I’ve been working in the hosting business for quite some years now. During my time, it often happens that I work with companies that have multiple contacts. One can be the technical guy, responsible for the IT infrastructure and another can be the actual decision maker who might not be very technical but understands the value of good service and competitive pricing.
In these situations, I like to make sure everyone understands why we are recommending a specific solution. When it comes specifically to a CPU, there’s a basic, simplified way to explain what components a processor has and how to choose the ones that are important to run your website or applications.
When choosing a processor you should look at the following properties: number of cores, gigahertz (GHz) and cache. In today’s ever increasing data crunching world, all three of these aspects are important to determine the performance of your machine.
An easy way to understand the power of a CPU is to compare it to a working person. Almost all of today’s modern processors come with multiple cores, and every core in a processor can equate to a full time employee working all the time to run your processes. So the more cores, the more work that can be done simultaneously. If we take one of my favorites as an example, a dual E5645 processor, you would have 12 cores (employees) working nonstop to run the processes you defined. How’s that for increasing your production?
This brings us to understanding GHz. To continue our analogy, let’s compare processor speed to how fast each of your employees can do his job. I think it’s safe to say that a team of world-class Olympic sprinters can run 4 x 100m faster than a team of seven year-olds. Similarly, a 2.67GHz multi-core processor like the E5645 will be significantly faster than a 1.5Ghz multi-core processor (which would be similar to a dual-quad core server).
Finally, there is cache. With the CPU we correlated the amount of cores as the number of employees working for us, then we looked at GHz as how fast they can do their job. To bring cache into the story is to visualize how much load each one of your employees can take. Cache determines the amount of weight each of those cores can carry; the more cache, the more processes (total work) each core can complete.
So, what should you look for when choosing the right CPU? Well, that really depends on what resources you need to run your online product! But let’s stick with my current winner, the Hexa-Core Xeon E5645 processor that has 6 cores running at 2.40Ghz each, with a Max Turbo Frequency of 2.67Ghz. We offer Dual E5645 processors in the Hewlett Packard DL 180G6 chassis. Who normally goes for this solution? Whoever runs virtualization platforms (much more efficient), streaming media (FAST!), back-end gaming sites (hardware causing latency? Game killer), and actually every database server that needs strong and fast performance. Be sure to also take a look at our blog called Six Advantages of Hexa Core CPUs.
Need some advice on which processor you need for your business? Shoot an email to me or my colleagues (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be happy to help you decide. In addition, we have a special October Sale on those Hexa-Core Xeon E5645 processors served from our US datacenter. Check it out!