Xeon vs i7 and ECC vs SDRAM

From: Gianluca Interlandi (gianluca_at_u.washington.edu)
Date: Tue Jun 24 2014 - 20:02:49 CDT

Dear NAMD users,

I need to purchase a new workstation for trajectory analysis, i.e., using
VMD and NAMD. I am leaning towards Lenovo but I am undecided between a
Thinkcentre and a Thinkstation. The former comes with i7-4770 and non-ECC
memory, the latter with e.g., Xeon E5-1620 v2 and ECC memory.

The first question is: does Xeon (in particular the larger cache) bring
any advantage for running VMD or NAMD? Is it generally true that Xeon run
cooler and thus more stable than i7?

The second question is: is it worth to pay for ECC memory when I plan to
have a maximum of 16 GB? I know that there is a lot of debate about this.
Since I plan to run the server 24/7 my main concern is stability.

The last question is: does it make sense to have a Xeon CPU with non-ECC
memory or would it be a waste? I have read that for example SDRAM is the
safest non-ECC memory and it would be a lot cheaper.

I would appreciate any opinions on this.

Thanks in advance!


Gianluca Interlandi, PhD gianluca_at_u.washington.edu
                     +1 (206) 685 4435

Research Scientist at the Department of Bioengineering
at the University of Washington, Seattle WA U.S.A.

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