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How a server processor differs from a regular processor

Server and desktop processors are designed for specific purposes and have unique features. Understanding the differences helps you choose the right processor for your needs.

Features of desktop processors

CPUs are designed to handle the tasks of a single user. Simple devices are not designed for multitasking, nor are they suitable for round-the-clock use. A computer CPU is usually placed right next to the user, in the system unit.
A high base frequency is characteristic, usually such processors are equipped with 2-8 cores. Many desktop processors have graphics cores, allowing PCs to do without a separate graphics card. Quickly cope with intensive computations required in games, image processing, and other applications where resources perform a single active task.

What is the difference between a server processor and a regular desktop processor

What is a server processor? Unlike a desktop CPU, it is designed for continuous operation under extreme conditions. Functional CPUs undergo rigorous testing even at the production stage to ensure high reliability and stability.
The main task is to provide long-term parallel work of multiple users with access to common information. The central processor is placed in a separate server cell, which can be located at a considerable distance. Continuous access to information is provided by the presence of multiple sensors and redundant systems. Servers can be equipped with multiple processors and multiple RAM slots.

Server processor - what is the difference

  • A built-in watchdog timer automatically restarts the processor in the event of a hang-up.
  • Tachometer and temperature sensors monitor performance.
  • Special operation with hard disks combined in RAID arrays is implemented.
Also distinctive is the operation of the register RAM. It supports ECC, which detects and corrects errors instantly. Although the performance of this memory is lower than that of conventional memory, it is characterized by higher reliability.

Where server processors are needed

The devices play an important role in large-scale computing environments where huge amounts of data need to be processed and applications need to run reliably with high utilization
  • Data Centers (Data Centers) - for storing, processing and transmitting information from different sources.
  • Cloud services - cloud computing platforms, virtual machines, application hosting and data storage.
  • Scientific research requiring modeling of complex processes - for calculations in astrophysics, molecular dynamics, climate models.
  • The world of finance - for thorough market analysis, forecasting, economic calculations and instant execution of financial transactions.
  • In the network infrastructure - for routing, efficient traffic management, load balancing and operational processing of information at different network levels.
  • Virtual environment - for simultaneous launching of several operating systems and applications on one computer, increasing the efficiency of computing resources utilization.

Which processor is better: server or desktop in terms of performance

Desktop processors excel in single-threaded tasks such as gaming and office applications. However, their performance may be insufficient when running multiple tasks at the same time or under heavy workloads.
Server processors are specialized for parallel processing of a large number of tasks and provide high performance in demanding environments.

Power consumption and cooling

Desktop CPUs use less power, making it easier to cool and producing smaller and quieter PCs.
Server CPUs have higher power consumption, which requires an efficient cooling system.

Server and desktop processor prices

Typically, desktop CPUs are priced much lower than server CPUs. They are more affordable for ordinary users and small offices.
Server CPUs are more expensive, but the high price is compensated by high performance and reliability.

Blue or red?

In the market, the two leading processor manufacturers are often referred to by their logo colors: "blue" (Intel) and "red" (AMD). Choosing between the two is important because each works with a different motherboard. Intel are more efficient at single-threaded tasks and consume less power, while AMD are preferred for multitasking.

Criteria for selecting a processor for a server

  • Cores - play an important role in choosing a server processor. The more cores and threads, the higher the performance. But it should be remembered that extra cores may remain unused, so when choosing a suitable CPU should analyze the software requirements and the expected load on the system.
  • Sockets on the motherboard, called sockets (socket). It is necessary to take into account their compatibility with the processor. Most often the motherboard is selected already for the processor. In case of the reverse situation, it is important to make sure that the selected CPU is compatible with the existing motherboard.
  • Cache is the area where the CPU stores temporary data. The larger the cache, the faster the system runs, less latency and better overall performance.
  • Frequency - measured in gigahertz (GHz). It was once thought that the higher the clock speed, the better the performance, but nowadays this rule is not so relevant.
  • Heat dissipation. The processor heats up during operation, so it is important not to let it overheat. The TDP indicator tells you about the requirements for the cooling system.
  • Graphics core - not all server CPUs are equipped with a built-in graphics gas pedal. If it is present, it provides graphics processing. If a separate graphics card is present, the server will be able to handle graphics without it.


With the above in mind, choose the right processor based on your specific tasks, budget, and required performance level.
23 Apr 2024, 12:54:05