May 17, 2022

Which CPU to choose for a dedicated server between AMD and Intel?

Let's see how to choose a CPU for a dedicated server by evaluating the pros and cons.

AMD and Intel logos
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Whether you are looking for gaming performance, database hosting, or just plain Dedicated Servers, you need to be aware of the fierce battle for CPU dominance between these two titans and the battle between AMD and Intel that has grown over the past few years.

While Intel processors have historically outperformed AMD processors in terms of raw single-core power, AMD's CPUs have made significant improvements in core counts and threads and, as a result, outperformed the competition when it comes to multi-performance performance. -core.

Until 3 or 4 years ago, AMD's marketing team seemed to struggle to get the same exposure that Intel did. Around this time they started targeting PC gamers and made improvements to their packaging, using different color schemes and taking a new path with their marketing efforts. This led to the release of their game-changing Ryzen series.

When several processors are becoming indistinguishable, it is essential to know which one to use. In favor of AMD, they have historically offered more value in their processors, while Intel holds the reins with stronger brand recognition (the Nike of microprocessors).

AMD vs Intel is currently in a battle for market share and they are developing several technologies in their effort to move forward. For example, Intel uses LGA1200 sockets for its processors while Ryzen chips are based on AM4 sockets, which means that components such as motherboards must be chosen accordingly, otherwise they will be incompatible.

Fortunately, both AMD and Intel offer a wide range of CPUs to suit all applications.

Consumer vs Enterprise CPU

Not all CPUs are made the same. The CPUs integrated into the server are designed for sustained workloads and can always run at 100% capacity, while the parts in the desktop processors are not rated as high. For this reason, server CPUs are generally slightly more expensive than a desktop PC, but offer a higher level of productivity performance.

Also, most desktop processors cannot handle server-only functions, such as running error correction codes and stored memory. The biggest difference between the two is the fact that server CPUs will more often than not have a higher number of cores than those used on a desktop PC, which results in higher power consumption. This is because server workloads are much more multi-threaded than most desktop workloads, due to the additional cores.

Intel processors have enjoyed supremacy in this segment for years, but AMD's Ryzen Threadripper has changed the landscape quite a bit since its release. AMD traditionally does not distinguish between its server and desktop processors. Simply a Datacenter or a Hosting service like ours can decide to use them for server-type purposes. It should in fact be noted, however, that AMD CPUs used in servers are consumer-grade chips so powerful that they perform incredibly well in servers (in 2017 AMD released its Epyc line, created specifically for servers). While Intel has almost always had a line of processors designed specifically for servers.

This could turn up their noses at some executives and CEOs who might even feel offended or even duped if an AMD CPU is proposed for a corporate server. In our opinion, the important thing is to make informed choices and make the end customer share in the benefits that can be obtained both in terms of performance and in terms of costs.

Intel vs AMD processors explained

As is the case with any brand, they usually have names for each model or series. AMD offers its processors Ryzen: Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, Ryzen 9 and Epyc, while Intel offers their lines Silver, Gold and Platinum as part of their Xeon brand.

AMD has always been a viable option for processors and has only improved with their Ryzen series of CPUs. The newest lineup, the AMD Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 and 9 chips incorporate solid multi-core performance and offer affordable processors at a value for money.

The Intel Xeon E-2300 series of third generation scalable processors was released in the second quarter of 2021 and offers 10 new processor varieties, including options with 4, 6 or 8 cores.

AMD's Ryzen 3000 CPUs offer a huge difference to previous Ryzen 1000 and 2000 CPUs. Featuring the redesigned Zen 2 architecture, AMD's latest entry into its Ryzen line has proved more than just a generational improvement, it provided . Ryzen 3000 CPUs are so in demand that it is very difficult to keep them in stock.

However, while AMD has already moved to more advanced 10nm and 7nm architectures, many industry observers have been surprised by Intel's decision to continue with the 14nm architecture.

Take AMD's Ryzen 5800X chip, it's reasonably priced and has incredible performance improvements over the last generation, which makes the 5800X one of the best processors currently available. They still use AMD's AM4 CPU socket, which means they are backward and forward compatible, while Intel has a long history of releasing new processors that are incompatible with older socket types.

AMD's continued use of AM4 sockets in previous generations has provided users with tremendous value in future upgradeability. For example, if you were using a 3900 chip on an Asrock motherboard, upgrading to the new series is as easy as downloading a BIOS update for your board. While the odds of being able to take an old Intel chip and plug it into your new motherboard or vice versa are slim on the Intel side.

Intel also offers dual chipsets in many of its lines, while AMD has only recently started with the release of its Epyc line of server-specific chips.

Intel and AMD performance comparison

AMD changed its strategy a few years ago and focused on gaming performance to take market share from Intel and released the 3000 series. The CPU performance of this line showed a marked increase in workload capacity.

The 3900X features 12 cores, 24 threads, a base clock speed of 3,8 GHz, a boost of up to 4,6 GHz and a TPD of 105 W.

AMD's Ryzen 3950X is one of their best server processors with 16 cores, 32 threads, a base clock speed of 3,5 GHz, a maximum turbo boost of 4,7 GHz, and a TPD of 105 W. Both of these chips they are phenomenal, which makes them perfect for high-end gaming or media editing.

At first glance, you'd think the Intel Xeon E5-2695 v2 may not be comparable. For starters, the price is noticeably lower than the 3950, and it might not feel that robust from the start, seeing as it comes with 12 cores, 24 threads, a base clock of 2,4 GHz, with a maximum boost of 3,2. XNUMX GHz.

The interesting thing about the E5-2695 v2 and how it directly compares to the aforementioned 3950X is that the 2695 is not only much cheaper than the 3950, but when you consider the capacity of the 2695 which uses a dual chipset, it now becomes a contender and in any case at a price significantly lower than the 3950.

With multi-core server workloads, these CPUs are perfect for any high-end gaming, creative tasks like 4K video editing or 3D rendering that require a large amount of power at an affordable price.

In contrast, AMD's top-of-the-range variant, The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is a champion in its own right with fast clock speeds thanks to its 64 cores and 128 threads. It has a base clock speed of 2,9 GHz, a boost speed of up to 4,3 GHz and a TPD of 290 W. Thanks to its multi-threaded performance, this processor is an all-purpose workhorse that can be used for VPN, large computing, artificial intelligence, and military applications.

On the Intel side, its Xeon Silver 4214R is comparable to the Ryzen 3900X, which is also equipped with 12 cores and 24 threads, however, the clock speed on this is lower, with a base of 2,4 GHz, a maximum of 3,5 GHz and a 100W TPD.

While the Intel E5 2620 V4 matches AMD for cores, coming in at 16, they are once again slightly slower than the clock speed with the 2620 V4 having a base speed of 2,1 GHz and boosting up to 3,0 GHz. The TPD is 85W.

It's hard to compare anything with Ryzen's Threadripper, but the Intel Xeon E5-2699 v4 Scalable Processor compares very well, coming in with a core count of 22, making the thread count 44. The base clock on this chip is 2,2 GHz, while the maximum boost reaches 3,6 GHz.

Overclocking Headroom

Intel processors commonly had the most overclocking headroom, which offers higher speed performance than baseline and, in the past, allowed for higher clock rates than AMD Ryzen CPUs. However, it's also worth considering how stable your CPU will be at such high clock speeds. Here are some of the other popular Intel models that compare against AMD's Ryzen 9 line.

CPU Processor Base frequency max. Turbo frequency

AMD Ryzen 3900X 3,8GHz 4,6GHz vs Xeon Silver 4214R 2,4GHz 3,5GHz

AMD Ryzen 3950X 3,5GHz 4,7GHz vs E5 2690 v4 2,6GHz 3,5GHz

AMD Ryzen 3990X 2,9 GHz 4,3 GHz vs Xeon Gold 6338 2,0 GHz 3,2 GHz

AMD Ryzen vs. Intel Xeon

With the increasing market demand for AMD Ryzen servers, vendors have found it difficult to keep enough of them in stock to meet service demands as they often sell out before they even reach data centers. AMD can't keep up with demand, with many people reselling or even hoarding 3900 for cryptocurrency mining. Hardware scarcity is currently an issue for AMD, while Intel's long history has allowed for a more reliable supply chain.

The most popular CPU among very high-end business customers is the one we know as AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X which offers plenty of power and speed with its amazing 64 cores and 128 threads, making this the most powerful processor for product performance. This affordable processor is based on them Zen microarchitecture 2 and is manufactured with the process to 7 nm di TSMC. It also supports 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

A comparable processor would be the Xeon 6338 Gold Series with its powerful 32 cores, 64 threads base clock speed of 2,0 Ghz, with max. turbo frequency of 3,2 Ghz. This processor is based on the X86 architecture and is highly sophisticated, allowing the Xeon line to adapt to a growing range of complex applications. Just like the 3990X, this processor also supports 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

It is still worth mentioning that Intel chips come with an integrated graphics card, while AMD does not.

AMD EPYC Processors Considerations

The war for dominance must include AMD's Epyc series. Released two months before the 3950 was AMD's EPYC 7402P, which is a 86-bit x64 server microprocessor and comes with 24 cores and 48 threads. It has a base clock of 2,8 GHz, a maximum speed of 3,35 GHz and a power rating of 180 W. This processor only supports single-socket configurations and up to 4 TiB of eight-channel DDR4-3200 memory per socket. . Epyc 7402P is based on the Rome 7nm family and is part of the EPYC series.

With huge memory bandwidth, capacity and exceptional I / O, this server processor monster is designed for computational intensive tasks such as artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing such as industrial applications or military.

Security comparison between AMD and Intel

In recent years, security researchers have been researching and pacing the speculative execution engine which is one of the key performance-boosting capabilities behind all modern chips. The resulting research has spawned an almost endless onslaught of new vulnerabilities that threaten the security of your system and private data. Unfortunately, these types of vulnerabilities are incredibly dangerous because they are undetectable: these tactics steal data using the processor exactly as it was designed; therefore, they are not detectable by any known antivirus program.

The range of fixes needed to plug these holes also continues to grow, and many of them result in reduced performance. This is particularly painful for Intel because it suffers more from these vulnerabilities than other vendors. The company has developed in-silicon mitigations with newer processors that can reduce or eliminate the performance overhead, but some older processors are subject to drastic reductions in performance.

Intel has now also undergone a new round of attacks on the Specter v2 variant, which has further reduced its performance. These new Specter Branch History Injection (BHI) vulnerabilities can result in substantial performance losses that vary by workload.

AMD is not immune to vulnerabilities, however. It's hard to tell whether the initially limited discoveries in AMD processors were due to a security-focused approach to hardened processor design, or whether researchers and attackers simply focused on Intel processors because of their dominant market share - attackers focus almost always on the widest cross-section possible. We see a similar trend with malware designed for Windows systems, by far the predominant desktop operating system, far more frequently than MacOS, although it seems to be changing.

In the course of research on the new Specter vulnerability class, Intel actually found that AMD's existing Specter mitigation is discontinued, which has led AMD to use a different and slower approach to address the problem.

However, AMD has also had several other new vulnerability disclosures in the recent past, including a Meltdown-style variant that requires re-coding of the software. Like Intel, AMD has made some silicon-targeted fixes for its Ryzen 5000 processors, thereby reducing its exposure to vulnerabilities.

Winner: AMD. The AMD vs Intel CPU security debate continues to evolve as researchers and nefarious actors alike turn their gaze more towards AMD's new architectures. At present, Intel still suffers from more vulnerabilities notes of AMD and the impact of Specter mitigations on previous generation Intel processors leads to greater performance losses (sometimes equivalent to a few generational gains worthy of improvement) than the solutions we've seen from AMD, which conceded the victory to the Team Red.

Price comparison

AMD holds the title of the more affordable of the two, however, Intel is doubling down on AMD's increased competitiveness in recent years by adding more cores, threads, and power to the mix. And unlike an AMD processor, there is no gen-on price hike for these new processors, resulting in a better price per core and price per thread. In response, AMD slashed its prices and stepped up competition.

If you want an AMD Ryzen 9 (16 cores), you would be priced close to 600-700 euros, while a comparable Intel processor would be the 2699 E4 would cost around 4000 euros, but if you wanted a Xeon E5 2690 (14 cores), you'd spend 2000 euros .

You should note that the Ryzen line does not offer dual CPU formats until you get to the Epyc. If you choose AMD, you will be prompted to purchase a separate dedicated graphics card.

What is the best CPU between AMD and Intel?

This article has covered the never-ending topic of the comparison between AMD and Intel and who builds superior CPU architecture between two large companies. It all depends on your specific use and your preferences on AMD over Intel.

CPU performance is roughly the same, depending on which line you go with, with the biggest difference being the price between Intel and AMD.

Let's say you are looking for a large number of cores in the upper segment. In that case, AMD CPUs have an advantage with a higher number of cores and threads and a better price / price ratio for performance.

On the flip side with Intel enabling dual CPUs on the motherboard chipset, the Xeon E5-2695 v2 offers the best value for money on enterprise-grade dual CPU servers.

We understand that not everyone has the time to research all of their options, and the information available online can be very difficult to peruse. We invite you to book a free server hosting consultation to provide answers to your server hosting questions from our experts without any obligation or commitment.

 

Do you have doubts? Not sure where to start? Contact us


We have all the answers to your questions to help you make the right choice.

Write to us

Chat directly with our technical support.

0256569681

Call us immediately during office hours 9:30 - 19:30

Receive assistance

Open a ticket directly in the support area.

INFO

ManagedServer.it is the leading Italian provider of high performance hosting solutions. Our subscription model is affordable and predictable, so customers can access our reliable hosting technologies, dedicated servers and the cloud. ManagedServer.it also offers excellent support and consulting services on Hosting of the main Open Source CMS such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, Prestashop, Magento.

Press release: Our company has been 100% Italian since June Find out more
+ +
Back to top