DataCenter Scalability and Budget
Upgrading components for your Dell or HP server racks can be challenging at times. The upgrade needs to be adequate to business needs, allow for growth, and fit in the budget. And often the most difficult technical issue is often compatibility. The kind of processors the motherboards can use is governed by the socket and chipset. The socket is the physical format that is keyed for certain processor types. The chipset is a BGA chip that interfaces between the CPU and the mother board.
AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon Sockets, Chipsets, and Compatibilities
AMD and Intel are essentially the only brands of microprocessors used in standard servers. Dell and HP use the same nomenclature to designate which systems use which brand of processors. Models with AMD sockets will end in 5, HP ProLiant DL385p G8, Dell PowerEdge R715, etc. Models with Intel sockets will end in zero, HP ProLiant DL380 G7, Dell PowerEdge R510, etc.
Each brand has its own socket varieties. AMD Opteron sockets are a little simpler, G34 can accept any generation of G34 AMDs (as of January 2015) including 6100 series, 6200 series, and 6300 series. The G34 processors are characterized by a rectangular shape. The bottom has pinless connectors and a few passives soldered in the middle. If you match the socket on AMD, you’re usually good to go.
Intel compatibilities are a little more complex because the same socket can have different chipsets. And some sockets and processors sound very similar. The most recent pinouts, 2011 and 2011-v3, are completely different in terms of compatibility despite being very similar in name. The 2011 pinout supports the first and second generations of E5 Xeon processors, ex. E5-2680 and E5-2680V2 utilizing DDR3 memory. The 2011-v3 socket currently only supports the third generations of Xeon processors, ex. E5-2680V3 which use DDR4 memory.
In multi-CPU setups, it is important to note the first digit in the model number. If the first digit is a “1” ex. E5-1650, it indicates the processor is designed for single processor systems and cannot be used in parallel. The E5-2XXX series processors can be used in dual-processor setups.
What to do When your Enterprise Vendor Will not Accept a Return
When purchasing upgrades, it is important to note the return policy. Often times it can be replacement only, also, breaking the seal may affect if they can be returned or not. It may be best to order a sample to ensure it is an effective solution, or fully test the first part in a batch before breaking the seals on all of the modules.
If you bought modules that are not compatible and the vendor will not provide a refund, you may need to resell them. Just keep in mind the modules were likely purchased at the top of the market, new from distribution. You could retail them on the internet one by one for maybe a 20% price reduction minus the 10 ~ 15% in fees. But then you may have to list the items, provide customer support, returns, etc.
The other option would be selling to a reseller like Exit Technologies. We know what it is and how to sell it, so you don’t have to worry about selling them one by one over the next few months. Just provide a qty and part number and we will return a quote. After that, just ship with the labels provided and get a check.