When a server parses PHP, it uses only a single Core for that process. Similarly, MySQL uses a single Core to query the database. The faster the Core, the faster PHP/MySQL will run. High clock speed CPUs provide the fastest single Core performance.
5.3 GHz 1 Core vs 3.3 GHz 2 Cores
PHP and MySQL can only run as fast as the Core can run. They cannot run faster than the Core. When you use 2 Cores with 3.3 GHz to run PHP, PHP can only run as fast as 3.3 GHz. It cannot run at 2x 3.3 GHz speed.
When you use 1 Core with 5.3 GHz, PHP can run as fast as 5.3 GHz. The same goes for MySQL. This is why PHP, MySQL, WordPress, and other CMS based websites run faster on 5.3 GHz 1 Core vs. 3.3 GHz 2 Cores.
Don't take our word for it. Here is a comparison of single core performance between W-1290P and an E5 CPU popularly used by other providers. You can see that the W-1290P single core is twice as fast as the E5:
PassMark is the widely used, de facto benchmark for measuring CPU performance. You can refer to any other benchmark you want.
What If You Want to Run Two PHP Processes? Will It Run Faster on 2 Cores?
In most cases, a 3.3 GHz Core has slower Memory and IPC speeds. A 5.3 GHz Core is more likely to have faster Memory and IPC speeds. Due to these differences, a 5.3 GHz Core will complete one PHP process much faster. Then it will quickly complete another. Take WordPress files, for example, a 5.3 GHz Core is more likely to complete two PHP processes much faster when parsing these files.
Some websites require a high amount of CPU processing power and other server resources and might need more than 1 CPU Core. The higher the clock speed of the CPU, the faster the website will run. If you need multiple CPU Cores for your website, have a look at our Semi Dedicated and High Frequency VPS plans.
The Fact Behind 1 GB Memory vs. 2 GB Memory
At a glance, it might seem like with 2 GB of Memory, your websites would run faster. But there is more to it.
Most providers offering 2 GB Memory use either decade old E5 CPU or cheap hardware with slower IPC and DDR3 / DDR4 Memory support, allowing them to offer 2 GB.
Latest generation high clock speed CPUs have blistering fast IPC and DDR4 Memory support, but they cost around 3 - 4 times more. Combining a high clock speed CPU and faster DDR4 Memory on recent hardware allows faster data processing with only 1 GB DDR4 Memory vs. 2 GB Memory on older hardware in most cases.
We have built our servers using high clock speed CPUs, which allows us to have faster DDR4 Memory and deliver high PHP and MySQL performance. Fast PHP and MySQL processing provides faster page load times for your websites.
We have Intel Xeon W-1290P (5.3 GHz Turbo) and E-2288G (5.0 GHz Turbo) in Dallas (Texas, USA) and Los Angeles (California, USA). CPUs in other locations are Intel Xeon E3 or E5 with up to 4.0 GHz Turbo.