why are Xeon processors generally better for servers and workstations?
Generally, Intel Xeon CPUs offer a few advantages over Core CPUs that military, industrial and commercial customers find valuable, including:
- Support for ECC RAM
- Support for larger amounts of RAM in general
- More cache memory
- Higher core and thread counts
- Option for dual CPUs
- Support for more PCIe lanes
Let’s elaborate on each of these benefits a little more.
ECC RAM helps ensure data protection by stopping corruption at the source; support for larger amounts of RAM equates to smoother application performance; more cache memory means that more data can be stored near the CPU, which keeps the CPU from having to access RAM as often; higher core and thread counts means more processing units to divvy up the computational workload and faster computation in general; having dual CPUs ensures that systems have the power of two Xeon CPUs sporting each of the previously listed benefits; and support for more PCIe lanes means support for more high-speed expansion components, such as dedicated GPUs.
Most customers in the market for a server with a Xeon motherboard value the above advantages because they provide data protection, high-speed expansion capabilities, faster computation, and speedy, consistent performance, all of which are especially desirable features for systems supporting mission-critical applications, whereby a loss of data, decline in system performance or inability to expand could result in disastrous consequences.
But Core CPUs also have their advantages, too – in particular, overclocking capabilities and integrated graphics. Why are these advantages important? Faster clock speeds mean quicker CPU calculations, which, in turn, equates to smoother application performance, and the inclusion of onboard graphics means you may not need to purchase a dedicated graphics card. This is entirely dependent on the needs of your program or application, of course, as some high-end applications benefit significantly from the performance associated with a dedicated graphics card.
Some Xeon E processors, however, offer integrated graphics using Intel’s HD Graphics P630, which is designed to compete with entry-level, discrete professional graphics cards. Otherwise, you’ll need to add a discrete GPU, which is the optimal choice for high-end industrial and mission-critical applications.