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Top-notch server processors are essential for any growing business or company. A regular flow of data, money, profit, and other regular activity between a company and clients demands server optimization. Hence, the server enables the work efficiency and storage of data daily. The use of a server assists the company, employees, and clients in accessing the data portable and securely anywhere. To handle the server's functionality processor has a vital role in managing the heavy task and data management.
Nowadays, the market is flooded with various best server processors, which creates confusion about what to select for your specific work purpose. Thus, today you will get the essential details and knowledge of the best server CPU and their functional features.
What is the purpose of the server?
As the name suggests, Servers are a system that serves other systems. It provides easy and compatible data management and facilitates other computers (clients) with resources, services, or programs. Small start-ups that don't have robust infrastructure and a healthy budget go for the CPU, storage, and RAM available in the market.
With the advent of data usage, the business expands too. It requires adequate data storage. To avoid data losses due to computers, breaking down and managing these data, which means storing, processing, and retrieving a network, becomes a humongous task. Not only that, but we should also pay close attention to cyber threats like malware and viruses. With this comes the integration of other sophisticated computing devices. To achieve this significant business demand, getting a server becomes indispensable.
Servers perform centrally and help humans connect from all around the world. Servers can be used as file servers, database servers, communication servers, policy servers, catalog servers, application servers, etc. The center servers allow data storage and fetching files to all the computers present over that network. The security component provides proper authorization and facilitates the control of files.
Application servers host multiple web applications and allow users to run and use them in that network. Catalog Servers serve the purpose of maintaining an index of information found over a distributed network. Communication servers maintain an environment to get the communication endpoints. Besides, servers have many other purposes depending upon the type, like mail servers and web servers.
The client-server model is the work of servers offering functionalities to clients. Computers or clients on a particular network send requests to the server, process the required data, and send back the responses. To manage all high-end activities of a server, the need for server processors with the fastest processing speeds and managing power that could easily handle and process the data regularly.
What is a Processor? [CPU Definition]
Mainly known as the brain of a server, the processor is the Central Processing Unit. A processor takes care of all the incoming instructions and commands and gives the output. It is an incorporated electronic circuit that plays out some fundamental tasks.
Being the brains of the server, its power and performance is a significant factors to be considered. The ability to process an instruction at a particular time, the maximum number of instructions, core counts, and clock speed are some of the determining factors of the power and performance of a processor.
The processor with expanded core units and clock speed performs better than bringing down center counts and clock speed. Other factors like thread and cache are also considered for the same. The number of processors a chip can handle is known as the threads. When a processor has multithreading capability, a single core can have dual threads. Cache helps in storing small and fast memories that are frequently used. The processor uses a cache to access data from RAM. It speeds up the process.
Each processor has one or more processing units called cores. Each core handles instructions from a computing task at a certain speed. This speed is called clock speed, measured in Gigahertz (GHz). The processor is placed on a server's chipset and connects with the internal adapter boards, modules, etc., through the chipset. The chipset controls the entire interface of the server.
A processor has four core elements. The Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), Floating Point Unit (FPU), registers, and cache memories. The Arithmetic Logic Unit and the Floating-Point Unit perform the basic operations, and the result is sent to registers. The registers then store the data.
Earlier, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) produced only two series of processors. But now, multiple processors are available. Processor outputs can be defined based on the business applications. Below are some outputs
- Entry-level- for start-ups and SMBs
- Mid-level- for medium-level business applications with moderate data storage
- Enterprise-level- for large enterprises.
What factors to consider when buying processors for servers?
Before embarking on any processor, one should know how to choose the best CPU for server. The factors to consider are-
Processors have processing units called cores. These cores are capable of performing instructions from one computing task. A multi-core processor is a single integrated circuit with two or more separate processing units. It prevents a program or the whole system from freezing. If one core freezes, other cores can continue, or the running application can be closed and re-run.
The speed at which the cores instruct computing tasks is called clock speed. It is measured in gigahertz. The higher count, the higher the speed, and the better the processor's performance. The processor needs to perform tasks continuously to run applications, and the clock speed needs to be fast enough. The speed plus bit width tells the rate at which data flows per second. For example, if the speed is 2.92 GHz and the bit-width is 32 bits, it processes almost 3 billion units of 32 bits of data per second.
Thread count is the number of application threads a processor can execute simultaneously. A processor with multithreading capability has more core counts, and the core can hold dual threads.
It prevents multiple hits to storage by storing data for frequent use, enhancing the processor's performance. Types of caches found-
L1- fastest but cramped
L2- Roomier but slower
L3- spacious, slower than the above
If a processor is a brain, then the motherboard is considered the heart and soul of the system. The primary circuit board constitutes RAM, other peripheral connectors, input/output, sockets, etc.
Best Server processors [Best Server CPU]
Intel Xeon Processor
Intel Xeon processors are top-of-the-range processing units commonly used in servers for heavy-load processing. In many terms, they are similar to the Intel Core processors, and in some aspects, they are more advanced. The Xeon processors are also called power processors due to their extensive capacity and super processing.
The critical component of processors is their cores; the core reads and writes instructions; Xeon has many cores, making processing hassle-free. The fundamental element of these processors is their error-correcting code memory (ECCM) which keeps delicate mistakes from happening while the processor is perusing and composing data; this makes it best for a robust program and strategic assignments.
Intel has a wide range of Xeon processors, and each range is suitable for a different purpose; for essential server solutions, Xeon E Processors are used and is an entry-level range offered by intel. Further, Xeon W Processors are widely used for rendering purposes by creative professionals. W range of processors can easily handle VFX, 3D CAD, and other similar processes.
For top-end performance, when there is a need for workload-optimized performance, Xeon D Processors come into working in w range space, and the processor's power is at a premium.
AMD Threadripper 3995WX
AMD's latest super processor gives tough competition to the upper segment of the high-end processors market. It comes with 64 cores and 128 threads and can support up to 2 TB of memory spread out among eight memory channels. The base frequency is 2.7 GHz and touches the 4.2 GHz mark at the top when it operates on top-level loads.
The 3995WX is a value-for-money processor that provides the best segment performance with a competent price payable. It is the most suitable processor for users needing multi-core performance at higher revs. In addition, this can also suit the purpose of rendering, VFX, and 3D Animation. The frequency boost herein provides quick performance in low loads and performs while working on high loads.
Overall, the processor delivers synchronized results both on high/low-end usage; with increased memory power, the processor efficiently reads and writes without any issues; the eight memory channels act as a separate booster for high-load data processing.
Intel Core i9-10900kf Processor
Belonging to the tribe of 10th-generation processors, the Intel Core i9-10900kf processor is the top-end processor in its category. It was launched in the market in the second quarter of 2020. Based on 14 nm lithography, it is a 10-core 20 threads processor with a base frequency of 3.70 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 5.30 GHz. The memory size is 128 GB with a max bandwidth of 45.8 GB/s.
It is a secure and reliable processor with access to an Intel-secured ecosystem that supports all types of security extensions, making it a good choice for a long-term use case. It's a down-the-line product that is compatible with every significant board. It is available in a price range of $463.00 - $474.00, making it super affordable and a good deal for low-end server management.
The processor's Thermal Design Power (TDP) is 125W when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload that is low compared to the other competitor. If needed, the processor allows a configurable TDP-down up to 95W, which minimizes its capacity while decreasing the power input and heat output.
The processor uses a 20 Megabyte Intel Smart Cache, allowing the cores to dynamically share access to the final level cache.
Intel Core i9-10980XE
It is an Intel core x series processor with the code name of the product formerly cascade lake; it was launched in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is one of the gross-selling products in terms of mass usage. Based on 14 nm lithography, the Core i9-10980 XE is an 18-core processor, it wraps a base frequency of 3.0 GHz (same as 9980 XE), and a high-end turbo frequency of 4.6 GHz and a turbo max boosted frequency of 4.8 GHz.
It can support up to 256 GB memory processing of DDR4-2933 compatibility with a quad-channel design and has a 165W thermal design power.
The product is available in the market in a price range of $979.00 - $1000.00, making it competitive in the view of another processor available in the category. The max memory bandwidth of the processor is 94 GB/s with the scalability of 1S, and the PCI Express Revision for the product is 3.0 with 48 max PCI Express Lanes. The processor supports the FCLGA2066 socket, making it a universal processor for different category boards.
AMD Threadripper 3970X
The processor belongs to the AMD Ryzen product family with the product line Threadripper. The product was launched on 25/11/2019 and is based on a Boxed platform processor. It is a 3rd Generation processor. It has already showcased its value to SE artists, i.e., Special Effects designers and artists, for one of the most renowned labels in the arena.
It is a widely used processor with 32 cores, wherein the number of threads involved in operations is 64. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X is a 32-core processor; it wraps a base clock of 3.7 GHz and a max boost clock of 4.5 GHz. The PCI Express Version is PCIe 4.0 with a system memory specification of up to 3200MHz with DDR4 and four channels. The unprecedented 88 total PCIe 4.0 lanes meet large GUP and NVMe needs.
The processor supports all the popular OS and is, by default, unlocked for overclocking. It is the third generation of 32-core processors by AMD, which uses an sTRX4 socket. The processor's thermal design power output is 280W, and the 144MB of combined cache with the vast I/O from the enthusiast-grade AMD XTRX40 works together to deliver an incredible performance.
Intel Xeon Gold 6238T
The famous Gold 6238T Xeon Intel Server CPU is a 64-bit processor with 22 cores of high-performance server microprocessors, and it was introduced and launched by Intel in early 2019. The Gold 6238T is based on the Cascade Lake microarchitecture and is manufactured on the 14 nm platform.
The Gold 6238T is a value-for-money processor which provides the best in segment performance within a price range of $2700 - $2800. Based on 14nm lithography, the Core i9-10980XE is an 18-core processor that wraps a turbo frequency of 3.7 GHz per core. It can support up to 1 TB of memory processing. It is based on a pure platform with Cascade Lake SP's core name.
The interconnect rate of the processor is 10.4 GT/s with a Thermal design power of 125W.
The Thermal case of the processor ranges from 0* to 90*C, the high-performance unit with low TDP makes the processor a best-in-class product for inline usage at fixed revs. The socket then uses LGA-3647, which is again one of the popular sockets in terms of availability; the processor uses DMI 3.0 Bus with a bus rate of 4 x 8 GT/s. One of the main advantages of a top-of-the-line Xeon processor is that Hyperthreading can be enabled, immensely increasing its processing power.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
The 5950X AMD Server processor can do it all in one go with the highest single-core and multi-core performance for the most demanding gamers and creators. It can boost clocks up to 4.9GHz and 72 MB of cache, which in the end makes the AMD Ryzen 5950X the ultimate gaming processor of its category. The AMD Ryzen Master utility can get you ongoing admittance to temperatures, fan speeds, memory timings, center voltage, and CPU frequencies concerning the biological system. It additionally gives a choice to switch profiles without any problem.
It is a 16-core, 32-thread processor with a max boost of up to 4.9 GHz and cache (L2+L3) = 72 MB with a total Thermal design power of 105W. This processor can easily handle multi-threaded tasks like software compiling and 3D/video rendering by using 16 cores, 32 threads, and PCIe 4.0 support.
When AMD customizes, the rig becomes more accessible, and the 5000 series processors can be dropped into any 500 series motherboards with a BIOS update enabling the chipset for universal purposes. This processor is ideal for clients hoping to tweak and get more from their AMD Ryzen opened processor.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
It is a high-end 12-core, which belongs to the Vermeer series, that can process 24 threads simultaneously. AMD introduced it on 8th October 2020. The top model of the processor, AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, offers even more power, and in addition, it offers four cores and eight threads. In this new processor, the internal structure has not been changed by AMD; instead, the CCX structure has changed a bit as compared to Zen2 of AMD processors because now a CCX consists of up to 8 CPU cores so that each core can access the entire L3 cache (32 MB).
The processor's clock rate ranges from 3700 - 4800 MHz with three levels of cache (i.e., 768KB, 6MB, 64 MB) with a complete Thermal Power design of 105W, it is designed on 7nm lithography, and it is made upon 64Bit x86 architecture. The socket model of the processor is AM4 (1331). The processor is available at $549, making it a suitable and effective product for lower-end server needs.
The performance of 5900X is, for all intents and purposes, amazing in all applications and essentially better than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. AMD has further developed its single-string performance and even beats the Intel Core i9-10900K in this section. The multi-thread performance in 5900X can also be improved by implementing minor changes.
Intel Core i9-10900K
The processor 10900k is developed on the model of Comet Lake architecture CML-S, the fourth generation of Skylake; it is a lower high-end processor with ten cores. The processor clocks between 3.7 and 8.3 GHz and can execute up to 20 threads simultaneously.
The processor is Hyper-Threading enabled, so the multi-tasking herein becomes easy for the chipset in all due respects. The processor is manufactured on the 14nm process, easily overclocked (with less headroom available). The clock rates of the processor range from 3700-5300 MHz with three levels of cache (i.e., 640KB, 2.5MB, 20 MB).
The processor's thermal energy configuration is 125W, yet when under full loads, 250W of power is burned through when the CPU fires up at high clock rates. The processor can tolerate 100* C temperature using the socket LGA 1200.
The Comet Lake architecture is the primary blueprint of the processor along with the code-named Comet Lake – S. It is also the same as the Coffee Lake and offers the same features produced in the same 14nm process. The processor was launched on 5/20/2020 at a price range of $488 and is based on 64Bit x86 architecture. Due to its high Turbo Boost, the CPU was the fastest gaming CPU available at its launch.
Intel Core i9-11950H
The 11950 is a high-end processor, and it is based on the Tiger lake H45 generation of processors, which was announced in mid-2021. Notably, it is a new processor showcased by intel, and it offers improved graphics processing with the addition of a Xe graphics card called UHD graphics, including all the 32EUs.
The chipset is built on 10nm lithography wherein the clock rate ranges from 2600-5000MHz. The processor has a 3-level cache (i.e., 640KB, 10MB, 24 MB) with eight cores and 16 threads in total.
The processor uses an FCBGA1787 socket and offers various features, including DL Boost and Thunderbolt 4 with Wi-fi 6/6e. It is built upon the 64bit x 86 architecture with an elemental Thermal Design power of 45W, and it may go up to 65W when the processor clocks at 3.3GHz. Furthermore, it has PCIe 4 support with 20 lanes in the H45 series module. The processor supports DDR4-3200 memory.
Due to the new Tiger Lake Architecture, the processor is significantly faster than the old intel ore 19-10980HK in all the single and multi-threaded performance. It makes the processor the most suitable for primary and very demanding tasks. Specifically, it was launched on 05/11/2021, and as of today, it's the latest mid-range chipset offered by Intel.
You must have obtained all the basics and crucial details about the best processor for server. It would help you choose the best product from the list while considering your requirements. However, before selecting any server CPU, you must consider the budget options and your business needs so that your processor investment ultimately becomes your business's revenue.
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