Hetzner’s New Intel VPS Plans: Compared to AMD Offerings

Hetzner has just launched four new shared vCPU VPS server offerings powered by Intel processors. I am very interested in benchmarking the performance differences between the AMD EPYC VPS line and the new Intel VPS line. I currently host all of my web servers on Hetzner’s AMD EPYC shared VPS servers and want to make sure I am still in the price/performance sweet spot for my use-case.

The official press release for these new VPS servers can be found at the following link: https://www.hetzner.com/press-release/new-cx-plans/

New VPS Plans

Intel Plans

Plan vCPU RAM Disk Space Traffic Price
CX22 2 4GB 40GB 20TB €4.51
CX32 4 8GB 80GB 20TB €8.09
CX42 8 16GB 160GB 20TB €19.52
CX52 16 32GB 320GB 20TB €38.56

AMD Plans

Plan vCPU RAM Disk Space Traffic Price
CPX11 2 2GB 40GB 20TB €5.18
CPX21 3 4GB 80GB 20TB €8.98
CPX31 4 8GB 160GB 20TB €16.18
CPX41 8 16GB 240GB 20TB €29.99
CPX51 16 32GB 320GB 20TB €65.33

On the surface the value proposition of these new Intel plans seem unmatched. My main concern is the age of these Intel CPUs. While Hetzner specifically says they use AMD EPYC 7002 series processors, they are less verbose when it comes to the Intel plans by just saying Xeon Gold.

I found a useful table on the Intel website which compares all released Xeon Gold processors. To be brief, these Hetzner Xeon Gold processors could be anything from Emerald Rapids (Q4 2023) to Skylake (Q3 2017).

Another thing worth noting is that these new Intel plans are only available in Hetzner’s Germany and Finland datacenters. In contrast, the AMD plans are available in Germany, Finland, and United States. Being someone who is located in North America, not having a United States option is a major downside.

Benchmarks

Okay, speculation aside, time for the numbers to speak.

I spun up a single instance of each of the Intel and AMD shared VPS offerings in their Helsinki, Finland datacenter. All the servers are running a fresh install of Ubuntu 24.04.

To benchmark CPU I ran Geekbench 6 multiple times on each VPS. I’ve included the link below in the table for the full Geekbench results.

For disk benchmarking, I used a custom dd command to read and write ~1GB files to and from the disk. I’ve listed the average read and write performance from these tests in the table.

Plan CPU Geekbench 6 Disk Reads Disk Writes
CX22 Xeon Gold Skylake
2 @ 2294.608 MHz
Single Core: 856
Multi Core: 1531
6.2 GB/s 1.2 GB/s
CX32 Xeon Gold Skylake
4 @ 2099.998 MHz
Single Core: 786
Multi Core: 2420
6.7 GB/s 0.95 GB/s
CX42 Xeon Gold Skylake
8 @ 2100.000 MHz
Single Core: 932
Multi Core: 4786
6.6 GB/s 0.95 GB/s
CX52 Xeon Gold Skylake
16 @ 2099.998 MHz
Single Core: 811
Multi Core: 6006
5.9 GB/s 0.8 GB/s
CPX11 AMD EYPC
2 @ 2445.404 MHz
Single Core: 1425
Multi Core: 2594
12.8 GB/s 1.1 GB/s
CPX21 AMD EYPC
3 @ 2445.404 MHz
Single Core: 1411
Multi Core: 3636
12.0 GB/s 1.1 GB/s
CPX31 AMD EYPC
4 @ 2495.306 MHz
Single Core: 1297
Multi Core: 4170
8.6 GB/s 0.75 GB/s
CPX41 AMD EYPC
8 @ 2495.310 MHz
Single Core: 1278
Multi Core: 6741
8.6 GB/s 0.7 GB/s
CPX51 AMD EYPC
16 @ 2495.312 MHz
Single Core: 1311
Multi Core: 9489
8.1 GB/s 0.7 GB/s

Analysis of Benchmarks

The above benchmarks expose a few very interesting trends.

As feared, the new Intel VPS servers are running on older Skylake Xeon Gold CPUs. While these CPUs are still great, they are showing their age in single core performance compared to the modern AMD EYPC CPUs.

Hetzner’s great disk performance continues across all their VPS servers. The disk reads on the Intel VPS servers are lower, but the speeds are still plenty fast.

Using the above data, I plotted a graph showing the multi core Greekbench 6 performance you get for the money. Higher score means better multi core performance per dollar.

The CPU horsepower available from the lower end CPX11 and CPX21 AMD plans are truly unmatched for their dirt cheap price.

For small web hosting applications the AMD plans are ideal. I personally use the CPX21 plan. WordPress runs on PHP, which thrives with high single-threaded performance. Across the board, the AMD CPUs single-threaded performance was almost double that of the Intel CPUs.

The value proposition for the Intel VPS servers for me is in the amount of RAM available. Compared to the AMD plans, the Intel plans offer almost double the RAM for the price. For RAM intensive tasks these are definitely the more attractive option. I would avoid these plans if CPU performance is a priority.

Conclusion

The new Intel VPS plans from Hetzner provide mediocre CPU performance but make up for it with their plentiful RAM and cheap pricing. For RAM heavy applications they are a good option. For web hosting, I would stick to the AMD VPS plans for their greater single and muilti core performance.

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