Sometimes choosing a CPU is hard. So we’ve got you covered. In our CPU Guides, we give you our pick of some of the best processors available, supplying data from our reviews. Our Best CPUs for Workstations guide mostly covers workstation processors available to consumers, although some server products cover both segments.
It’s been a while since we updated this guide, perhaps because the world of the workstation processor you can buy on the shelf hasn’t really changed all that much. While AMD is releasing new hardware, and differentiating between the high-end desktop with Threadripper and workstation with Threadripper Pro, Intel by contrast released its latest retail HEDT/WS processors back in November 2019, and hasn’t been in a position to update them since. Beyond, all signs coming out of Intel on their HEDT/WS retail platform indicate that it is a market they do not have the products for. Instead Intel is focusing on its more enterprise Xeon WS solutions, which only really come as part of a pre-built system.
Nonetheless the impact of the semiconductor shortage is affecting what people can buy. Some processors are fluctuating in and out of stock, and given that HEDT/WS processors give the most margin, there is some impetus from the manufacturers to provide sufficient stock where the demand is. Earlier this year AMD launched its Zen 2-based Threadripper Pro platform, providing the equivalent of an effective EPYC processor for single socket workstations only, but at higher frequencies. These processors have proven to be interesting, and we’re hands deep in our testing for review right now.