Is your SQL Server running slower than you’d like? Is it your SQL Server configuration or your slightly old hardware? We need to use tools to gather information.
My subjective impression is that my 2.2 GHz laptop outperforms my 3.0 GHz overclocked desktop in CPU bound tasks. Both are quad core machines. The desktop has a first generation quad and the laptop has a second generation quad core processor. To introduce objectivity, PassMark’s Performance Test was used to benchmark the two machines.
If you look under CPU Mark, you can see that the laptop’s second generation 2.2 GHz processor significantly outperforms the desktop’s first generation 3.0 GHz processor. The point here is that stated processor speeds aren’t everything. Comparing clock speeds from one generation of processor to another or from AMD to Intel is like comparing apples to oranges. We can drill down into the processor details and see where the differences are.
If you look under Disk Mark in the first screen capture, you can see that the laptop’s SSD is rated as being faster than the desktop’s 7200 rpm hard drive. Drilling down into the details indicates that the SSD’s advantages aren’t as pronounced for sequential reads.
It’s wise to periodically benchmark hardware. At a client site a few years ago, I used Performance Test to trace a performance problem back to the hardware. Before doing extensive performance tuning of a SQL Server, make sure that the hardware isn’t the culprit. You can’t tune away hardware problems.