I'm planning to build a server. The prices of single socket LGA1366 and dual socket ones are about the same on Newegg. The ones with a second socket would be better for me because then I could put a new CPU in without replacing the first one when it becomes slower.
I was wondering if I can run the system with only one CPU in the socket (And have the other socket empty) without running into any problems.
I was also wondering if when I do put a second CPU in there if it needs to be the same CPU as in the other socket or not.
Please help me with these questions.
Answer by Victor · Oct 04, 2010 at 09:37 AM
If you're aiming for a dual socket board, get a Tyan. I don't think anything else comes even close.
That aside, a dual socket motherboard will operate just fine if you have only one CPU and it is in the CPU0 slot. However, since you're going Intel, you cannot use desktop series processors in dual socket configurations - and no, you cannot use the Xeon 3500 sequence processors either. You can only use Xeon 5500 sequence processors, which cost significantly more than their single socket counterparts. I don't know about AMD, but don't go thinking that you can install dual Core i7 930s. It's not going to work.
Please understand that while the price difference between single and dual socket motherboards may not be much, the price difference between a Core i7 930 or Xeon W3530 and a Xeon X5550 or X5660 is a LOT larger - the DP Xeons cost $1000+ a pop, even though we all know it's just badge engineering and some microcode.
The reason they do this is because they simply don't want people buying dual socket motherboards and popping in two i7s and paying less than they would just for a Core i7 980X or whatever, and because the companies and institutions that procure servers with multiprocessor configurations tend to have pretty deep pockets.
edit: And yes, if you use two processors in a dual socket configuration, they both have to be the same.