The Best Workstation CPUs

If you’re looking for the best processor for work, much of the decision will depend on the nature of your work. Given sufficient time, the majority of processors can handle virtually any workload. But faster CPUs (with more cores and clock speeds) chew through demanding workloads in much less time, making them productive CPUs. 

This list focuses on productivity application performance for workstations, while our article on the Best CPUs for Gaming provides a better picture of gaming performance. For a more in-depth examination, our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy ranks all processors based on their performance in gaming, single-threaded, and multithreaded workloads.

The AMD vs. Intel rivalry continues in the workstation market, as well. A processor that excels at gaming is not always the best CPU if your workload is productivity-focused. As highly threaded CPUs become more prevalent, gaming and work are becoming increasingly distinct silicon beasts, making it more challenging to determine which CPU is optimal for your workload. Based on our years of benchmarking and testing data, we’ve compiled a list of the most cost-effective processors performing everyday productivity tasks.

We recently subjected the AMD Threadripper Pro 5995WX and 5975WX to our extensive standard benchmarks and workstation-class tests. These chips are our top two recommendations for workstation chips, representing the new industry standard. Threadripper chips will eventually compete with Intel’s forthcoming Sapphire Rapids-X and Fishhawk Falls processors.

AMD has decided not to create separate lineups for this generation’s Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Pro processors, as it has in the past. Unfortunately, pricing remains prohibitive for most HEDT users, so there is no longer a cost-effective platform for workstation users. Due to the addition of ECC memory support and overclocking to the company’s workstation W680 motherboards, Intel’s Alder Lake chips have taken over the less expensive price tiers.

AMD is also developing Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 chips, which will compete with Alder Lake for the lower-end positions on our list. However, Intel also plans to release Raptor Lake later this year.

How to Evaluate a Workstation CPU

A few factors make a workstation CPU suitable for the task at hand. First, we desire an abundance of CPU cores and threads. Since most workstation workloads are multithreaded, having multiple cores working on the issue makes sense. This is not always the best approach, as some workstation applications, such as CAD, have not traditionally made good use of more than a few threads. In this case, you should prioritize a CPU with fewer cores but excellent per-core performance.

Then there are professional features such as error-correcting RAM and high-end integrated data security. These CPUs are essential if you’re working on sensitive scientific or engineering projects or tasks requiring extremely high levels of precision.

However, suppose you’re a video editor, sound engineer, CAD professional, or perform other professional tasks that don’t strictly require these features. In that case, you can get away with using high-performance consumer CPUs, which is why we’ve included some of the best examples of these processors on this list.

The Best Workstation CPUs In 2022

We’ve compiled a list of the best portable air conditioners currently available, followed by a buyer’s guide to help you determine precisely what you’re looking for in a portable air conditioner or fan. Keep scrolling to discover our top-recommended summer cooling products that are certain to meet your needs! 

1. Best overall workstation CPU: AMD Threadripper 3990X

Even though it’s been a while since AMD released the Threadripper 3990X processor, it’s still performing admirably. We believe it is the best workstation CPU currently available on the market. Workstation CPUs aren’t upgraded as frequently as mainstream ones, which are on an annual upgrade cycle, so this isn’t a surprise. The Threadripper 3990X includes 64 cores and 128 threads, and 256MB of L3 and 32MB of L2 cache.

The Threadripper 3990X is based on the single-socket-optimized EPYC Rome 7702P processor. Clock speeds, memory channels, and PCIe lanes are the primary differentiating factors between these CPUs. With a base clock of 2.9GHz and a boost clock of 4.3GHz, the Threadripper 3990X is significantly faster than the EPYC Rome 7702P clock speeds. We anticipate an improvement of approximately 1GHz, which is quite impressive. It is imposing because these core-heavy processors typically do not possess such high clock rates.

The 3990X supports up to 256GB of DDR4-3200 quad-channel memory. This is essentially a downgrade compared to EPYC’s support for eight memory channels, but they can be easily overclocked because they share the same memory controller as Ryzen 3000 series processors. Consider purchasing the eight-channel EPYC Rome CPU if your workloads would benefit from increased memory throughput.

Additionally, the AMD Threadripper 3990X supports 64 lanes of PCIe 4.0, which provides twice the throughput per lane as the PCIe 3.0 interface on competing Intel chips. With eight PCIe 4.0 lanes and a TRX40 chipset, the throughput between the processor and the chipset are 16 GB/s. Intel’s PCIe 3.0 interface supports throughput of 4 GB/s over its DMI link, in case you were wondering.

The AMD Threadripper 3990X features Zen 2 microarchitecture, but the company is anticipated to release new HEDT processors based on the new architecture shortly. The 3990X is ideal for rendering, visual effects, compilation, and more tasks. Unless you are dealing with intensive rendering or VFX tasks that require hours to render, you may want to opt for the Threadripper 3970X or 3960X. The Threadripper 3970X will be significantly less expensive, but you will sacrifice up to 32 cores. There is a clear need for a 48-core chip to bridge the gap between the two, and we anticipate the release of a new CPU to meet this demand.

There are numerous advantages to the Threadripper 3990X processor. It offers competitive per-core pricing and superior performance in various workloads, destroying the competition. It is also capable of overclocking and supports 64 lanes of PCIe 4.0, which offers twice the throughput per lane as the PCIe 3.0 interface on Intel’s competing chips. This expensive processor necessitates equally powerful and pricey supporting components for optimal performance.

Key Features
  • A world-beating 64 cores and 128 processing threads for visual effects and video editing professionals.
  • Incredible 4. 3 GHz max boost frequency, with a huge 288MB cache
  • Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature
  • Quad-Channel DDR4 and 88 total PCIe 4. 0 lanes, the most bandwidth and I/O you can get on desktop processor
  • 280W TDP
  • Cooler not included
PROS
  • Unlocked for overclocking
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • Monstrous MultiThreaded performance
  • SingleThread improvements over 2nd gen
  • Excellent rendering performance
CONS
  • Expensive price tag
  • Requires new motherboards
  • Benefits a narrow cross-section of workloads

2. Runner-Up: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5995WX Desktop Processor

AMD’s Threadripper Pro 5995WX is the undisputed multithreaded workstation market leader with 64 cores, 128 threads, and support for up to 2 terabytes of memory distributed across eight memory channels. It also has an incredible 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes of connectivity.

The Zen 3-powered Threadripper Pro 3995WX is nearly identical to what AMD describes: a highly specialized processor that delivers exceptional performance in a narrow range of workloads. Like its predecessor, the 64-core Threadripper Pro 5995WX is a technical beast that provides unrivaled performance in parallelizable workloads. However, some applications do not benefit from 64 cores, so you should consider your workload before purchasing. However, you won’t find this many cores or PCIe lanes in a single-socket Intel workstation; the Intel Xeon W-3300 family is outclassed with a maximum of 38 cores and 64 PCIe lanes per chip. However, the retail price for the 5995WX is a heart-stopping $6,499.

AMD’s decision to pair 64 cores and 128 threads with higher boost frequencies pays off in VFX, 3D animation, and ray tracing workloads with more performance than any comparable workstation-class solution and even some dual-socket servers. The higher boost frequencies provide brisk performance for everyday applications with few threads and devastating performance for threaded workloads that scale well.

Professionals who can take advantage of the 5995WX’s large number of cores and threads will find it well worth the price, as no comparable processor is available.

Key Features
  • Features 64 cores for demanding professional software applications with support for high memory capacity and 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • 64 Cores and 128 processing threads, based on AMD “Zen 3” architecture
  • 4.5 GHz Max Boost, 288 MB cache, DDR4-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket WRX80 platform
PROS
  • Unmatched performance in threaded work
  • Competitive single-thread performance
  • Industry-leading 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0
  • Octo-channel memory
CONS
  • Expensive chip pricing
  • Expensive motherboard pricing
  • Limited DIY motherboard options

3. Best High-End Workstation CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5975WX Desktop Processor

While the Threadripper 35995WX delivers the maximum possible performance, the processor’s exotic design results in slower performance in some typical workloads, making the Threadripper 5975WX the more practical choice for productivity-minded users.

In its price range, the 32-core, 64-thread Threadripper 5975WX delivers devastating threaded performance, trouncing Intel’s most exotic silicon. The $3,299 32-core Threadripper Pro 5975WX is the superior option for most professionals, as it offers the same stellar performance and connectivity as its more expensive counterpart. This chip provides most of the 5995WX’s performance and is less susceptible to performance fluctuations under specific workloads.

The forward-thinking adoption of the PCIe 4.0 interface by AMD is an additional feature that will help the company win over the semi-professional market. While the faster interface is less functional on a standard desktop, the ability to stack throughput-hungry devices behind the chipset without the severe throughput restrictions seen with Intel’s DMI is a significant advantage.

Key Features
  • Features 32 cores for demanding professional software applications with support for high memory capacity and 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • 32 Cores and 64 processing threads, based on AMD “Zen 3” architecture
  • 4.5 GHz Max Boost, 144 MB cache, DDR4-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket WRX80 platform
PROS
  • Unmatched performance in threaded work
  • Competitive single-thread performance
  • Industry-leading 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0
  • Octo-channel memory
CONS
  • Expensive chip pricing
  • Expensive motherboard pricing
  • Limited DIY motherboard options

4. Alternate Pick: Intel Core i9-10980XE Desktop Processor

The Core i9-10980XE is a solid choice; however, you will sacrifice a significant amount of threaded horsepower by selecting it.

Intel’s Cascade Lake-X flagship has a niche for streamers and professionals who can use the extra I/O and quad-channel memory. Still, the Ryzen 5950X and 3950X are a better value for most productivity workloads where the more robust HEDT platform is less important.

That leaves a minuscule portion of the market where Intel has a competitive advantage in this price range (users that need quad-channel memory or more PCIe lanes). If you have the funds available, overclocking performance is a consideration. You can install the -10980XE into an existing X299 motherboard if you’re willing to sacrifice a few PCIe lanes, but be aware that the X299 platform has reached its end.

The 14nm process yields faster clock speeds and increases performance while reducing overall power consumption. Additionally, the Core i9-10980XE has significantly more overclocking headroom than its predecessor. However, the 10980XE’s after-tuning advantage over the AMD Ryzen 5950X costs an additional $280 and necessitates more robust cooling and power delivery, so you should factor that into your purchasing decision. In most cases, the Ryzen 9 5950X and 3950X, listed below, remain the superior option if they are readily available.

Key Features
  • Up to 4. 8 GHz unlocked
  • Discrete graphics required
  • Compatible with Intel x299 Chipset based motherboards
  • Supports Intel Optane Memory
  • Cascade Lake, CLX, 10th, Generation, Desktop, CPU, Ci9, Core, 165W, i9-10980XE, enthusiast, creator, Content Creation, LGA, 2066, 200 series, X299, X299-Made To Create, 14C, 24T
PROS
  • Incremental performance improvements
  • Lower power consumption
  • Overclockability
  • Backward compatibility
CONS
  • Price
  • Dead-end platform
  • PCIe3.0

5. Best High Performance Value Workstation CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor

Once upon a time, the Intel Core i9-12900K was the world’s fastest processor. Even in heavily-threaded content creation tasks, it outperforms AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X, making it an exceptional value for high-end game streaming. It is also unrivaled in terms of x86 single-threaded performance. It can be paired with Intel’s workstation W680 chipset and supports ECC memory and CPU overclocking, making it a powerful chip for entry-level workstations.

The 12900K also supports cutting-edge connectivity for DDR4-3200 or up to DDR5-4800 memory, 16 PCIe 5.0, and four additional PCIe 4.0 lanes from the chip for M.2 SSDs.

The chip includes eight hyperthreaded P-cores and eight single-threaded E-cores for 24 threads. The base frequency of the P-cores is 3.2 GHz, and peak frequencies reach 5.2 GHz with Turbo Boost Max 3.0. (this feature is only active on P-cores). Meanwhile, the E-cores have a base frequency of 2.4 GHz and can reach 3.9 GHz via the Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithms. The chip includes 30MB of L3 cache and 14MB of L2 cache.

This 12900K has a base power rating of 125W PBP and a peak power rating of 241W MTP, but it consumes significantly less power than its predecessor. In exchange, you receive industry-leading performance.

You will also require a 600-series motherboard and a capable cooler for the processor. There is a vast selection of high-end motherboards that support DDR5 memory, and while there are only lower-end and mid-range DDR4 motherboards, there is still a great deal of choice. Most users will appreciate the lower cost and comparable performance of DDR4, but if you require greater memory throughput, you can opt for the more expensive DDR5.

Key Features
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 30 MB of L3 cache memory provides excellent hit rate in short access time enabling improved system performance
  • 10 nm enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
PROS
  • ECC Memory Support on W680
  • Competitive pricing
  • DDR5 and PCIe 5.0
  • Leading single-threaded performance
  • Multi-threaded performance
  • Overclockable
CONS
  • No bundled cooler
  • Requires LGA1700 motherboard
  • Platform pricing

6. Also Great: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

High-end desktop (HEDT) processors have long provided the highest level of performance for those willing to pay a premium. In addition to their high cost, HEDT chips necessitate expensive components, such as robust motherboards and the added expense of fully populated quad-channel memory controllers. Add the inevitable trade-offs, such as decreased performance in lightly-threaded applications and games. Any budget-conscious users who could benefit from the threaded power of a HEDT chip opt for mainstream offerings.

With 16 cores and 32 threads, the Ryzen 9 5950X furthers the mission of its predecessors to bring HEDT-class performance to mainstream motherboards by lowering the entry bar. The 5950X has a price tag of $550, which is a bargain compared to competing for HEDT processors that do not provide the same level of performance.

The Ryzen 9 5950X’s abundance of cores and threads makes it extraordinarily adept at productivity tasks. However, it is equipped with a dual-channel memory controller that can limit performance in memory-limited workloads. The Ryzen 9 5950X fits the bill like no other CPU before, blurring the lines between HEDT and mainstream platforms if you’re looking for a chip and platform that can work seriously fast while remaining agile enough to deliver high-refresh gameplay at the end of the day.

Key Features
  • The best processor for gamers meets the best processor for creators, with 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100+ FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Cooler not included, liquid cooler recommended
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
PROS
  • Class-leading 16 cores & 32 threads
  • Overclockable
  • Higher boost frequencies
  • Reasonable price-per-core
  • Power efficiency
  • PCIe Gen 4.0
CONS
  • Requires beefy cooling
  • No bundled cooler
  • Higher gen-on-gen pricing
  • No integrated graphics

7. Best Value: Intel Core i7-12700K Desktop Processor

At $385, the 12700K outperforms the Ryzen 7 5800X by a wide margin and even displaces the more expensive Ryzen 9 5900X. The addition of ECC memory support and CPU overclocking to Intel’s W680 chipset for workstation-class systems is the icing on the cake that makes this chip an exceptional value for lower-end production systems.

According to our benchmarks, the Core i7-12700K is a powerful all-rounder if you’re looking for a reasonable balance of price and performance. The 12700K has impressive productivity capabilities: The 12700K is 17% faster in single-threaded applications than the 5800X and 5900X. The Core i7-12700K is 2.5% more quickly than the Ryzen 9 5900X in threaded workloads, but the 5900X outperforms the i7-12700K in multithreaded applications.

Totaling 20 threads, the Core i7-12700K has eight P-cores (high-performance) and four E-cores (Efficiency). The P-cores operate at a base/boost frequency of 3.6/5.0 GHz, while the E-cores operate at 2.7/3.8 GHz. Moreover, the chip is fed by 25MB of L3 cache and 12MB of L2 cache.

The 12700K also supports cutting-edge connectivity for DDR4-3200 or up to DDR5-4800 memory, 16 PCIe 5.0, and four additional PCIe 4.0 lanes from the chip for M.2 SSDs. The 12700K has a power rating of 125W PBP (base) and 190W MTP (peak). Nonetheless, we recorded significantly lower power consumption than its predecessor, and you receive ultra-competitive performance in exchange.

You will also require a 600-series motherboard and a capable cooler for the processor. There is a vast selection of high-end motherboards that support DDR5 memory, and while there are only lower-end and mid-range DDR4 motherboards, there is still a great deal of choice. Most users will appreciate the lower cost and comparable performance of DDR4, but if you require greater memory throughput, you can opt for the more expensive DDR5.

Key Features
  • Intel Core i7 3.60 GHz processor offers more cache space and the hyper-threading architecture delivers high performance for demanding applications with better onboard graphics and faster turbo boost
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 25 MB of L3 cache to boost the instruction processing and system performance
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • To boost graphics and visual quality, the chipset has a built in Intel UHD Graphics controller
PROS
  • Price
  • Single- and Multi-threaded performance
  • ECC Memory Support on W680
  • PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory
  • Overclockable
  • Power efficiency improved
CONS
  • No bundled cooler
  • Platform pricing
  • Draws more power than Ryzen

8. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core Desktop Processor

Choosing the Core i5-12400 will save you money if you are only concerned with the best CPU for gaming and basic productivity tasks. However, if you value a brutal mix of performance in all aspects, such as single-threaded and multithreaded work and gaming, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the processor for you – it excels in all areas.

The 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen 9 5900X is rated for a base frequency of 3.7 GHz and a boost frequency of 4.8 GHz, but we measured it at 5.0 GHz during our testing. The 5900X is not only incredibly potent in threaded applications for its price, but it is also the fastest gaming chip on the market, so you get the best of both worlds.

There is also PCIe 4.0 support and overclocking capability to consider. The Ryzen 9 5900X is compatible with motherboards from the 500-series and some 400-series (be sure to assure compatibility). You must provide your own cooler, and the larger, the better; cooling significantly impacts the performance of high-end Ryzen 5000 processors. The Ryzen 9 5900X is an excellent option if you’re looking for a chip with an outstanding balance of single- and multithreaded performance.

Key Features
  • The world’s best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
PROS
  • Support for PCIe 4.0
  • Unlocked multiplier
  • Compatible with 500-series motherboards
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Excellent single- and multi-threaded performance
CONS
  • No bundled cooler
  • Higher gen-on-gen pricing
  • No integrated graphics

9. Best Budget Workstation CPU: Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor

The midrange Alder Lake six-core 12-thread Core i5-12400 is the absolute best budget CPU for workstations, especially after recent price reductions bringing it down to a staggering $160. This chip supports ECC memory on the W680 chipset, making it an excellent choice for workstations.

With proper tuning, it’s even faster at gaming than the previous-generation $549 Core i9-11900K flagship, so it’s also faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X that we list as an alternative in this price range.

The chip features six P-cores that support hyper-threading and operate at a base speed of 2.5 GHz and a boost speed of 4.4 GHz. The 12400 supports cutting-edge connectivity with support for DDR4-3200 or up to DDR5-4800 memory, 16 PCIe 5.0, and four additional PCIe 4.0 lanes from the chip for M.2 SSDs.

Our testing indicates that the Core i5-12400 performs admirably in all threaded productivity applications, and its single-threaded performance surpasses that of even the most potent Ryzen 5000 processors. If entertainment is also on the menu, the Core i5-12400 offers incredible gaming performance at a significantly lower cost than any comparable AMD processor, establishing a new standard for budget gaming chips.

The Core i5-12400 includes a cooler that can handle its 65W/117W base/peak power rating, but a 600-series motherboard is also required. Most users will appreciate the lower cost and comparable performance of DDR4, but if you need greater memory throughput, you can opt for the more expensive DDR5.

Read More: Intel Core i5-12400 Review

Key Features
  • Intel Core i5 2.50 GHz processor offers hyper-threading architecture that delivers high performance for demanding applications with improved onboard graphics and turbo boost
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • Its 18 MB of L3 cache is good enough to carry routine data and process them in a flash giving you fast and smooth performance
  • Built-in Intel UHD Graphics 730 controller for improved graphics and visual quality. Supports up to 4 monitors.
PROS
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Strong single- and multi-thread
  • Ultra competitive pricing
  • PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory
CONS
  • Requires LGA1700 motherboard

10. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core Desktop Processor

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X offers a compelling combination of price and performance in its price range, but the six-core, 12-thread chip costs $159. However, the 5600X provides more than enough additional application performance to justify the price, and it is one of the most energy-efficient desktop PC processors we’ve ever seen. Therefore, it is easier to cool than competing chips in the same price range, resulting in a quieter system.

In terms of gaming, single-threaded, and multi-threaded application performance, the Zen 3 microarchitecture from AMD yields an astounding 19% increase in IPC. The 5600X provides more than adequate performance for everyday application workloads, but you should remember that it’s a six-core processor. If entertainment is also on the menu, the 5600X is an incredibly versatile processor that can handle any gaming, from competitive-class performance with high refresh rate monitors to streaming.

The Ryzen 5 5600X has a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.6 GHz; however, with the proper cooling and motherboard, you can expect higher short-term boosts. The chip also has a 65W TDP rating, indicating that it operates quietly and coolly given its capabilities (the previous-gen model was 95W).

Existing AMD owners with a 500-series motherboard will sigh relief because the 5600X is compatible with existing 500-series and some 400-series motherboards (be sure to check compatibility lists). If you need a new motherboard to support the chip, both 400- and 500-series motherboards are abundant and reasonably priced, with the B550 lineup representing the best value for this chip.

Key Features
  • AMD’s fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. System Memory Type: DDR4
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
PROS
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Strong in single- and multi-threaded workloads
  • Relatively easy to cool
  • PCIe 4.0
  • Bundled cooler
  • Power efficiency
  • Works with existing 500-series motherboards
CONS
  • Higher gen-on-gen pricing

Factors to consider when choosing the best workstation CPUs

Selecting new hardware is never simple. Getting close to a conclusive decision typically requires hours of intensive product research, user feedback, and many other factors.

If you lack technical knowledge and cannot devote sufficient time to reviewing the above requirements, you may end up purchasing inappropriate hardware for your needs.

However, have no fear, friends! We strive to alleviate the burden of research by transforming the entire process into an easy-to-follow, comprehensive buyer’s guide. Our team of PC enthusiasts has completed all of the laborious work for you!

Workstation Processors: Specifications Worth Knowing

As with any PC component, learning and comprehending the fundamental specifications that affect its performance can be among the most crucial steps you can take before purchasing workstation CPUs; this philosophy could not be more critical – and not just for financial reasons.

In light of this, we have outlined some of the essential characteristics of a HEDT processor below. Understanding their functions will ensure that your workstation’s next CPU meets your requirements.

Cores And Threads

Cores and threads are at the heart of every CPU, whether it’s an APU or the most recent Threadripper. The CPU’s cores are its physical processors. On the other hand, a thread is a virtual core designed to aid the CPU in multitasking scenarios that are more demanding.

Currently, processors have reached a level many may not believe possible. Consumer-grade desktop CPUs, for instance, can boast up to 16 cores and 32 threads (AMD Ryzen 3950X) – which, at first glance, sounds fantastic. However, it pales compared to the most recent high-end desktop processors, some of which feature 64 cores and 128 threads.

The following guidelines are recommended as a general rule when purchasing a new processor:

  • 4 Cores – General use, light browsing, and very light gaming
  • 8 Cores – Decent for gaming, moderate multi-tasking, and all general-use purposes
  • 16 Cores – Entry-level workstation CPU. Can handle moderately demanding tasks if coupled with good RAM and decent clock frequencies.
  • 32 Cores – Mid-range workstation CPU. Handles fairly demanding tasks including rendering, CAD, and all kinds of streaming. At this level, we start to enter into the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • 64 Cores – High-end workstation CPU. Handles the most demanding workstation tasks. At this range, you’re looking at extremely expensive hardware, expect to fork out well above $2,000.

Clock Speed

Next, we will discuss clock speed (also known as a core frequency or cycle speed, depending on how you look at it). This refers to how many cycles per second your CPU can execute and is measured in gigahertz (gigahertz). Therefore, a CPU with a clock speed of 3.8GHz will be capable of 3.8 billion cycles per second.

Although the general rule for CPU clock speed is that faster is better, it is not the only factor to consider when purchasing a CPU. In addition, modern CPU manufacturers advertise three or four distinct clock speeds, including base, boost, all-core boost, and single-core boost. Although this can be somewhat confusing, it is always essential to comprehend your CPU’s capabilities:

  • Base clock speed – The speed your CPU will operate at when in idle
  • Boost clock speed – The maximum speed your CPU can reach under its own overclock
  • All core boost – The maximum speed all the cores can be boosted to – simultaneously
  • Single-core boost – The maximum speed a single core can be boosted to

So, when constructing a workstation computer, what should you look for? Single-core speed and boost speed are only relevant for specific applications and games. On the other hand, all core boost is significantly more appropriate, as it represents the overall CPU processing speed.

You should seek the maximum number of cores and the fastest all-core clock speed.

Socket Types

Socket type is easy; the mounting point on your motherboard holds the CPU in place, allowing your computer to function theoretically. If you are a first-time builder, you should pay special attention to this section, as not all CPUs are compatible with all motherboards.

Every CPU and motherboard has its socket type. Intel’s socket type differs significantly from AMD’s, further complicating matters. Although locating a motherboard compatible with your CPU is not particularly difficult, it should still be understood before making a purchase.

Locating the product page on the manufacturer’s website is the simplest way to discover which socket your CPU uses. Once found, navigate to the specifications section of the CPU to determine the type of socket it employs. After seeing this, pair it with a motherboard that utilizes the identical socket.

In this instance, the AMD CPU employs an sTRX4. Intel, on the contrary, uses the FCLGA2066 socket.

TDP

TDP is crucial to comprehend when assembling a workstation PC to handle extremely intensive workflows. TDP refers to the maximum amount of heat that the CPU can generate on its own.

TDP essentially informs the consumer of the type of CPU cooler that will be required. A CPU with a TDP of 100 generates only half the amount of heat as a CPU with a TDP of 200, allowing for the use of a smaller CPU cooler. Typically, the CPU cooler will have a TDP rating, indicating how much physical heat it can remove from the CPU. When selecting one, choose a CPU cooler with equal (or greater) cooling performance than the CPU’s output.

FAQs

The primary factors to consider when purchasing a CPU are the number of cores required, the purpose of the computer, the type of software to be run, processor compatibility, and CPU speed.

The performance of a processor can be affected by its clock speed, cache size, and the number of cores.

Suppose you’re experiencing bottlenecks during everyday desktop use. In that case, it’s less likely that you don’t have enough CPU cores and more likely that you don’t have enough RAM, especially if you’re doing intensive web browsing. Thus, 2-4 cores should suffice for most desktop applications.

A good processor speed is between 3.50 and 4.2 GHz, but single-thread performance is more critical. The optimal processor speed is between 3.5 and 4.2 GHz.

The highest clock speed per core is typically regarded as superior. Ideally, it would help if you choose a CPU with the highest possible clock speed and the required number of cores/threads. … The highest clock speed per core is typically regarded as superior.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, gentlemen: a comprehensive breakdown of the best available workstation processors in 2021. Although the market isn’t flooded with options, the present ones are the most potent we’ve ever encountered. A couple of years ago, if you had told me that AMD would be head and shoulders above Intel in the race for HEDT processing power, I would have told you to take a day off. However, here we are in 2022, and this has indeed occurred.

Hopefully, this guide has made your next workstation CPU purchase a little bit simpler; however, if it hasn’t, feel free to leave a comment in the section below, and we’ll do our best to answer any questions. Even better, why not visit our website, where you can discuss any workstation-related hardware with other individuals?

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

Related Stories

  • All Post
  • Audio
  • Best Picks
  • Computers
  • Explainers
  • How To
  • Laptops
  • Mobiles
  • Monitors
  • News
  • Smart Home
  • Smartwatches
  • Tablets
  • Tech
  • TVs
  • Versus

Editors' Picks

  • All Post
  • Audio
  • Best Picks
  • Computers
  • Explainers
  • How To
  • Laptops
  • Mobiles
  • Monitors
  • News
  • Smart Home
  • Smartwatches
  • Tablets
  • Tech
  • TVs
  • Versus
The Best Nokia Phones

November 1, 2022

The best Nokia phones prioritize providing consumers with affordable and mid-range options. Nokia does not release as many new phones yearly as its competitors, but it still offers a wide selection. As rumors continue circulating about the Penta-lens Nokia X50…

7 Best Document Scanners For Mac

September 27, 2022

Whether searching for the best Windows or Mac scanner, you should prioritize its quality. You are always searching for a product with the optimal combination of features and functionality. Add to that the price, and voila, you’ve found the best…

Best Ego Leaf Blowers you can find today

August 14, 2022

If you’re looking for the best cordless power tool to remove dry leaves and debris from your yard, an Ego leaf blower could be the one. The company is well-known for its battery-powered devices that outperform their gas-powered counterparts in…

PC Hardware Year In Review: 2019 Edition

January 1, 2020

2019 is finally over, and depending on who you ask, it was either a great or a terrible year for gamers. AMD and NVIDIA both released new (major) products. Intel was noticeably absent this year, releasing only a new mobility…

Get more info

Deals

Reviews

Best Products

Buying Guides

Contact Us

About Us

We provide a platform for our customers to rate and review services and products, as well as the stores that sell them. We research and compare the most popular brands and models before narrowing it down to the top ten, providing you with the most comprehensive and reliable buying advice to help you make your decision.

Disclaimer

BestTopReviewsOnline.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Address & Map

20 S Santa Cruz Ave, Suite 300, Los Gatos, CA 95030, United States

© 2022 BestTopReviewsOnline.com Pty. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Licensing: All third-party trademarks, images, and copyrights used on this page are for comparative advertising, criticism, or review. As this is a public forum where users can express their opinions on specific products and businesses, the opinions expressed do not reflect those of BestTopReviewsOnline.com.