AW: Xeon vs i7 and ECC vs SDRAM

From: Norman Geist (
Date: Wed Jun 25 2014 - 00:31:47 CDT

BTW. all modern RAM is SD, ECC enabled or not, that’s the history:

SRAM = Static RAM : +very fast -very expensive (used eg. in Caches)
DRAM = Dynamic RAM : -slower than SRAM (CPU must wait for refreshes) +much
SDRAM = Synchronous DRAM +faster than DRAM (CPU don't need to wait for
refreshes, as synchronized) +still cheaper
DDR-SDRAM = Double Data Rate SDRAM ...

Regarding your question, Xeon is a workstation/server CPU while i7 is a
consumer CPU. Therefore Xeon is more expensive but also more reliable. The
ECC feature does improve that even more. A Xeon won't wonder about 24/7 use,
I wouldn't put my shirt on the i7 in this regards. In case of performance, I
think there's no major difference.

BUT, if you want to run NAMD and VMD on this machine, why not taking more
care about getting a strong Nvidia GPU?

Norman Geist.

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: [] Im
> Auftrag von Gianluca Interlandi
> Gesendet: Mittwoch, 25. Juni 2014 03:03
> An: NAMD list
> Betreff: namd-l: Xeon vs i7 and ECC vs SDRAM
> 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-
> 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-
> 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
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Gianluca Interlandi, PhD
> +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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