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What are the best Intel server processors?

I am planning to buy some hardwares for the new server(windows & Linux) setup which runs multiple services and handles many requests. I am just wondering what processors big companies choose for the servers. Could anybody list the best recommended Intel processors for servers, old as well as the latest(also if applicable 2nd generation processors).

Please tell some reason for recommends as I've to tell the same to others. Thanks!
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Thyagaraj03
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Thyagaraj03
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8 Solutions
 
page1985Commented:
Intel Xeon is currently the standard for server platforms.  When planning processor selection, it's important to understand that number of cores is much more important than just GHz (which used to be the buzz term).  The way a processor works is when workloads (processes) enter the system, each core can handle a single workload a time.  So, for example, say you are running App1, App2, and App3 on the server.  App1 submits a section of code for processing.  Half way in, App2 says it needs processing time too.  Since you only have a single core, the operating system queues App2 into the processor bus and an interrupt request (IRQ) is sent to the hardware.  When this happens, the processor "suspends" App1, processes App2, then resumes App1 again.  If we had 2 cores, we can instead handle both App1 and App2 at the same time.   This concept also applies to multi-threaded applications in the sense that a single core can only handle a single thread at a time.

In a nutshell, if you expect to do heavy multitasking, favor more cores over more speed.
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SandeepSr System AdministratorCommented:
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Depends what you mean by best, if a slow clocking 40w CPU can handle the task it's better than a 100W CPU even though it's half the speed.

To find out which processors big companies use you just have to go to Dell or HP's site and look what they offer for their latest servers. For example pick DL380 gen8 from  www.hp.com/go/ProLiant and look at the list of CPUs on offer in the quickspecs.
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CallandorCommented:
Xeon is a name Intel has chosen for their server-class cpus since the Pentium4 came out, so it's not enough to just specify Xeon; you have to specify the model.  And just like asking "what's the best car", asking what's the best processor depends on what you intend to do with it.

For virtualization, more cores and more RAM is optimal, but for number crunching, the highest performance cpu is optimal.  Some parallel processing tasks are better solved with a gpu and code designed for it, such as nVidia's Fermi processors.  Currently, the highest performance Xeons are the 10-core E7-8870's, but they are very expensive (about $4 grand apiece): http://www.anandtech.com/show/4259/westmereex-intels-flagship-improves/2

What you get depends on what you want to do with it, and what your budget is.
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page1985Commented:
That's a good point, Callandor, but I think buying the processor for them is not in the scope of the question.  We can't collect enough information here about the application of the processor in order to recommend a specific model of Xeon.  At some point, the asker will need to take our recommendations and apply them practically when choosing the model, or, more likely, speak to his or her reseller and request a server matching X criteria that also has an Intel Xeon processor desiged for Y purpose.
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Thyagaraj03Author Commented:
Thank you all. Nice contribution from all. I will use it for running many services like web, database and version control system. "xeon" sounds good. I am also looking for the standard socket type. Like, AFAIK LGA 775, 1155 and 2011 are the said to be standard. I am also looking for those sockets which will have backward compatible in the future. If anybody know any stand socket types, please let me know.

Thanks!. Thank you all!
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Thyagaraj03Author Commented:
I ment to say best performance which a cpu can offer. As mentioned, I might have to check for no of cores and threads. Thanks!
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page1985Commented:
Intel changes sockets based upon the current processor specifications.  There is no way to guarnatee socket compatibility into the future.
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
That's right, each time a new one comes out it has more capability which generally means it has more contacts than before. Best bet is probably a xeon E5 since they are latest chips for 2 socket servers.
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CallandorCommented:
The socket for current Xeon E5 cpus (Sandy Bridge family) is LGA2011.  Before that, it was LGA1567, and before that LGA1156, so as you can see, the state of the art changes.  Not only will the socket change, but the supporting chipset changes with each new family, so you will need a new motherboard anyway.
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