? 1366 vs. 1356 vs. 2011
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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2011 no question.

Hard to recommend 1366 these days. Significantly higher power consumption. Get a 2011 and a V2 CPU e.g. Intel Xeon E5-2660 v2 2.2GHz 25MB 8GT/s SR1AB | eBay and per CPU you will have about the same performance as two 6 core 5600 series CPUs. 1356 is a niche socket.

The V2 also gives you the process shrink and lower power consumption, plus PCIe 3.0 compatibility. 2 for $400 is very good.
 

ttabbal

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Mar 10, 2016
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I can't really disagree with Patrick's reasons, but price sounds like it's a factor. It was for me as well. I was able to get a good deal on mobo/CPU/RAM for 1366 and went with it. I recently upgraded the CPUs from E5506 to X5675 for Plex transcodes. Testing with my content and clients, I think it could handle 4 at a time, with the other jobs it's doing. For me, power use wasn't a big deal and even with pretty high power prices, it would take quite a while to make up the difference. And performance is adequate for my needs. Most of my Plex use is direct streamed anyway.

The initial setup was about $150. That's less than half the cost of the mobo for a 2011. And I got, admittedly cheap CPUs, and 98GB of DDR3 to put in it. The CPU upgrade was about $120 on ebay, you have to watch for a while though. There are some insane people that think they are worth a ton.

If you decide to go 2011, check out Natex. They have some reasonably priced bundles for dual 2011.
 
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Jeggs101

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50-100w 24 by 7 isn't anything to sneeze at for power.

Get SM if used. You want IPMI.

To me there's another benefit of going 2 gens newer. If you go 1366 you'll get the upgrade itch sooner. More time spent swapping stuff out. It's not worth it.

And I still have lots of 1366 but it's hard to buy new ones these days.
 

HighNoon

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Apr 27, 2017
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Thanks everyone for the replies and advice! Here are my responses:

2011 no question.

Hard to recommend 1366 these days. Significantly higher power consumption. Get a 2011 and a V2 CPU e.g. Intel Xeon E5-2660 v2 2.2GHz 25MB 8GT/s SR1AB | eBay and per CPU you will have about the same performance as two 6 core 5600 series CPUs. 1356 is a niche socket.

The V2 also gives you the process shrink and lower power consumption, plus PCIe 3.0 compatibility. 2 for $400 is very good.
That e5-2660 v2 certainly is powerful but do I really gain that much over a v1? For my use case I don't think I care about PCIe 3.0 or above since I don't plan on having a GPU. Maybe one day if PLEX allows offload of transcode to GPU.

I can't really disagree with Patrick's reasons, but price sounds like it's a factor. It was for me as well. I was able to get a good deal on mobo/CPU/RAM for 1366 and went with it. I recently upgraded the CPUs from E5506 to X5675 for Plex transcodes. Testing with my content and clients, I think it could handle 4 at a time, with the other jobs it's doing. For me, power use wasn't a big deal and even with pretty high power prices, it would take quite a while to make up the difference. And performance is adequate for my needs. Most of my Plex use is direct streamed anyway.

The initial setup was about $150. That's less than half the cost of the mobo for a 2011. And I got, admittedly cheap CPUs, and 98GB of DDR3 to put in it. The CPU upgrade was about $120 on ebay, you have to watch for a while though. There are some insane people that think they are worth a ton.

If you decide to go 2011, check out Natex. They have some reasonably priced bundles for dual 2011.
I'm with you... most of my PLEX use is direct play but I want the headroom for transcodes just in case. Power usage itself doesn't really matter to me, just the heat and therefore noise that may come along with it. I don't want this server to be any louder than a standard gaming pc if at all possible. I'll buy quality cooling components in order to make that happen.

Was your CPU upgrade worth it?

As far as Natex, I have looked at them but the bundles all use the same board which is EEB so it won't fit in my case. I'd really, really like to stick with the Define R5 instead of having to get something new.

50-100w 24 by 7 isn't anything to sneeze at for power.

Get SM if used. You want IPMI.

To me there's another benefit of going 2 gens newer. If you go 1366 you'll get the upgrade itch sooner. More time spent swapping stuff out. It's not worth it.

And I still have lots of 1366 but it's hard to buy new ones these days.
Thanks. I agree w/ having IPMI based on everything I've read so far. Good point on the upgrade itch... I'm certainly not immune to that but I like to think as long as the server can handle my current needs that I wouldn't get the upgrade itch *that* badly for at least the next few years.

You might pick this up, reasonable price for a loaded 2011 setup.

[US] FS: Intel P4000M pedestal server, 2xE5-2670, 128GB ram, 8x3.5" + 8x2.5" hot-swap
Seems like a pretty good deal but since I already have case and PSU I think I'll pass. Pretty sure the Define R5 can fit more drives anyway and I've already bought extra drive cages for it to increase capacity to 15 drives.
 

Patrick

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That e5-2660 v2 certainly is powerful but do I really gain that much over a v1? For my use case I don't think I care about PCIe 3.0 or above since I don't plan on having a GPU. Maybe one day if PLEX allows offload of transcode to GPU.
PCIe 3.0 is also important if you want to put NVMe in the system, SAS/ SATA SSDs on an appropriate HBA, and use 40GbE networking (you can get a single point-to-point connection for about $160 these days.)

E5-2670 V1 to E5-2660 V2 Intel® Product Specification Comparison

Single thread the V1 will be slightly faster (5-7%) but you get 25% more cores with the V2 (10 v. 8).

22nm also meant that you have lower idle power consumption. TDP reflects this. Even with more cores the E5-2660 V2 is a 95W TDP part versus 115W for the E5-2670 V1. If you have two of them in a system, you will notice the difference. The V2 is also known to have extremely aggressive power management. If you are looking at 6 core 1366 dual socket, there is a good chance you will see similar performance with a single E5-2660 V2.
 
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ttabbal

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Mar 10, 2016
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I'm with you... most of my PLEX use is direct play but I want the headroom for transcodes just in case. Power usage itself doesn't really matter to me, just the heat and therefore noise that may come along with it. I don't want this server to be any louder than a standard gaming pc if at all possible. I'll buy quality cooling components in order to make that happen.

Was your CPU upgrade worth it?

As far as Natex, I have looked at them but the bundles all use the same board which is EEB so it won't fit in my case. I'd really, really like to stick with the Define R5 instead of having to get something new.

I think it was. I found some other tasks to bog down a little when I was intentionally running a few transcodes to test. The same test, 4 clients transcoding different videos, has headroom now. It does pull more power than before, which means more heat. My server lives in a utility room that has louder stuff in it, so it doesn't matter. It doesn't seem any louder than before, and the noise is almost all from the PSUs and the fan wall (Supermicro SC847). I could quiet it down if I cared to, but it's fine. The CPU fans are good size, 120mm I think, and don't spin very fast. I'm using some Supermicro tower coolers, heatpipes to a big heatsink with a big fan. Pretty cheap on ebay, I think it was about $40 for the pair. And you can go water cooling for really quiet setups, though with a bunch of spinners you probably need some airflow for those. I'm not aware of any cases that water cool HDDs.

Yeah, most consumer cases can't fit an EEB. I went to a server chassis for that and to get 24 drive bays. Many dual CPU boards seem to be EEB, which opens up options, particularly for used gear. The bigger bonus to that, I think, is the large number of RAM slots that gives you. So you can use cheaper, lower capacity DIMMs. Which also needs space on the motherboard. If you lose that, and performance of a single 2011 chip is comparable, which I don't have reason to doubt, that might be a better option for your build. Things to consider. Everything is a tradeoff.
 

K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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When I install esxi on LGA1366 E5520 I get a message that the CPU may not be supported in future versions. That's one more factor to consider.