Servers often are designed to support a socketed processor in order to allow the end user the ability to customize their compute solution for their needs. Server processor vendors offer a variety of different processor models that can be installed. These various processor models can have differing technical specifications that include core count, cache size, operating frequency limitations, memory capacity, as well as power and thermal cooling requirements. An individual server design could easily support a range of processor models from those that have few cores, providing low performance, all the way up to dozens of cores that providing high performance. Since compute resources such as cores consume power, the range of processor power can be as wide as 200W. To keep costs of a total solution down, different heatsinks are often designed and sold to support this wide range: cheap extruded aluminium heatsinks for lower performing CPUs and expensive heat piped heatsinks for higher performing CPUs.

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