First off, I need to explain a few things:
I am quite the newbie to hardware, and everything I "know" has only come from trial, and error. I am not one of those techy guys, and most of what I say will be be entirely based on things that I have learned through my own experiences - Not from facts. I make my decisions based on things that I assume, and perceive. I apologise for any offense, or irritation I may cause within this post. I don't stick to the "norm", and I do not tend to reach out for help, unless I really truly feel that I need it. In this case, I feel the need to ask for help. So here I am.
Well, I've had a 'Dell Precision Workstation 490' for some time now, and I have used it for 'Online' games such as MineCraft, and RuneScape without any issues. However, I am not receiving as great as a performance as I assumed I would have. I know little to nothing about Xeon Processors, and their capabilities. I only really learn as I go, and since this is the first time that I have ever actually had a hands on experience with Xeon Processors, it's a new thing to me.
This particular Workstation came 'stock' with 16GB of some old FB-DDR2 166MHz Ram, two Intel Xeon DP 5050 processors, and a Nvidia Quadro NVS 290 attached to a Dell 0DT031 'Server' Motherboard. The only thing I changed was the graphics card. I placed an EVGA 1GB Nvidia GTX 550 Ti inside of it. I was worried that I might have an issue with Bottlenecking, but... it seemed fine. However, as I stated above; my performance in the games I play - MineCraft and RuneScape, seemed to suffer slightly. In RuneScape, my fps hovered around 10 - 20. I could never get past that 20fps mark. I always played in the lowest possible graphical settings. In MineCraft, my fps was closer to an average of 60 - 80fps.
And here is my first question - By placing that graphics card within my system, was I bottlenecking it?
I have heard a few people say that Xeon processors are not particularly good for gaming. The ones I have are comparable to a Prescott 2M (Extreme Edition) CPU. Old, yet decent performance for it's age. When I saw the system, I pretty much acted on impulse, and bought it. Two processors, with four virtual cores each meant a total of eight cores. Not to mention 16GB of ram. This combination made it seem highly appealing to me. I do not regret the decision at all; in fact, I am actively attempting to find out more about it, and upgrade it if possible.
Which leads me to my next question - I recently purchased two Intel Xeon E5472 'SLANR' processors, yet... my system refused to boot up. Why?
According to the Ark Intel archive, both the 5050's, and the E5472's use the LGA 771 socket. So I don't understand why these newer CPUs refuse to work on my machine. If I try to turn it on, the fan spins very loudly, but that's it. The screen remains black, and the system does not boot. Not even to the Bios menu. I sort of thought about this afterwards, and wondered if it might be due to the speed of the processor. For example, the E5472 has a 1600MHz FSB speed, whereas the 5050 only has a 667MHz FSB. That is a massive difference. Then again... I know little to nothing about this, so all I can do is assume.
More recently - Yesterday in fact, my system crashed with a Bsod error; "Attempt to reset the display driver and recover from timeout failed."
This continued to happen every time I attempted to boot up my system... so, I started with Safe Mode, and uninstalled my graphics driver. I then proceeded to reinstall it, and the same Bsod happened immediately upon startup. I then figured that I had fried my Nvidia GTX 550 Ti, (It was constantly running at 60c) and swapped it out for an older card I had laying around; an old OverClocked BFG Tech Nvidia GeForce 9600GT. I installed the proper driver for it, and it has continued to work flawlessly since. No Bsod crashes. It also seems to operate at a steady 60c temperature.
...Which again leads me to another question; my last one - I want to buy a new graphics card, should I, and if so, which one would work well with my current Processors?
I ask this, because I am curious as to the effect my system might have on the card. I believe a newer card would bottleneck, like I assumed my 550 Ti was doing. Keep in mind that I may be completely wrong, and I was actually at the top of the 550 Ti's capabilities. The 550 Ti is a bit outdated; especially for most modern games. From my experience, MineCraft has been considered by most of today's gamers as a 'Childish', or low resource-using game, but it still requires a fairly powerful system to run without any issues. OpenGL, Shaders, Anti-Aliasing, Minimaps, and Anisotropic Filtering are just a few of the Minimum requirements for it to function at a top level of quality. Therein is why I wonder if I had simply been utilising my graphics card's maximum capabilities, and it had no more to offer. So again, should I purchase a new graphics card, or no?
That concludes my questions. Thank you for taking the time to read my query.