Compare desktop processors: AMD Ryzen 5 5600 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5500 [cpubenchmark.net] by PassMark Software

What is the difference between Mobile CPU and Desktop CPU?

For each new generation, Intel provides a Desktop version of the processor as well as a mobile version. We explain the difference between the two so you have all information in hand to make your choice!

Comparing Mobile CPU vs Desktop CPU

A desktop version will have a higher speed processing and better cache than a mobile CPU which will feature a reduced speed. Compare the two models below: the mobile core i7 CPU has the same clock rate as the Desktop i5 core. The Desktop has twice more cores than the mobile core i7 and a small improvement on the GPU Clock rated speed.

Type

Processor

Model

Cores

Clock Rate

GPU

GPU Clock

TDP

Desktop

Intel Core i5

7500T

4

2. 7 GHz

HD 620

1100 MHz

35W

Mobile

Intel Core i7

7500U

2

2.7 GHz

HD 620

1050 MHz

15W

It means that Desktop CPUs are more powerful. They can handle more devices: that’s why they are designed for full size PC or workstations like our Airtop.

Heat and Power Consumption

Due to their higher number of cores, computers with Desktop CPU are usually more powerful but therefore generate more heat and have a bigger power consumption than PCs powered by mobile processors.

As an example, our Airtop with desktop CPU draws from 65W whereas our fanless computers with mobile processors like Intense PC3 draws from 25W and Fitlet RM from 10W only.

Because computers with mobile CPUs generate little heating, it is easier to get a fanless design with smart passive cooling. Fanless computers using desktop CPU can also be cooled but they will require a different design as more heat is generated.


Mobile CPU for which applications?

We recommend mobile CPUs for applications requiring low processing performance such as firewall, CCTV client, thin clients, remote controlling, M2M communication, real-time monitoring, SOHO…

Of course, it depends on your overall requirements and needs: Ask our Team!

Articles related to this topic:
Operating System: the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit
Introducing Airtop! Desktop PC just got “cool” again
What is the Function of the BIOS on a mini PC?

Laptop CPU vs.

Desktop CPU — How They Differ

There is no doubt that desktop CPUs perform better than laptop CPUs. However, it would be best if you looked at several factors to understand the true extent of differences between laptop and desktop CPUs.

You have to look at the clock speed, core count, single-core and multi-core performance, and consider different series of CPUs within the same generation—their purpose is to understand how the laptop CPUs differ from desktop CPUs.

Considering several factors, I will discuss the differences between laptop and desktop CPUs in the following text.

But first, let us talk about the performance comparison between laptop and desktop CPUs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Laptop CPU vs. Desktop CPU Performance Comparison

To compare the performance of a CPU, looking at just the core count and clock speed needs to be more accurate.

A better way to gauge the performance of a CPU is to look at its scores on popular benchmarks such as PassMark and Cinebench.

Also Read: How is Processor Speed Measured?

Let us take 11th Gen Intel Core i5 CPUs for comparison here.

CPU Platform Clock Speed Cores/ Threads Passmark
Core i5 11600K Desktop 3.90- 4.90 GHz 6/12 19946
Core i5 11500 Desktop 2.70- 4.60 GHz 6/12 17763
Core i5 11400 Desktop  2.60- 4.40 GHz 6/12 17129
Core i5 11500H Laptop 2.90- 4.60 GHz 6/12 16629
Core i5 11400H Laptop  2.70- 4.50 GHz 6/12 15992
Core i5 11300H Laptop  3.10- 4.40 GHz 4/8 11212
Core i5 1155G7 Laptop 2.50- 4. 5 GHz 4/8 10881
Core i5 1135G7 Laptop 2.40- 4.2 GHz 4/8 10159
  • Scores are taken from CPUBenchmark.net

There are plenty of observations that you can draw from the table above.

For starters, laptops and desktops get a flagship CPU with every generation.

For Intel 11th Gen, the flagship CPU for the laptops is the Core i5 11500H, and the flagship CPU for the desktop is the Core i5 11600K.

You can see here that the performance difference between the two is drastic. While the desktop flagship CPU scores 19,946 points on Passmark, the laptop counterpart scores 16,629.

These scores are also consistent across Cinebench Single Core and Multi-Core Benchmarks as well:

  • Scores are taken from CPU-Monkey.com

 

  • Scores are taken from CPU-Monkey.com

Desktops CPUs Generally Have a Higher Core Count

Most desktop CPUs offer the highest Core/Thread count a generation can offer. For instance, for the 11th gen CPU above, all desktop CPUs have six cores and 12 threads in the i5 line.

You can find a mix of CPUs featuring high and lower core counts with laptop CPUs.

In the 11th generation, the core i5 11500H and the 11400H offer six cores and 12 threads in the i5 line, whereas the rest of the CPUs offer four cores and eight threads.

The flagship CPUs on laptops can generally give desktop CPUs a tough time, but they are often found on only high-end expensive professional or gaming laptops.

Specific laptop CPUs deliberately offer a lower core/thread count to be more power efficient. Lower scores = lower energy consumed, which means lower heat generated and high batter span.

Also Read: Can I Use Intel Processor on AMD Motherboard?

Laptop CPUs Cater To Power Efficiency and Mobility

Desktop CPUs are primarily divided in terms of two dimensions performance and price. The power consumption and battery span is not paramount consideration on desktops

Laptops have an additional dimension, power consumption, and battery life. Hence Laptop CPUs are divided into performance, price, and power consumed.

Hence, several lines of laptop CPUs are categorized based on power consumption. You can tell Intel CPUs’ power efficiency by the suffix in its model name.

  • H – high performance – High TDP – Have a High Core Count



  • U – low performance – battery saving – Low TDP – Low Core Count



  • G – low performance – battery saving – Low Core Count



  • Y – Deficient performance – Lowest TDP – Lowest Core Count in a given generation

The CPU’s TDP (Thermal Design Power) loosely describes the value of power consumption.

CPU Platform Clock Speed Cores/ Threads TDP
Core i5 11600K Desktop 3. 90- 4.90 GHz 6/12 95W
Core i5 11500 Desktop 2.70- 4.60 GHz 6/12 65W
Core i5 11400 Desktop  2.60- 4.40 GHz 6/12 65W
Core i5 11500H Laptop 2.90- 4.60 GHz 6/12 45W
Core i5 11400H Laptop  2.70- 4.50 GHz 6/12 45W
Core i5 11300H Laptop  3.10- 4.40 GHz 4/8 35W
Core i5 1155G7 Laptop 2.50- 4.5 GHz 4/8 28W
Core i5 1135G7 Laptop 2.40- 4.2 GHz 4/8 28W

You can see that the higher the performance of a CPU, the higher its TDP. The higher the TDP, the higher the power consumed and the higher the heat generated.

Desktop CPUs generally have a higher TDP since power consumption and heat generated are often not an issue. Desktop cases are significant and can provide ample cooling to dissipate the heat generated.

With laptops, a CPU with a higher TDP means higher battery consumption and requires a better cooling system. This often results in larger laptop chassis, which are heavier and more accessible to carry.

In other words, on laptops, weaker and low TDP CPUs such as the Intel Core i5 1135G7 and Core i5 11300H are deliberately provided to cater to those who value mobility, slim profile, and longer battery span as compared to high performance.

Low-powered CPUs are great for those with manageable day-to-day work, such as office users. Whereas gamers and professional designers/editors generally prefer high-performance CPUs.

Also Read: Intel K vs. KF vs. F Series CPU

Looking at Only Clock Speed for Comparing Performance Can Be Misleading

Often people need to pay more attention to judging a CPU performance, not solely by looking at its clock speed. This is a myopic way to go and needs to be more accurate and misleading.

For instance, the Intel Core i5 11500H laptop CPU and the Core i5 11500 desktop CPU. The former has a clock speed of 2.90-4.60 GHz and has six cores and 12 threads. The latter has a clock speed of 2.70-4.40 GHz and has six cores and 12 threads.

Despite the desktop-based Core i5 11500 having a lower clock speed, it has a better performance score than the laptop-based Core i5 11500H. (17763 vs 16629 PassMark score)

Point to Note: Same Generation and Series Should Be Compared

This is an important note. To compare CPUs for laptops and desktops, you must take the same from the same generation and the same series.

For instance, you cannot compare an i5 from the 11th generation with a model from the older 8th, 9th, or even 10th generation. This is because, with each age, the performance improves by a good margin, thanks to the evolution of architectural design.

Please also ensure that the CPUs compared are from the same line, i.e., desktop i5 with laptop i5 instead of desktop i5 with laptop i7.

Also Read: Difference Between Intel Celeron vs. i3

Other Important Differences Between Laptop and Desktop CPU

In addition to the performance and TDP, there are a few critical differences between laptops and desktops.

1. Laptop CPUs Are Irreplaceable

Laptop CPUs CANNOT be replaced. On the other hand, desktops’ CPUs can be removed from their socket from the motherboard, replaced, and or even upgraded with a better one.

This concerns the socket design of the laptop vs. desktop CPUs.

Desktop CPUs use either the Land Grid Array (LGA) or Pin Grid Array (PGA) sockets for their CPUs. These can be plugged in and out.

On the other hand, laptop CPUs use Ball Grid Array (BGA) socket. These are soldered onto the motherboard and, therefore, cannot be replaced.

I recommend reading the following article to get a better grasp of this:

  • Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor from i5 to i7?



  • LGA vs. BGA Socket

2. Certain Desktop CPUs Can be Overclocked

Specific desktop CPUs have the luxury of being overclocked. Meaning you can drastically improve their performance by ramping up their clock speed.

Laptop CPUs, on the other hand, cannot be overclocked. The manufacturer designs them to be not overclockable, or the laptop BIOS does not allow you to overclock.

Since laptop chassis are small and confined, overclocking the CPU can damage the system as more heat is generated.

In addition to that, laptop CPUs often get thermal throttled (dial down the performance) due to excessive heat generated.

Also Read: What is CPU Throttling?

3. Desktop CPUs can Maintain Boost Clock Speed for Longer Intervals

You will notice that almost all CPUs have two clock speeds in their specs:

  1. Base Clock Speed – Minimum clock speed per core. CPU is in this state when performing low-key tasks or when ideal



  2. Boost Clock Speed – Maximum clock speed per core in stock configuration. CPU reaches boost clock speed in demanding jobs. Boost clock speed can be increased with overclocking. 

For instance, the Intel Core i5 11600K has a base clock speed of 3.90 GHz per core and a boost of 4.90 GHz.

The caveat here is that boosting the frequency generates more heat. More heat = thermal throttling.

Hence, since laptop chassis are confined and not as adequately cooled as desktop chassis, the laptop CPUs can only sustain boost clock speed for a short time before overheating.

On the other hand, Desktop CPUs can sustain boost clock speed for longer intervals and even sustain overclocked boost speeds if robust cooling is provided.

Also Read: How to Check if CPU is Overclocked?

Final Words

Regarding performance comparison between laptop and desktop CPUs, desktop CPUs take the cake.

However, laptop CPUs are designed for mobility and power efficiency and serve different purposes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.

Can I use a laptop CPU in a desktop computer or vice versa?

It is not possible to use a laptop CPU in a desktop computer or vice versa.

Laptop CPUs are usually smaller and use different sockets compared to desktop CPUs.

The design of the motherboard and other components in laptops is also different from desktops, making it impossible to switch CPUs between the two types of computers.

2. Are laptop CPUs less powerful than desktop CPUs?

Laptop CPUs are generally less powerful than desktop CPUs due to their smaller size and lower power consumption. This means that they have fewer cores, lower clock speeds, and less cache memory than desktop CPUs.

However, some high-end laptop CPUs can offer performance similar to desktop CPUs, but they usually come with a higher price tag.

3. Can a laptop CPU be upgraded like a desktop CPU?

In most cases, laptop CPUs cannot be upgraded like desktop CPUs. Laptop CPUs are often soldered onto the motherboard, making it difficult or impossible to replace them.

Some high-end gaming laptops may offer the ability to upgrade the CPU, but this is not a common feature.

4. Do laptop CPUs and desktop CPUs have the same lifespan?

The lifespan of laptop CPUs and desktop CPUs is similar, but it depends on several factors such as usage, temperature, and maintenance.

In general, if the CPU is kept cool and is not subjected to high loads for extended periods, it can last for many years. Laptops may be more prone to CPU failure due to their smaller form factor and limited cooling options, but this can be mitigated with proper maintenance and usage.

Desktop CPUs may last longer due to better cooling and upgradability options, but this also depends on usage and maintenance.

Also Read: Can I Replace My AMD Processor with an Intel Processor?

Performance comparison of PCs and smartphones, including iPhone 11 / Sudo Null IT News

After the release of the iPhone 11 with SoC Bionic A13, once again there was a desire to compare its performance with a PC. A couple of years ago, Apple’s chips already outperformed the mid-range notebook segment. And since there is practically no progress in performance there, the new pocket gadget should now bypass the entire laptop fraternity and have a good “bite” on desktop systems.

Bypassed in many ways. Bitten. Details under the cut.

When looking at opinions about who is faster (smartphones or laptops), the most common option turned out to be: “how can a smartphone for 60 thousand be slower than a PC that is cheaper?” True, these opinions were not expressed on Habré. But technically savvy people, on the contrary, asked, they say, how can a baby with a TDP of 3-5 W get around monsters with a TDP of 65 W or more, despite the fact that they are produced according to similar technical processes?

Two different camps formed. I myself, being a systems engineer in the first VO, belong to the second. And I have an answer to the question about watts. But let’s get to the heart of the matter.

What ruler will measure

We will compare performance in the Geekbench 5 cross-platform test, which emulates the work of real user tasks such as archiving and encryption. How legitimate it is to compare different platforms in it is a good question. Let’s take it a little lower. And now I’ll just say that the creators of the test are pushing hard on this:

I use this test periodically. But the results for this post were taken from the official charts. In them, the creators put the average values ​​from what gets into the database from users. Most often, such results turn out to be slightly underestimated, because users are not professional testers. During the test, some software may be running in the background, or power saving mode is enabled. However, we don’t care. The extreme lower values ​​are already discarded there anyway. In addition, I do not have the goal of obtaining precision data. It is enough to outline a certain general picture.

Test results

First — Apple is cool, and over the past couple of years it has increased its lead over Qualcomm and Samsung with their licensed and finished armaments.

Second, the performance of top smartphones in office-consumer tasks has caught up with advanced laptops and good office PCs (see caveats below).
The third is single-core performance. It is she who is responsible for the responsiveness of the interface and the speed of applications, most of which are poorly adapted to parallelization.

Who’s who on the chart

Now let’s take a look at the interior of the test subjects. For convenience, I have collected everything in one plate.

If we combine these data with the performance chart, we can see that the limited thermal package does not allow all cores of mobile chips to thresh to their fullest. Additional restrictions are introduced by the big.LITTLE architecture, within which it is not always possible to simultaneously operate a high-performance on-chip cluster and an energy-efficient one.

Is it possible to compare different architectures?

A full-fledged comparison of processor architectures is extremely difficult, and I have no idea how to do it competently. ARM belongs to the RISC type, and x86 belongs to the CISC. With fewer instructions and fewer blocks, the ARM chip must execute individual instructions faster and more energy-efficiently. But as soon as it comes to performing complex functions, for which the x86 has prepared hardware blocks and instruction sets, ARM will smoke on the sidelines. But that’s in theory.

And there are different operating systems, different compilers. And it seems to me that the developers of Geekbench slightly scored on all this, simplifying everything to monitoring the performance of some typical tasks by the system, such as decoding jpg or assembling cached web pages. At the same time, they tried to optimize the code of these tasks for each system separately.

As a result, the happy owner of the latest iPhone can proudly say that his smart phone is able to open photos from the gallery as quickly as the top-end five-gig “stove” from Intel. But Geekbench no longer allows you to make more serious statements. However, for most everyday situations this is quite enough.

More details on their tests can be found in this pdf.

What are these comparisons for?

Three years ago, I was struck by the idea that with the growth in performance of mobile chips, they could encroach on the segment of inexpensive netbooks, a third of the price of which, at times, is Microsoft’s OS. With Google distributing its OS for free and only $1 per device to add Google Play services and more, the idea of ​​capturing the lower segment looked quite realistic.

However, Qualcomm’s marketers have gone the other way, and for the past couple of years they have been trying to surprise the world with $1000 systems in which their top chips get along with Windows 10…

Links to charts

If you are interested in the average results of other systems, you can use the Gikbench online database. Here are direct links to automatically updated charts for Android, iOS and PC. In the same place, you can enter any keywords in the search (models of chips, smartphones) and see the results obtained by other users for these devices. The only thing is that you will have to filter inadequate options yourself.

and yes, the owners of top smartphones can be proud that they carry in their pocket a thing more powerful than most modern laptops. At least if we compare them in terms of work in everyday applications.

Server and desktop processors — what’s the difference for the user

Readers often ask which type of processor they should choose: server or desktop .

While choosing the option that provides the best bang for your buck and building a processor-based system may seem intuitive, it’s often worth taking a closer look.

«Server» and «Desktop» are not just categories of processors, but separate platforms of which the processor is a part.

We’ll quickly go over the computer platforms to better explain the difference between server and desktop processors.

What types of platforms exist

There are four main platforms:

  • Mainstream / consumer sometimes referred to as desktop
  • Workstation or HEDT (high end desktop)
  • Professional workstation
  • Server

There is no official definition of what each of these platforms consists of, but they will generally be divided into broad levels of form factors, hardware performance, expandability and specialization, and intended use case.

Comparison of different platforms

Desktop or consumer computer

Basic or consumer platforms are what you will use on a computer built for light workloads such as graphic design, word processing, browsing, and general day-to-day work and gaming.

Desktop platforms are also evolving to better handle multi-threaded workloads, making them a cheaper alternative to workstation platforms. One good example is CPU rendering, where this platform is starting to gain popularity due to the ever-increasing number of CPU cores.

Workstation/HEDT

Workstation platforms are suitable for more demanding workloads requiring high multi-threaded performance and better connectivity. By providing many compute cores and access to more, such as PCIe lanes, applications that are highly parallelized run great on this platform.

Workstation platforms fit into desktop form factors, making them ideal for desktop or home use where you actively work on the system.

Professional Workstation

The Professional Workstation platform offers many of the features you’d find on a high performance server platform, but the key difference is that it matches the desktop form factor.

This platform is ideal for applications such as rendering, simulation, or workloads that require access to more PCIe lanes, ECC memory, more memory capacity, or CPU security features than the Workstation/HEDT platform can provide.

Server

The server platform is designed for reliability, flexibility and scalability. They are deployed primarily as rack-mounted units in data centers, allowing a large amount of processing power to be packed into a small space.

Server platforms are configured for a variety of purposes, from storing large amounts of data to resource-intensive applications with a large number of computing cores and memory.

They are also designed to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for extended periods without instability or system failures, and are not intended for direct use.

Key differences between platforms

What does it have to do with platforms? You just wanted to know the difference between desktop and server CPU!

Bear with me a little longer — we’ll get there!

Processors are inevitably tied to their platform. You can’t insert CPU desktop to the server platform and cannot install server CPU to the desktop platform.

The difference between server and desktop processors lies in their platform! Let’s take a look at the key platform differences:

Platform Form Factor

One obvious difference between desktop and server platforms is their form factor. For both the server and desktop platforms, there are standards for measuring the space occupied by the system.

For desktop platforms, typical form factors are XL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, M-ATX, and M-ITX, in order of size. ATX is the most popular option for desktop PC systems, followed by M-ATX and M-ITX.

The E-ATX form factor is often used in workstations and enthusiast systems. The larger size allows them to pack extra features, such as more PCIe and RAM slots, while still staying within the limitations of a desktop PC case.

Desktop cases also come in a variety of form factors. They are classified into Full Tower, Mid Tower, Mini Tower and Small Form Factor (SFF). Hardware compatibility for a particular case depends on its size: Full Tower cases support most sizes, while SFF cases only support M-ITX.

Most servers are available in either a tower or rack configuration. The tower configuration is similar to the desktop platform and is a good choice if you are running a small number of servers.

Rack servers are designed for use with standard 19-inch server racks, allowing servers to be placed vertically and save space. In addition to servers, you can also purchase rackmount storage arrays and network switches to add additional functionality to your installation.

Rack components are sized in height units from 1U to 6U for regular servers. Most server racks are 42U high, which allows you to fit quite a lot of equipment in a small space.

While some server motherboards fit common desktop PC form factors, many are custom made to fit more effectively into the server chassis you’ll be purchasing from the company.

Platform RAM

Server platforms support memory with ECC or Error Correction Code for the entire set of processors. ECC support on desktop platforms is limited to professional workstation, workstation, and a select number of consumer platforms.

On consumer platforms such as AMD Ryzen on B550 and X570 motherboards, ECC support exists but has not been tested for use on servers or workstations and compatibility varies by motherboard manufacturers.

ECC RAM corrects memory corruption due to random bit switching, preventing system crashes and data corruption. This is important when you cannot afford system failures when using your computer 24/7 for an extended period of time.

Professional workstation servers and processors also support terabytes of RAM. For reference, a typical consumer platform supports no more than 128 GB of memory.

The number of available RAM channels also depends on the platform. Server and Pro workstations have eight channels, workstation platforms four, and consumer two. More memory channels improve the net bandwidth between RAM and CPU.

Platform ECC support Memory channels Max. memory
Worktable Consumer/mainstream No, some platforms have uncertified support 2 128 GB
Workstation Yes 4 512 GB
Professional workstation Yes 8 2 TB
Server Server Yes 8 2TB+

Multi-processor support

A unique feature of the server platform is multi-processor support . Multiple processors in one system not only increases the number of cores, but also gives access to more memory and PCIe lanes in one system.

With a single system with multiple processors, you save a lot of space and money that separate systems would take up. This is great, for example, for rendering farms that require many compute cores in a limited space.

Platform expansion and connection

Server and professional workstation platforms offer a large number of PCIe lanes. These PCIe lanes are required to add expansion cards such as GPUs, NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, hard drives, or network cards. To find out more, you can refer to our article on how many PCIe lanes you need.

Platform Maximum number of PCIe lanes
Worktable Consumer/mainstream 20
Workstation 56
Professional workstation 128
Server Server 128+

Server platforms are very versatile in allocating PCIe lanes. Do you need a lot of NVMe drives? You have a server that does this by providing a full four lanes of PCIe connectivity per drive.

Need a large number of GPUs in one system? You also get this by supporting more GPUs than most desktop systems.

This just goes to show how versatile and customizable the server platform is. Servers are easily configured with multiple GPUs, NVMe drives, or hard drives while maintaining a compact footprint.

Of course, servers aren’t optimized for silent operation, so you don’t want to work directly on a server that’s under your desk. That is why they are usually hidden in a data center or a separate room.

Professional workstations are also customizable with an abundance of x16 PCIe slots. However, they are not as versatile as , mainly due to lack of space in the desktop form factor, which may force you to use expansion card adapters to get the most out of the platform.

Consumer systems have fewer PCIe lanes, which will limit your expansion to one or two GPUs and a pair of NVMe drives. Some specialized systems support multiple GPUs via a single 1x vertical channel for applications such as mining, although this will severely impact performance in non-mining workloads.

How processors relate to platforms

This was an overview of platforms. What do processors have to do with platforms?

Processors are platform specific and will only be compatible with that platform . Take AMD’s Ryzen and Epyc consumer/workstation series for example. There are no Ryzen processors for servers or Epyc processors for desktops.

The CPU of each series is made for its platform. Even processors that are identical on paper (for example, with the same number of cores and clock speed) will differ significantly depending on the platform they are running.

Which processor types are associated with which platform?

Here is a quick overview of which processor types are tied to which platform and their typical number of cores:

Platform Manufacturer Series Core Range
Worktable Consumer/mainstream AMD Athlon 2-4
Ryzen 4-16
Intel Pentium / Celeron 2-4
Core 2-10
Workstation AMD Threadripper 8-64
Intel Core X 10-18
Professional workstation AMD Threadripper Pro 12-64
Server Server AMD Epyc 8-64
Intel Xeon 4-56

Desktop and server processors

Key differences between desktop and server CPUs

As discussed above, processors on their platforms offer several features that help distinguish the two platforms. We will now focus on the actual differences between the processors .

Processor clock speeds

Desktop and consumer PC processors have higher clock speeds, making them a great option for active and single-threaded workloads that cannot be easily parallelized, such as graphics design, many types of video editing, and computer games.

Intel and AMD also allow manual overclocking of many of their desktop processors, which provides additional performance at the expense of increased power consumption and reduced stability. The thermal power of a processor core increases exponentially with its clock speed.

Single processor desktop platforms in a well ventilated system with options for large air and liquid cooling solutions allow manufacturers to push higher core clock speeds without worrying about overheating.

Server platforms operate in confined environments where the only method of cooling is high velocity air through a small heatsink. Add to that multiple processors with more cores, and you’ll need lower clock speeds to keep temperatures stable and running for a long time.

Lower clock speeds also reduce power consumption, which may seem useless for a single processor. However, if you plan to use hundreds or even thousands of processors, this will have serious consequences, even with a difference of several watts per processor.

Server processors also need to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week under heavy load, which greatly reduces their lifespan. This is why even server processors with low core counts run at lower clock speeds than comparable desktop processors.

Number of processor cores

While desktop platforms match servers by the maximum number of cores per processor, server processors have the unique advantage of being able to use multi-processor configurations .

The Intel Xeon Scalable is a great example of how easy it is to pack one server with multiple cores. Intel offers these processors as nodes that fit easily into a 2U chassis, offering up to 224 cores per server.

Processor price difference

Desktop processor prices are simple and usually proportional to processor clock speed and number of cores.

Server processors are usually made up of components with a large number of bins, which means that they run more stable and consume less power, making them more expensive even compared to desktop processors, which on paper have the same characteristics.

A CPU must have built-in logic to access all platform features, so it’s not surprising that server CPUs that have access to more memory channels or more PCIe lanes, for example, carry a higher price — all other factors are the same.

Correct CPU: server or desktop processor

When choosing between a server and a desktop processor, not only the processor is important, but also the platform .

Once you migrate to a certain platform, it will be costly to migrate to another due to the lack of compatibility between platforms.

Choose a desktop platform if you plan to actively work on your PC or workstation from your desk. Although the servers are in a tower configuration, they are not designed to operate as a standalone device and will offer much lower performance (low clock speeds, etc.).

Use the server platform if you plan to leave it unattended. Servers are easy to mount in equipment racks and allow you to expand with additional servers, storage arrays or network switches without taking up much space.

Be aware that rack servers are very loud, so they are not suitable for home or work use.

For applications such as render farms that require a lot of processing power, you can use the desktop platform as render nodes if you only need a few of them. For large-scale operations, the server platform’s space and energy savings make rack-mounted servers the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rack or Chassis Server: Which is Best?

Tower Servers The is more of an entry level server for those who want to get started with a server or for environments where there are no server racks.