Server Processor Speed

Could someone please explain to me the following:

I have an old server with a 2.8Ghz processor.
Nowadays server processors come in 2.2ghz, 2.4ghz, 2.93ghz, etc...

Getting a dual 2.4ghz processors makes sense to me as they're Quad cores?
but it sounds like i am going backwards getting a 2.4ghz and not something higher than 2.8ghz.

are processors nowadays lower (#s) but actually faster because of the cache, cores, etc?
sorry for the stupid question, just trying to make sense of it.
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That's part of it. Another thing is that newer procs just do more work at the lower speed.
The new architectures and smaller dies are the reason.

You can use this for a more specific comparison:
When planning hardware it is very important to understand what will be running on the hardware.

You are correct that a lower individual core speed will usually make a single threaded process slower.  If your processing is multithreading then more cores makes more speed very easily.  An example would be a webserver running Apache.  Apache spawns a new thread for each connection.  More cores can therefore significantly increase the capacity of an individual server far beyond the reach of increasing the speed of a single cpu.  The same is true for Oracle or any other inherently multithreaded service.

You also gain performance if you are using a single server for multiple applications.

In a single threaded application such as heavy floating point calculations are better served by increased speed on the individual core (can you even buy single core any more?)  We recently installed an application that required a dual core cpu with a certain core speed.  The application is dual threaded and very computationally intensive.  With more advanced coding the computation could be spread across more threads but you get what you get.  We were unable to find a dual core cpu in the level of machine we were looking for but did find a quad core that met the speed requirements of the vendor.

Hope this helps
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
You should also note that 2.4Ghz etc is the base speed of the CPU, it has probably got Intel Turbo Boost technology which means if it isn't too hot it will step up the CPU clock speed in increments of 133MHz .
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You need to be careful when referring to a Xeon processor - they are not necessarily the same family.  Intel, in its wisdom, chose to call all its server class cpus "Xeon" (except for the Itanium) from Pentium days all the way up to current models.  The actual model number indicates which family it belongs in and how fast it is, not just the clock speed (which is only relevant when talking about the same family).  The most powerful Xeons are the six-core X5680 and then the four-core X55xx series.

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fstincAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much.  I've looked for a comparison of an old proc vs new one, but no luck.
Thank you much.   : )
CallandorCommented: should have the comparison of specific models.  You can look up the specific models by time in
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