If you want to run a virtualized environment, you should put the emphasis on more (as in, several) rather than big (as in, powerful or fast).
In other words, more cores are better than big/fast cores. Likewise, more Random Access Memory (RAM) is preferable to better/faster RAM. Therefore, more cache is better than a higher clock speed.
What's the reason for it?
When dealing with virtual machines (VMs), you'll assign cores and gigabytes (GBs) of RAM. This designation is less likely to get a bottleneck by raw speed/power at the core level.
Alternatively, a larger processor cache size (L2 cache) will allow more storage and therefore improved performance. This will lessen the frequency of input/output operations per second (IOPS) to disk or main memory.
Where do I go for more information?
Refer to the Should we go with a CPU with a higher core count? What is the impact of core count versus frequency? section (page 9) of the How Processor Core Count Impacts Virtualization Performance and Scalability white paper.
Please also check the Product Specification related to your Processor Family:
- Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors: Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable - Product Specification
- 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor: 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable - Product Specification
- 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor: 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable - Product Specification
- 4th Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor: 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable - Product Specification
|How Processor Core Count Impacts Virtualization Performance and Scalability|
|Does My Processor Support Intel® Virtualization Technology?|
|Intel® Virtualization Technology Requirements|
|Support for Intel® Processors|