Can a pc have better performance from a server machine?


Nov 8, 2009
I am an engineer.I need new pc for my engineering application.My friend has server machine that intel xeon w3520 and nvidia quadro fx580.Unfortunately price 2000$.I want to get pc that is gonna has core i7 and GTX 275.Can this pc have better performance from server machine?
I can't speak for the graphics cards, but the Xeon W3520 is essentially identical to a Core i7 920 except that it suports ECC memory. From the standpoint of the CPU, if you have an i7 920 or better then it will perform as well or better than the server machine. The advantage of the Xeon is that it will detect and correct memory errors on the fly if the system actually uses ECC memory.

W Craven

May 8, 2009
If you can find one of the old g80 chips 8800GTS 320Mb/8800GTX .. there are soft mods out there to turn them into a Quadro on the software side.. they will not run like a full on Quadro but will run many of the apps and you can buy the cards for $40-100 buxs.
+1 for sminlal and W Craven. (The old 8800GTXs can be had for ~$75-80 or lower now).

Assuming you are OCing, the i7 920 can hit ~4Ghz with a good air cooler, this would make it quite a lot better than the stock Xeon. HOWEVER, realize that you will give up ECC if you do decide to get a i7 920.


Mar 5, 2010

What MOBO and ECC memory combination did your frien use in his Intel Xeon W3520 ? I am consider the same setup for my devel work -Matt


Sep 10, 2009
I think it depends a lot on what kind of engineering aps you are going to use. But if it is mission critical or something where acccuracy is needed then normal memory wont cut it. you are probable goning to be better with ecc memory. processor wise i think bot the xeon 35 series and i7 9 series are probable identical. Probably the xeon would have gone more rigerous testing to withstand working conditions. I am not sure.
As far as graphics part is concerenec i can say from experiance. If you do 3d work or cad work DO NOT GO FOR GAMING CARDS.
the problem is that the rendering of final image is done by the cpu only. But the viewport is drawn with graphics card. The gaming cards give decent shded views with a good poly count but turn on wireframe or wireframe cum shaded and they take a massive hit. This makes it impossible to work on systems with complex scenes of lots of polys. Some ppl say that soft mod them . the difference is only driver but it is NOT. i softmoded my nvidis card. The equivalent become at least on paper a fx 1700. But the perfor,ace was no where close to an actual quadro fx 1700. The 3dmark score of a spec bechmark might show a close scores. ( i have not tested what the scores would be) but the actual polycount that can be shown on the viewport for manipulation etc in woreframe mode will not come even close to what an actuall quadro would be able to show.

If you are doning the engineering work not as a hobby but as a profession then i think getting a server with a profession card ( quadro or firepro) will be better.