New CPUs! (And more?)

Written by John Miller

The CPUs and heatsink actually arrived on Friday, two days ago, and I'm just now getting around to writing the post. I don't have a whole lot to say about the upgrade process, it was pretty typical. I only really ran into two snafus: 1) I slightly dropped one of them while placing it in the socket, and the corner fell right on the pins. Normally I wouldn't really be worried but these E5s are rather big and heavy, and two-three pins were definitely bent. Thankfully, with a needle and magnifying glass I was able to easily realign them and the CPU has registered just fine. Also thankfully it was the second CPU socket, so in the event that I trashed the pins, at least the first socket could still work (AFAIK it's not possible to put a CPU just in the second socket of these boards, and I'm not too keen to find out anyways). The 2)nd snafu was that I didn't realize that hyperthreading was disabled - presumably because the precious CPU was just 4c/4t - so all of my initial benchmarks are useless.

Anyway, pictures!

First was the way the heatsink seller packed the heatsink. It's in this very nice little enclosure of cardboard and styrofoam. I have actually received heatsinks in the mail that were crushed slightly and had bent fins, so seeing this is nice.

And here's all the bits laid out on top of the chassis pre-upgrade: test!

Aww yiss...

Now for the "And more?" ....

Well, apparently, my ESXi license only allows me to allocate 8 vCPUs per VM, which just wasn't going to cut it with 24 available. I should have known better than to configure this machine right away as a production environment, because OF COURSE I would want to play with it in different configurations with different OSes. So, what I did was re-configure my Enterprise GIS server (SFF ThinkCentre M91p) with Ubuntu 16.04 so it now runs caddy, observium, UNMS, (other misc. docker bits), plex, my SSH bouncer, and others I am probably forgetting. This frees up the C220 M3 to be more of a playground.

The first thing I did was pull the two 128GB SSDs and the 750GB laptop drive, leaving just the 600GB SAS and the two 480GB SSDs. I also pulled the Adaptec 2405 and switched back to using the onboard RAID controller, which can apparently be configured as either intel or LSI softRAID. Server 2012r2 didn't see the intel RAID arrays, but the LSI ones worked fine, so that's what I'm using now. I have setup the Hyper-V role but have not tested it out much yet, so that's next. I have done some remedial benchmarking and overall it comes out a bit ahead of the ML350 G6 - not significantly, but this is to be expected. The X5660s in the G6 have a 400MHz higher ceiling, but the ML350 G6 also pulls about twice as much power (both under load and at idle) than the C220M3 does.

More testing and fiddling with Hyper-V is forthcoming.