Choosing a Server CPU

If you want to get the most out of your server performance at the best bang for your buck, choosing the right CPU is a must. If done right, you can expect a vast difference in terms of performance, especially if you are using your server for high traffic websites or resource intensive web applications.

With that in mind, getting the best performance for the best bang in the buck is different than getting the best overall performance regardless of price. If you’re going to use your server for medium traffic and medium level web applications, a best bang for the buck might be your best bet but if you’d like to maximize your system, get those that can pack quite a punch regardless of bang for your buck. The latter option is the best if you’re going to use it for high traffic websites and resource intensive web applications and/or server apps.

Now without further ado, let me show you how to choose a server CPU.

The Number of Cores

Depending upon your server use, you will have to choose an appropriate number of cores. There are dual cores, quad cores, octa cores and more. The more cores a CPU have, the better it can handle multiple tasks at once, or in other words, your server can run more apps or software simultaneously.

A good example of this scenario is a high traffic website. Imagine you have a tube site, there are people watching videos and there are people uploading videos. That will require three tasks, one task for those watching videos, one task for those uploading videos and one task for encoding or streaming videos on the fly. A dual core CPU will struggle to keep up but a quad core can easily handle it.

If you are a desktop user, you’re familiar of CPUs that have up to eight cores. They offer more than enough performance for gaming and desktop use but for very high traffic and resource intensive servers, they quite lack power at times. Thus there are server CPUS of up to 24 cores, though their clock speed ranges only around an average of 3 GHz.

CPU Components

There are two great important factors you need to consider in choosing a server CPU. First is the clock speed, which will affect how fast it can perform a certain task. Next is the L2 and L3 cache, which will allow the CPU to access necessary data as soon as it needs them.

A higher L2 and L3 cache can speed things up even though it doesn’t have a high clock speed as long as it has multiple number of cores. Of course, the higher the clock speeds, the better but aim for a higher number of cores and L2/L3 cache for better multitasking.