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What Is a Server CPU?

Updated on Jun 1, 2022
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FS Rack Servers

In the era driven by various compute-intensive applications such as big data, AI, and IoT, high-performance servers play a significant role in enterprises' digital transformation. The various important components of the server need to be properly matched to maximize their benefits for enterprises. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is one of the server's core parts and is the primary indicator of server performance. This article will take you through the server CPU basis to help you better understand server CPUs.

What Is a Server CPU?

The server CPU, also known as the server processor, is a vital part of the server that processes instructions and commands. It is responsible for retrieving and executing instructions, processing data, and performing tasks such as serving web pages, running database queries, and executing other programming and computational commands. CPU, as the most important part of a server, has a huge contribution to servers' computing capacities. The response speed of a server is significantly dependent on the CPU.

Server CPU

How Does a Server CPU Work?

Server CPU performs data processing and storing operations and input/output (I/O) operations by mathematical and logical calculations. The following are the four basic steps.

Fetch: The CPU grabs instructions from memory, interprets them, and directs the next operation.

Decode: All instructions or commands are translated into assembly instructions. In this process, the server CPU decodes the assembly code into understandable binary instructions.

Execute: The CPU executes instructions through calculations and technical algorithms and outputs processed data.

Store: After executing instructions, the CPU stores output data into the memory.

Essential Elements for Server CPU

The performance of the server CPU determines the operation of the server. And the basic features and functions of the server CPU are influenced by the following factors.

Number of Processors

The number of server processors has a significant impact on servers' performance. The more processors a server has, the faster and more efficient the server will run. Multiple server processors mean that more instructions can be executed concurrently, so the CPU can handle a more intensive workload in the same amount of time.

Usually, network servers have different numbers of processors, and single-processor servers and dual-processor servers are relatively popular in small and large workloads. Single-processor servers are primarily used to address small to medium workloads. Dual-processor servers get immense boosts in processor speed and RAM, providing better performance and stability for small and medium workloads.

CPU Socket

A server CPU socket is a connector between the CPU's processor and the motherboard. It's used for the CPU to ensure correct circuit chip insertion. The CPU stock allows for easy swapping of the server CPU and prevents damage when inserting or removing it.

The number of CPU sockets in the server corresponds to the number of CPUs that can be installed. Typically, servers can support 1/2/4/8/16/32 CPU sockets. A 1-socket server can accommodate a single processor, and a 4-socket server can support 4 processors running simultaneously. It is widely believed that 2-socket servers hold a large portion of the SMB market, while 4-socket servers are positioned in the middle and high-end markets.

CPU Cores

A server CPU core is a physical part of a CPU that helps it work. Multi-core processors can execute more instructions in the same amount of time. Moreover, multi-core processors enable smoother program running and require less power. Therefore, multi-core CPUs can substantially improve server performance.

An Intel Xeon Scalable server processor typically has 8 to 32 cores. In addition, there are also processors with more cores or fewer cores for different application scenarios. Although more server CPU cores represent better performance, finding the right number of CPU cores depends on your specific IT environment and workloads.

CPU Threads

A thread is a set of instructions or code for the execution of concurrent programming. A single server CPU core can have 2 threads. If a CPU has 8 cores with two threads per core, it will have 16 threads to perform tasks.

Multithreading allows a CPU to execute multiple threads of code and run concurrent tasks of a process at the same time. Threads are important to the performance of the server CPU because they can significantly affect how much a server can perform in a given amount of time. Running intensive processes, a CPU with many threads is preferred.

The Closing Thought

The elements mentioned above allow server CPUs to work reliably for long periods, handle multiple tasks at the same time, and boost their speed and reliability. If you are considering a server, please be careful to select important components of the server. Choose the right number of server processors and CPU cores based on your IT requirements and workload.

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