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The best CPUs for SMBs

April 15, 2020

The best CPUs for SMBs
SMBs come in all shapes and sizes, and that’s good because, in a manner of speaking, so do CPUs. Because there are so many different types of CPUs and use cases, finding the right CPU for you or your customers can be tricky. How many cores do you need? What’s a clock speed? CPUs have cache? These are just a few of the questions someone might ask themselves as they delve into the CPU marketplace. Comparing processors isn’t easy, but have no fear—we asked our hardware experts to do a CPU comparison and breakdown SMB CPU workloads into three categories.
 
Let’s see what types of CPUs your customers should be looking for...
 
1) Low-power workload
An example of a lower power CPU workload is a security camera server. Most SMBs should have a security camera system on premises. If so, it’s a good idea to back up footage onto a network attached storage unit (NAS).
 
CPU to get: System on a chip (SOC)
 
These chips have a low core count and processor speed, but they’re more than able to handle this type of workload. SOCs are not upgradable because they are soldered directly onto the motherboard, since they’re designed for a specific workload (in this case a NAS box).
 
Alternative workload example: Digital signage server
 
2) Medium-power workload
Jumping up a level, many SMBs are looking for turnkey or plug-and-play (PnP) solutions to support their infrastructure and shoulder a more intense workload. High-end firewalls, VPN servers or advanced network switches are just a few examples of what a medium-power workload looks like.
 
CPU to get: Look for a pre-built box featuring a CPU with a moderate core count and clock speed
 
Like the SOCs used in NVRs, pre-built boxes can use CPUs that are soldered on—again, this is because these units are designed for specific workloads. But a moderate core count and higher processor speeds will be able to handle far more than a basic SOC.
 
Alternative workload example: Hyperconverged infrastructure
 
3) High-end workload:
At the very top of the SMB mountain stands the most intense, most demanding workloads, performed day after day, year after year. Think production servers, huge databases, managed service providers (MSPs), cloud service providers (CSPs) or anything running virtualization (app servers, web servers, cloud environments, etc.).
 
CPU to get: High core count, high clock speed
 
The next generation of processors really raises the bar on platform convergence and the ability to execute across a broad range of high-end applications. SMBs facing ambitious—or even intimidating—workloads can do so with confidence with high-end CPUs featuring multiple cores and high processor speeds.
 
Alternative workload example: DevOps environment