Maximum Power! – Get the best from your CPU Processor for SQL Server

As Servalan would say “Maximum Power!

With SQL Server licences being relatively expensive compared to other licensing, especially compared to the Microsoft suite of products licensing, it is important to maximize your return on investment.


Choose wisely

With core based licencing for our OLTP transaction based workloads we are looking for high single threaded performance. This translates to the higher clock speed processors with usually fewer cores. With Enterprise Edition being around $7K per core we’re getting our maximum rate for our money.

Today, for a typical two processor server (a common choice) we may choose the E5-2667v3.  This eight core high clock speed 3.2GHz processor comes with a healthy 20M cache and is an excellent choice.

Intel CPU E5-2667v3

Although the CPU itself may sell at a premium price since it is a premium product, the hardware costs are usually a fraction of the costs required to licence a SQL Server.


Power saving

Most processors support many enhanced sleep or power saving states. For example Core Parking,sleep state C6, is supported by all newer x86 processors and can be seen in resource manager in certain low power requirement instances as below under Parked.CPU Parked - Power Save State

To ensure we are getting the best performance and just as important performance at a predicable level, we need to disable any power saving settings that may be active. Obviously with power saving disabled there is a higher potential running cost and most likely more heat generated. This may be worth bearing in mind in certain environments.

If we can get PowerShell with Administrative Privileges we can run the following command below to switch power saving to High Performance in windows easily;


Alternatively we can use the user interface to navigate to “Power Options”.

Its also worth noting that you may need to change you Hypervisor Host, if in a virtualised environment, and BIOS settings also to disable power saving. This may be an option for “Disable” or “OS Control”.

With our top choice of CPU performing to its best we know we’re getting Maximum Power!

Thanks for reading!

Maximum Power! – Get the best from your CPU Processor for SQL Server

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