This is the cheapest 32-core CPU worth buying right now and it is EPYC

This is the cheapest 32-core CPU worth buying right now and it is EPYC
(Image credit: AMD)
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AMD’s EPYC processors have, by and large, been very well received by server (opens in new tab) vendors and users and if you head over to eBay, you will see a number of server processors being sold for dirt-cheap prices, a very enticing way to build a powerful workstation (opens in new tab) on a budget.

At the time of writing, the cheapest 32-core processor worth buying (outside of older Intel Xeon CPUs) is an EPYC 7551 ES on sale for $329 (opens in new tab), a price that includes global expedited international shipping. 

ES means engineering samples and this one was launched back in June 2017 with an eye-watering price tag of $3,400; that’s a near 90% discount! Even if you missed that one, there’s plenty of other slightly more expensive 7551 parts on offer.

An Epyc deal

The processor is based on the ZEN microarchitecture and uses the Naples processor core. It has 32 cores and 64 threads, with a clock speed of 1.6GHz. It uses a 14nm manufacturing process and has a TDP of 180W.

It supports up to 2TB memory (up to DDR4-2666) and has a L2/L3 cache of 16MB and 64MB respectively. Note that you will need a compatible heatsink fan and motherboards, probably flashed with the latest firmware, in order to get that processor working.

Compatible motherboards and systems include the Dell EMC PowerEdge R6415 and R7415 rack servers as well as the Supermicro H11SSL-i and H11DSi-B and the Gigabyte MZ31-AR0.

Given that the cheapest mainstream 32-core CPU, the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX (opens in new tab), retails for a stonking $1799 at Newegg, this is definitely a whopper of a bargain.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.