Single CPU Server vs Dual CPU Server: What's the Difference?

Updated on Jun 22, 2022 by

FS Rack Servers

Server processors include single CPU, multi CPU, and dual CPU servers. As the core supporting server performance, the choice of processor is crucial. The main function of server CPU is to process data, instructions, and perform operations. As an important network device, servers can achieve fast throughput of large data volume, super stability, and long-term operation with a better server CPU. This article will focus primarily on the differences between single CPU and dual CPU servers.

Single CPU Servers – definition & Benefits

As the name implies, a single processor server refers to a single-socket server with only one CPU socket on the motherboard. That is, only one CPU is running. Compared to dual CPU servers, a single processor server has lower consumption, fewer requirements for cooling systems, and also less hardware costs.

What's more, a single processor server also features cost effectiveness, since as the number of cores increases, so does the cost. The majority of recent single CPU servers utilize processors that belong to Intel® Xeon® E family, such as the RS3110 server, featuring the Intel Xeon E-2224G Processor, which is significantly cost-effective, and the software licenses are also cheaper. But single CPU servers don't have enough RAM capacity, which is its major downside.


     ''Also Check- FS RS3110 Rack Servers


single CPU server


Dual CPU Servers – Definition & Benefits

Dual CPU servers, also called dual processor servers, have two CPU sockets on the motherboard. With two CPUs working at the same time, dual CPU servers are real servers to some extent. To be clear, different from dual core servers, which install two CPU cores on one CPU, dual processor has two CPU card slots on the motherboard.

Typically, dual processor servers perform better than single processor servers in terms of performance and stability. However, they are more expensive too.

dual CPU server


Single CPU Server vs Dual CPU Server: What's the Difference?

As for two basic server types, single CPU servers are often compared with dual CPU servers in some respects, such as performance, server RAM, use case, etc.


In most cases, servers with dual processors outperform single processor servers, because dual CPU servers come with a large number of PCI lanes, two independent sets of cache, and two sets of RAM slots, which are all associated with increased performance. Besides, since dual processor servers work with two CPU threads, they perform at higher rates than single-processor servers that use a single thread.

On the other hand, we see immense performance boosts in dual processor servers when the workload is optimized for setups like these. This is especially true when CPUs carry out intensive multi-threaded tasks. One of them is abstracting resources into virtual machines that work on separate things at the same time.

Therefore, dual processor servers are the best choice for space-constrained environments due to their higher stability and performance.

Server RAM

Single processor servers are different from dual processor servers in terms of server RAM. Typically, dual CPU servers have more RAM capacity than single CPU servers. But single CPU servers are more flexible when it comes to choosing RAMs.

On the Intel platform, single processor servers support ECC or non-ECC memory. However, dual processor servers only support FB-DIMM ECC memory. Besides, on AMD platform, single processor servers support ECC, non-ECC, and Registered ECC RAM, but dual CPU servers only support Registered ECC RAM.


     ''Also Check- Ecc vs. Non Ecc Memory: Which One Is Better?


Use Case

Under different circumstances, the use cases of two kinds of servers are also of variety.

  • Single CPU servers: Advances in CPU technology have enabled single processor servers to handle intensive workloads. A low-end single processor server can be very cost-effective to build general-purpose application servers for smaller organizations. Besides, single processor servers can be used for medium capacity online stores or large websites, working as collaborative servers for smooth data exchange between different departments.

  • Dual CPU servers: Equipped with great processor chips, dual CPU servers are suitable for almost every business use case. But in most situations, they are chosen by large enterprises for high-end computing applications. Due to their better performance and stability, dual processor servers can provide more computing power and are usually used for scientific high-precision computing and simulations, high-performance computing (HPC) deployment, etc.

Single CPU Server vs Dual CPU Server: How to Choose?

You need to take limited account of your expected workload when selecting servers for your data center, which will imply workload optimization. If the demand for data processing is extremely high, such as finance and bank data centers, it is recommended that you choose multi-CPU or dual CPU servers. If you want to customize the server according to your business needs, you can get high performance solutions at FS.com. FS provides server customization services, including high-performance processors, memory, hard disks, and PCIe expansion slots., to meet your ever changing demands.


     ''Also Check- FS Custom Servers



In conclusion, although single processor servers are cheaper, they are still incomparable to dual CPU servers in terms of performance and stability. Single processor servers hold a large portion of today’s market. With massive core-count CPU chips, it may seem that dual processor servers are best suited for enterprise environments and data centers. Those buildings need to house as many cores per unit as possible to save space.

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