2007-2019: The Intel and Xeon years
Now to the main event: CPU performance. These figures come from an external source, CPUbenchmark.net. Its tests look at nine different types of performance like encrypting data and finding prime numbers, and then collates a single score, called the CPU Mark, for each processor. (The numbers we’ve used are for the earliest available version of each processor model.)
The year alongside each model number shows when the processor was first included in one of our Dedicated Server packages. Here's how CPU Marks grew over the first 12 years:
To get the ball rolling our 2007 Dedicated Servers offered three Intel processors. The low end E2160 has a CPU Mark of 641, and the Q6600 topped the original heap with 1,804.
Things steadily improved as Intel rolled out the E and Q series. Then in 2011 we introduced the i7 series and reached the 3,191 with the i7-950. That’s around 5x the E2160 score from 2007.
As a rule of thumb, every time a CPU Mark doubles, the cost of hosting your own software or services halves.
Only two years later, in 2013, Xeon chips (also from Intel) replaced i7s as the stars of the show with CPU Marks as high as 9,730. At the end of 2010s we finally broke the five-figure barrier. The Dual Xeon E5-2630's 10,630 added an order of magnitude to the processors that we started with.
Which seems pretty good, right? Hold on though.