Best workstation CPUs are those that provide the most performance per dollar amount spent. Problem is, with the workstation segment it’s not just about clock speeds and cache memory. It’s more about how many PCIe devices a processor can support and how much RAM can be plugged in to its motherboard.
One of the popular sites recently did a review on a list of Best workstation CPUs and i’ll try to simplify the complicated. So in that list, AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X topped that charts. Because even though there’s Intel Core i9-7980XE, Intel Xeon processors or AMD EPYC CPUs. There’s still a wider distinction of what features do you get in each.
Best workstation CPUs that support the maximum PCIe lanes are AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X, EPYC 7351P, Xeon Bronze 3104 and EPYC 7251 with up to 128 PCIe lanes to support multiple PCIe devices.
There are those with maximum memory support are EPYC 7351P & 7601 with over 1TB+, under 512GB would be Intel’s Xeon W-2123.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X for being the overall favourite in the Best workstation CPU class. It isn’t expensive unlike some of the AMD EPYC processors and Intel Xeon or Intel core i9 Extreme processor. Provides a full 60 PCIe lanes support and costs a $1000 compared to Intel i9s $1999. AMD EPYC 7351P only supports OEM motherboards, provides 128 PCIe lanes but us not currently available for retail.
The cheapest 2P processor from Intel with the full set of PCIe lanes is the lowest processor: the Xeon Bronze 3104. This part only has six cores at 1.7 GHz, but it can offer 48 PCIe lanes on its own and support up to 768 GB of ECC RDIMMs.
The performance gains with some of the Intel Xeon models are better than AMD EPYC CPU, along with added RAM support and lower latency methods in CPU to GPU communication. Intel still is fairly expensive.
Like when I started with the Best workstation CPU, I mentioned performance gains per dollar investment. But sometimes, users need more RAM support over extra PCIe lanes. So it all depends on the options available at the moment.