Technology Overkill? Choose the Right CPU for Your Business Needs

The latest generation of CPUs are wonders of efficiency and processing power. This is useful since CPUs are one of the most power-hungry server components. However, efficiency comes at a price. In some business environments, the investment will pay for itself in months. But is your organisation one of them?

The latest and the greatest

Given their market domination, Intel CPUs dictate advancing processor technology worldwide. Almost all new product on the market is made by Intel, regardless of the make of server it goes into (although AMD, IBM and Chinese initiative Qualcomm may change this in the future).

Intel’s recent focus has been on microarchitecture. This facilitates more cores within the CPU (up to 28 on the Xeon Scalable Processor that came out in 2017 from 22 on the Xeon Processor E5-2600 v4 that came out in 2016) and more threads per socket (up to 56 threads from 44 in the same models). The benefit of this is that although the processing speed on each thread is slower, a higher number means greater CPU efficiency. This results in lower electricity use and less heat generated.

The cost benefit

This is fantastic news for companies that run giant data centres and whose largest overhead is power consumption. Running hundreds, if not thousands, of servers side by side means massive power input to the machines themselves. It also means huge spending on cooling systems to keep the equipment running at optimum temperature, not to mention the outlay on monitoring equipment, security systems, lighting and so on. Any energy saving on each server leads to a large return when multiplied at scale.

However, many organisations do not manage data as a business. They have far fewer servers, so a high level of efficiency is redundant in their data centre environment. When the energy bill is a much smaller proportion of your business costs, the benefit of buying the latest energy efficient technology is not as appealing, especially when the high end of cutting edge CPUs can set you back almost £7,000.

What's more, Techbuyer's research in association with the University of East London has found that CPUs made after 2014 provide minimal performance gains. This means that until there is another breakthrough in server processor technology, buying the latest models is less justified. Find out more about these industry findings below.

The next best and where to find it

Buying older generations of CPUs is a cheaper option, however, their availability decreases rapidly as soon as the next version is released. Looking at the Intel website for the Xeon Processor E5 Family, many of the products launched in 2012 are currently discontinued. The same search on the HP website yields similar results. Not keeping older stock once new product lines are released makes sense in terms of space alone. With new models released every couple of years, the shelves would be overflowing very quickly if manufacturers stocked everything they ever made.

IT refurbishment companies, on the other hand, specialise in stocking legacy IT equipment that performs as good as new. Large data centres refresh equipment as regularly as every nine months, often looking for the technological advantages offered by the latest products, which means that supply to the secondary market is high. With the correct data erasure and testing procedures, there is no reason why this IT equipment cannot serve other organisations perfectly, at a fraction of the cost of new equivalents.

Market leading refurbishment companies like Techbuyer offer quality assurances as standard, including a 25-point recertification program and an automatic three-year warranty for all products. These guarantees give customers a high-value alternative for CPU procurement. We have a large range of new and quality refurbished Intel processors in stock as well as AMD CPUs, with the majority of orders being shipped the very next day. 

For advice about your data centre requirements, get in touch with our experienced account managers who will be happy to help. Or view our full range of CPUs here.