What is HEDT processor?

HEDT processors belong to the segment for professional users or those who demand higher performance. These chips have been selected as the best in the series supporting heavy workloads.

In this tutorial, you will learn exactly what they are, why they are better than mainstream and entry-level, as well as possible applications for which these CPUs are intended.

What is HEDT?

HEDT stands for High End Desktop, high performance processors for the most demanding users. And contrary to what some professional portals say, these are not server chips. The latter is better incorporated into HPC (High Performance Computing). The confusion in this case comes from the fact that the specs in both cases are pretty similar, as they are usually units with a higher number of cores than the mainstream and entry-level ones, and they also have higher performance.

But the biggest difference between the two is the type of machines they are intended for. HEDTs are used in PCs and workstations, both desktop and laptop computers, while HPCs are used for servers, supercomputers or mainframes. This is the big difference to consider in order to differentiate and avoid easy confusion.

For example, in the case of Apple Silicon, AMD or Intel, their CPUs can be classified as:

  • Entry level: M1, Ryzen 3, Core i3
  • Mainstream: M1, Ryzen 5, Core i5
  • Performance: M1 Pro, Ryzen 7, Core i7
  • HEDT: M1 Max, Ryzen 9 / Threadripper, Core i9
  • HPC: EPYC, Xeon

The advantage of HEDTs over performance and mainstream lies in a greater number of cores and threads that can be executed simultaneously. This gives them a clear advantage in heavy workloads. As for frequency, it’s not always higher in HEDT, so they don’t necessarily get the clock-based performance gain, they rely more on parallelism.

On the other hand, they tend to support more RAM, more memory channels for higher bandwidth, and even more PCIe lanes or lanes. All this also has a positive effect on performance.

Of course, the sockets of these HEDT processors may differ from their younger siblings, as in Threadripper and Ryzen. And that’s because they usually integrate more I/O lines for greater parallelism.

Uses of HEDT Processors

Each type of software needs a set of hardware resources for which it is optimized. For example, some programs take advantage of multi-core very well, some not so well, some take advantage of concurrent threads, some do not, or some make better use of higher clocked processors from processors with more cores.

Light workloads can be summarized as:

  • Office applications
  • Multimedia, music, movies
  • Communication, emails and messaging
  • surfing the web
  • Photo retouching and design

In the case of heavy workloads, a performance or HEDT will be required to run them agile.

  • Video game
  • Coding
  • Render
  • Compilation
  • Virtualization and emulation
  • Simulation
  • Databases