The Best Dedicated Server for Magento

This posting is more for question answers than anything else.

Background:

I do a lot of Magento upgrades, the bottom line, your upgrading server matters. What I would like to do is collaborate (knowledge) on the best machine (and the cheapest) and the best configuration on a single dedicated server.

My best case example is a 4gb Magento 1.3 database run on a HPDL160 G6 Dual Quad Core 1.6ghz processors, 16gb RAM, and SATA 7200rpm drives.

I installed and configured CentOS 5.5 with MySQL 5.1. I tuned MySQL (I will post a script later)

I will use my desktop machine (at the time) as my benchmark.
Intel i7 Quad core
16gb Memory
7200 RPM SATA Drive
CentOS 5.5, MySQL 5.1
(Purchased all from Microcenter)

In addition, I also tested a Dual Intel i7 Quad Core with 16GB memory and a 7200RPM SATA drive running Ubuntu 10.04

My best completion time on my Desktop Machine was 12 hours
My best completion time for the Ubuntu Desktop was 10 hours
My best completion time for the HP G6 was just under 5 hours.

My latest endevor involves a HP DL385 AMD Quad -Dual Core server (4-dual core CPUs) with 32GB memory and RAID 5 SCSI Ultra 320.

A 2gb Magento database is taking more than 12 hours to upgrade.

I am not a hardware GURU, so I am looking for some explanations on why the G6 ran so much faster? In addition, I would be happy to post anyone configuration that allows for the fastest Magento upgrades. Ideally I would like to first find the optimum server configuration, then find the optimum server.

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