Server Acquisition Considerations

Hello, guys.
I’ve been running Cubase on home-made computers since about '03, and thanks to this (and Nuendo’s) hardware forums, those computer have served me quite well - and yes, I’m still using them both, with no problems! But I’ve recently built a new studio and looking at expanding my workforce. I do not have a good grasp on server technology, but am wondering if it might be the smartest next step for me.

My first question is, does Cubase (or Nuendo, for that matter) support spawning several instances of the one application onto several local computers (each with a dongle, of course)? I’m presuming the whole point of having a dongle is to “free” the license holders to take their software anywhere, which would infer the answer is “No.” But it never hurts to ask.

Is this a subject that Steinberg has contemplated?

I will try to be a little more specific. Surely someone out here has tried to set up Nuendo or Cubase on a server!? Here is a link to one possibility:

There are several such servers on ebay for a decent price…

With the new technology, I’m a little doubtful such a machine would be comparable to the Intel i7, Sandy Bridge computer, but would these servers make a decent DAW for the $$$?


both are junk and are vastly outperformed by todays single processors.

just for giggles
what a real dual Xeon would look like

absurdly over priced for the average guy and most pro level studios
again a single 4-6 core sandy or Sandy E system is more than plenty

Thanks, Scott, for the info.
I agree the new server link you provided shows some expensive items that are overkill. I am, however, a bit curious about your opinion of what makes the older ones junky. I realize oscillator speed means little when the word length is shallow, but I don’t know enough about the difference between the older and newer technology for it to make sense to me.

Does it have to do with the front side bus? Where does the real bottleneck occur on the older servers (suggested) compared to the i7?


I think I’ve just answered my own questions …

I’m really surprised no one else knows anything about these servers. No comments at all?!

After thinking it over, yes I can roll with everyone else and swim downstream, but this seems worthy of the investigation… I kinda like the price / power potential of buying a used server for this application. And before I accept anything as “junk”, I have to digest some intelligent answers to my questions, first. As yet, I have received none (no offense meant to you, Scott).

Here’s my assessment thus far:

Sandy Bridge i7 vs. HP DL580 G4

DDR3 vs. DDR2: DDR3 can be clocked up to 1333MHz, 30% faster than DDR2,
plus the 8-bit prefetch for DDR3, over DDR2’s 4-bit. Realistically
twice as fast in this category.

32 GB Max vs. 64 GB Max: With the present mobos, slower still offers more
Quad 64bit Dual vs. Quad 64bit Dual: Same # of processors, & I presume same HT channels
Core i7 vs. Xeon 7140M:
3.4GHz vs. 3.4 GHz: Same base clock speed
RAID vs. Hot Plg RAID: Hot plug not necessary, but would be nice to have.
??? vs. 667 MHz FSB: I admit I don’t know how to compare this aspect.
USB2/3 vs. USB2: USB 3 would be great, but not absolutely necessary.
SATA2/3 vs. SATA2: SATA 2 only would probably be in-line with the slower RAM, anyway
$2000 vs. $600: This is where the comparison really makes a difference

Of course, your subjective opinions are worthy of being heard. But I’m really looking for some objective arguments to help me really understand what I’m looking at. Any takers?

Of the readers of this thread, I surmise many aren’t comfortable speaking about servers. And I presume the rest of you just didn’t want to touch this! :confused:

I did, however, find some decent input from Tom’s Hardware forum, for anyone who might be interested in the facts of this subject.

In summary, my ultimate question is this: “Is it better to buy into a used, older, high-end computer, or go with a new, mid-range computer, despite the price hike?” The answer is, newer is still definitely better. The following proves this point very well. (The red box circles the older Xeon server.)…

Dual CPU Intel Xeon 3.40GHz-1151

If the benchmark test were showing a quad core, it would likely rate around 2300 or so. So if the performance of the Sandy Bridge i7 is 4 x better, then the price of the older model should be at MOST 1/4 the price to justify its purchase. But this isn’t the case. Furthermore, add in the headaches trying to find obsolete parts, once something breaks. The price would have to be more like $300 or less, if one would even consider it. After looking at the difference in performance, I must admit there’s no point in buying into it; there’s really no value.

I’ve always known (and even spoken) that technology becomes obsolete almost overnight. Today, I’ve TRULY absorbed the depth of that unnerving knowledge.

You’re probably right, very few people run their DAW on a server.

Thanks for at least offering a reply!

In summary, my ultimate question is this: “Is it better to buy into a used, older, high-end computer, or go with a new, mid-range computer, despite the price hike?” The answer is, newer is still definitely better. The following proves this point very well.

umm i had already said this and why i didnt bother answering it twice.
a single 4-6 core new system kills any older dual Xeon
even last gen dual Xeons had a hard time keeping up
it takes a dual 12 core 2.8GHz 56xx series to even touch a single 980,990,2600, 3930


Just some info: We had some very good results with server mainboards from “Supermicro”



one of the worst warranties in the Biz… i wont ever touch another
1yr warranty and it starts the day it ships from the factory to the disty…
it could be on the disty shelf for several months before you ever get it…
also why you see very few stock them…

lastly Dual Xeon is pointless

Thanks, Scott. Yeah, I pretty much knew that was your opinion. But I was looking for the data to back it up.

And by the way, Chris… thanks for the info. I probably won’t use it, but someone might. I will probably set up a server, but not necessarily for the DAW. The server would be for client data, internet connections, etc.