Greatest CPUs for Workstations: June 2021

Best CPUs for Workstations: June 2021

In our sequence of Greatest CPU guides, right here’s the most recent replace to our really helpful workstation CPUs checklist. All numbers within the textual content are up to date to mirror pricing on the time of writing. Numbers in graphs mirror MSRP.

Greatest CPUs for Workstations June 2021

Generally selecting a CPU is tough. So we have you lined. In our CPU Guides, we provide you with our decide of among the finest processors obtainable, supplying knowledge from our opinions. Our Greatest CPUs for Workstations information principally covers workstation processors obtainable to shoppers, though some server merchandise cowl each segments.















Workstation CPU Suggestions: 2021 June

(Costs are 10-June or MSRP)
Section Processor
Most Cores AMD Threadripper 3990X $4796
AMD EPYC 7702P $4722
AMD TR Professional 3995WX $5487
The Good Cash AMD Threadripper 3970X $2096
HEDT Mid Vary AMD Threadripper 3960X $1400
AMD TR Professional 3955WX $1149
Intel Core i9-10980XE $989
AVX512 Accelerated 2P: Intel Xeon Gold 6258R $4020
1P: Intel Xeon W-3175X $3105
HEDT On a Funds AMD Threadripper 1900X $204

It’s been some time since we up to date this information, maybe as a result of the world of the workstation processor you should purchase on the shelf hasn’t actually modified all that a lot. Whereas AMD is releasing new {hardware}, and differentiating between the high-end desktop with Threadripper and workstation with Threadripper Professional, Intel in contrast launched its newest retail HEDT/WS processors again in November 2019, and hasn’t been ready to replace them since. Past, all indicators popping out of Intel on their HEDT/WS retail platform point out that it’s a market they don’t have the merchandise for. As an alternative Intel is specializing in its extra enterprise Xeon WS options, which solely actually come as a part of a pre-built system.

Nonetheless the affect of the semiconductor scarcity is affecting what individuals should purchase. Some processors are fluctuating out and in of inventory, and on condition that HEDT/WS processors give essentially the most margin, there may be some impetus from the producers to offer enough inventory the place the demand is. Earlier this yr AMD launched its Zen 2-based Threadripper Professional platform, offering the equal of an efficient EPYC processor for single socket workstations solely, however at larger frequencies. These processors have confirmed to be fascinating, and we’re arms deep in our testing for evaluation proper now.



















Intel vs AMD Comparability
AnandTech Intel

HEDT
Intel 

Workstation
AMD

Threadripper
AMD

TR Professional
Era Cascade-X Cascade-X Zen 2 Zen 2
Advertising Identify Core tenth Gen Xeon W-3200 Threadripper 3000X TR Professional 3900WX
High SKU i9-10980XE W-3275 TR3 3990X TR Professional 3995WX
Launch Date 11/2019 6/2019 11/2019 8/2020
Cores 10-18 28 64 64
TDP 165 W 205 W 280 W 280 W
Peak Energy

(as examined)
190 W 281 W 279 W
Base Freq 3000 MHz 2500 MHz 3800 MHz 2900 MHz
Turbo Freq 4800 MHz 4400 MHz 4500 MHz 4300 <Jz
PCIe 3.0 x48 3.0 x64 4.0 x56 4.0 x128
Motherboards X299 LGA3647 TRX40 WRX80
Worth (tray/SEP) $979 (1ku) $4449 (1ku) $3990 (SEP) $5490
Retail At present $979 N/A $4796 $5487
1ku = 1000 unit batch, 1 unit at retail is commonly barely (3-5%) larger

SEP = Steered Etail Worth

Threadripper Professional brings an fascinating conundrum for customers on this area: it’s costlier than Threadripper, however provides 8-channel reminiscence help and a full 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes. Relying on the worth differential at any explicit time limit, the TR Professional providing could be most popular no matter workload. Proper now, in June, we could be on this scenario. For customers ready for Zen 3 primarily based Threadripper, there’s nonetheless no ETA.

 

Going for the Most Cores:

AMD Threadripper 3990X (64c) at $4796 (up from $3848)

AMD EPYC 7702P (64c) at $4722

AMD Threadripper Professional 3995WX (64c) at $5487

Generally all you need are cores – both for lots of digital machines, or extremely parallel workloads, or one thing else. Each AMD and Intel attempt to preserve their highest core depend {hardware} for his or her enterprise traces, reminiscent of 64-core EPYCs and 28/56-core Xeons, which signifies that these additionally come at a further value for options reminiscent of multi-socket capabilities or RDIMM help and RAS options.

For extra ‘client’ {hardware}, the very best core depend on provide is 64 cores from AMD, with the Threadripper 3990X, at the moment obtainable for $4796 which is effectively above its MSRP of $3990 (and up from $3848 since our final information). This chip offers 56 lanes of PCIe 4.0, with one other 8 lanes for the chipset, and is available in at a base frequency of two.9 GHz and turbo of 4.3 GHz.  We examined the Threadripper 3990X towards $20k of Intel’s premium enterprise CPUs, and for workloads that had been embarrassingly parallel.

You possibly can learn our full evaluation of the 3990X right here:

The 64 Core Threadripper 3990X CPU Evaluation

In The Midst Of Chaos, AMD Seeks Alternative

 

If there’s a want for ECC (as TR help is board dependent), customers can get 64 cores on this approach in the event that they need to go to EPYC or Threadripper Professional, relying on how a lot core efficiency is required.

The one socket 64-core EPYC 7702P is the cheaper choice selection right here, with an MSRP of $4425, or a latest retail value of $4722. For that value the {hardware} has a base frequency of two.0 GHz and a turbo frequency of three.35 GHz, and entry to eight full reminiscence channels in addition to 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

The Threadripper Professional 3995WX has larger frequencies attributable to its larger TDP (200W vs. 280W): 2.7 GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo. It additionally has eight reminiscence channels and 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, the identical because the EPYC, nevertheless it additionally prices extra at $5487. The Threadripper Professional 3995WX is extra extensively obtainable at retail, however customers solely have three motherboards to select from.

All of the AMD choices listed here are Zen 2 primarily based, not Zen 3. AMD has not launched a Zen 3 Threadripper processor but, nevertheless the server-focused EPYC Milan processors are in Zen 3. These are nonetheless not freely obtainable at retail, nevertheless full pre-built programs from OEMs will be obtained.

Intel’s choices go as much as the 56-core Cascade Lake-AP processors, however these are solely obtainable as a part of a default server system that Intel’s companions can promote on. Intel nonetheless refuses to attribute a value to this processor, though we’ve estimated it round $25000. There may be the Xeon W-3175X up on the market with 28-cores for $3075, plus a motherboard for about $500-1000, so that is nearly the identical value because the 3990X for under half the cores. The EPYC 7702P on this occasion, being a socketed half that may be bought off the shelf, will get our vote.

The Good Cash:

AMD Threadripper 3970X at $2096 (down from $2250)

One of many peak performers of the final spherical of HEDT refreshes was the Threadripper 3970X. Providing 32 cores on a high-end desktop platform with a unified reminiscence design at a value the place Intel used to supply 10 cores not too way back is an astonishing leap in cores per greenback, and while you consider that the Threadripper has a better IPC on Zen 2 and an aggressive frequency makes it all of the extra spectacular.

The 2 finest upgrades the 3970X offers is the unified reminiscence distribution (will get rid of some complaints from the earlier Threadrippers), and that utilizing a 64 thread processor additionally removes points on Home windows associated to a number of processor teams when going above 64. Because the 3970X is 32 cores, or 64 threads, it maintains that unified thread area for workstation customers tied to Home windows.

3970X Widget

In our 3970X evaluation, I used the phrase ‘massacre’, as a result of any benchmark the place the Core i9-10980XE needed to do effectively, the 3970X got here and gained, generally by a big margin by having almost double the cores. The one multi-threaded take a look at that the 10980XE gained was AVX512 associated, and a few individuals complained that I didn’t level on the 35+ gaming assessments the place the 10980XE additionally gained by small (sub-3%) margins, however these individuals clearly don’t know what these processors are about. The 3970X is a superb processor for anybody who can lay down $2000 for the chip and one other $100+ for cooling (then $500+ for reminiscence, $500 for motherboard, and so forth).

 

Mid-Vary Providing:

AMD Threadripper 3960X (24c) at $1400 (down from $1600)

AMD Threadripper Professional 3955WX (16c) at $1149 with ECC

Intel Core i9-10980XE (18c) at $989

For anybody wanting a more cost effective high-end desktop system, then we are able to avoid wasting monies by trying on the mid-stack. That is the place Intel is definitely a bit extra aggressive: 18 cores within the i9-10980XE for an OEM value of $989 in comparison with the 24 core TR 3960X at $1400. Value per core is clearly shut, round $55/core for each, and each processors have plus factors (though in our assessments, the 24-core does pull forward most of the time). The brand new providing on this market is the TR Professional 3955WX, with 16 cores at $1149, which is extra at $72/core, however comes with ECC, extra PCIe, and extra reminiscence bandwidth.

In earlier guides this section has all the time been diversified attributable to availability. Up to now we’ve steered Intel CPUs at this value section, such because the 14-core 10940X ($800, $57/core) and even the 18-core 10980XE ($989, $55/core) when the timing is true and when you’re joyful to spend money on a platform that has no improve path. That is additionally the place the mainstream processors normally get a glance in for value, relying on use case and the way a lot tools is able to hand. One choice right here is to take a look at client grade processors, reminiscent of AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X, with 16 Zen 3 cores, nevertheless the dearth of reminiscence help and PCIe is a limiting issue.

Cinebench R20 Multi-Threaded

 

AVX512 Accelerated

2P: Intel Xeon Gold 6258R at $4100 (down from $4300)

1P: Intel Xeon W-3175X at $3075

I’ve added an AVX processor suggestion right here for the easy undeniable fact that if a consumer is more likely to encounter AVX acceleration, it’s going to be with software program aimed toward prosumers and high-end desktop customers. Intel has been pushing its AVX512 help, even bringing it into its client laptop computer processors, in an effort to drive issues like DLBoost to reinforce AI throughput. One of many ache factors I’ve had with Intel during the last couple of years is definitely getting an inventory of AVX512 use instances: actual software program examples the place AVX512 is used. It typically will get added for very particular issues, like a sure filter in Photoshop, or a particular version of a benchmark, however in the end these within the HPC area get essentially the most from it. For these customers, this suggestion is for you.



Our Core i9-10980XE evaluation pattern. It is a QS (Qualification Pattern) chip,

which is supposed to be as close to as retail as potential.

The very best high-end desktop off-the-shelf processor for AVX512 you should purchase is the Core i9-10980XE, with 18-cores that every one allow AVX512. Should you want ECC, then the Xeon W-3275/3175X goes to be your finest wager, however it should value a bit extra and a particular Xeon W motherboard is required. If value is not any object, then shifting right into a twin socket system with Xeon Scalable processors could be preferable, though take word that this introduces a non-uniform reminiscence entry (NUMA) atmosphere, which might inhibit bulk knowledge switch if the software program just isn’t NUMA-aware. To be on the protected facet normally single socket is most popular. The draw back to going Intel right here is discovering a CPU on the market.

3D Particle Movement v2.1 (with AVX)

 

Some customers would possibly level to the Xeon Scalable facet of the equation, for anybody needing extra Enterprise degree options. Within the Cascade Lake-SP Refresh cycle, Intel launched the Xeon Gold 6258R, with an inventory value of $3950. This processor is basically an identical in each technique to the top-of-the-line Xeon Platinum 8280 ($10009 checklist), besides it solely helps single and twin sockets. That’s a $6000-odd saving per-CPU when you’re not going above 2P. These Xeon Gold components at the moment retail for $4020. The choice is the Xeon W-3175X obtainable for $3105, with barely larger frequencies, however that may solely do a single socket. The Xeon W-3275 is technically newer, however costlier ($4449 1ku) and never technically a retail product-in-box product.

Finally, for the worth of 1 Xeon Platinum 8280, customers can get two Xeon Gold 6258Rs, get double the uncooked AVX efficiency, and nonetheless have change left over.

Reminiscence Help:

AMD EPYC as much as 4 TB per socket,

Intel Xeon with Optane DCPMM as much as 4.5 TB/6TB per socket,

or Intel Core i9-10900X (or any Core i9-109xx sequence)

Some customers are in it only for the reminiscence help, both attributable to a number of VMs or high-memory use-case necessities. For these, generally the reminiscence capability is extra essential than the compute efficiency, because the software program requires workspace within the terabytes – on this case doubling as much as 128 GB of DRAM or extra is all the time extra helpful than including compute, because it reduces the stress on shifting knowledge forwards and backwards between DRAM and storage. Usually it’s on this occasion too that RDIMMs with ECC are really helpful, simply because because the reminiscence capability will get bigger, the prospect of an errant bit flip does scale with reminiscence capability. The value of the reminiscence on this product class usually outweighs the CPU value by an order of magnitude as effectively.



128 GB LRDIMM, authentic retail $4000+ (now $1200-ish)

On this occasion, one selection is an EPYC, one thing just like the 7232P will simply help 4 TB of LRDIMMs per socket out of the field. Thoughts you, when you’re shopping for *that* a lot reminiscence, then going for the 64-core 7702P at $4722 isn’t that a lot of a leap.

The one technique to get extra reminiscence than this with an x86 processor could be to look to Intel Xeon Scalable processors outfitted with Optane DC Persistent Reminiscence, permitting as much as 4.5 TB per socket on Cascade Lake or 6 TB per socket on Ice Lake. With a view to get that quantity, you need to spend money on one of many larger reminiscence processors, which provides one other $3k-$6k to the price of the chip. The opposite issue right here is that Optane DCPMM isn’t freely on the market by means of standard channels: it sometimes comes as a part of an OEM system construct, and consequently the consumer will find yourself with a help contact for a selected OEM. For larger companies and analysis communities, that needs to be appropriate – test together with your most popular OEM with what they’ve to supply.

I additionally need to put in a phrase right here for Intel’s newest Cascade Lake-X processors. Usually, with 4 channels / eight reminiscence slots and 32 GB of DRAM per slot, this may max out at 256 GB. However apparently sufficient, when paired with an ASRock X299 motherboard (both the X299X Taichi, the X299 Metal Legend, or the X299 Creator), these motherboards can now help 128 GB RDIMMs, permitting for 1 TB of DRAM per single socket.

At the moment ASRock is trying into additionally enabling LRDIMM help. It is a comparatively new growth, posted by one in every of ASRock’s engineers to his private social media accounts, however the BIOSes required are actually public, and for customers invested within the Intel ecosystem that is effectively value a glance. 

Cores for Money:

AMD Threadripper 3960X (24c) at $1400

Intel Core i9-10980XE (18c) at $989

The most important change in our information this time round comes right down to the fee per core metric. The earlier suggestions had been the Ryzen Threadripper 2000 household, nevertheless these merchandise have been outdated and price much more than they did on the finish of 2020. So for anybody wanting essentially the most cores for the least quantity of $$$, then our decide is break up into two: the Threadripper 3960X or the Core i9-10980XE.

We’ve spoken about each already on this information, nevertheless it actually comes right down to price range. Each processors are on platforms not up to date, nevertheless the TR3960X is newer, comes with extra PCIe lanes, comes with PCIe 4.0 help, larger common frequency, extra cache, and better efficiency reminiscence help. Against this the Intel platform could be very mature, and has AVX-512.

HEDT on a Funds:

AMD Threadripper 1900X $204 (down from $240)

If you would like a HEDT system on a price range, the query to ask is that if it needs to be new or used. In quite a lot of skilled circumstances, new continues to be most popular, and the processor to get on the ladder right here is AMD’s Threadripper 1900X. The 8-core processor provides excessive capability reminiscence help, a number of PCIe lanes, and the low-end motherboards for Threadripper are actually coming into that low-to-mid vary pricing. In a sale, the 1900X will be discovered for underneath $200 (customers with extra money would possibly look for an inexpensive 1950X as a substitute), which looks as if a loopy low value for a high-end desktop processor. That being stated, except you want the PCIe lanes of the high-end desktop processor, on the lookout for one of many newer 6-core Ryzen 5 5600X processors ($299 MSRP) could be extra suggested from a efficiency standpoint.

1920 eCommerce Hyperlink

On The Horizon: Threadripper 5000 Collection with Zen 3

We’re a yr or extra on from AMD and Intel’s earlier HEDT launches, and neither firm appear that eager to push extra HEDT product onto the market.

Particulars on Intel’s future HEDT choices will not be clear within the slightest. We don’t know what Intel plans to launch on this area, or when. The corporate lately decreased the scope of its Cooper Lake Xeon platform to pick out prospects solely, launched its Ice Lake Xeon Scalable technology on 10nm, however nothing is there for HEDT/WS. Ice Lake Xeon continues to be not obtainable normally availability, and whereas efficiency is an effective generational enchancment it nonetheless trails behind AMD’s present choices, so we surprise if it should ever filter down. My prediction right here is that Intel gained’t have a look at this market once more till its 7nm processors are in quantity, on the earliest.

For AMD, Threadripper on Zen 3 (in all probability more likely to be known as Threadripper 5000) is anticipated to be coming this yr – some had been predicting early June as a result of annual Computex commerce present, nevertheless that has been and gone with no insights. As Zen 3 chiplets are straight drop-ins for Zen 2 chiplets, bring-up ought to go easily. However, these chiplets will initially be served in AMD’s EPYC processors first, as a result of that’s the place the upper margins are. Demand for Zen 3 Enterprise is excessive, and with the present semiconductor demand for EPYC in comparison with the dimensions of the Threadripper market, then next-gen Threadripper may need to attend somewhat bit longer.

We do nevertheless have the remainder of Threadripper Professional 3900WX household in for testing, and we shall be reviewing these on AnandTech shortly. The 3995WX 64-core has already been examined.

Current Threadripper / EPYC CPU Evaluations (AMD)

Current HEDT / Xeon CPU Evaluations (Intel)

Our benchmark database will be discovered at https://anandtech.com/bench

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