Since Microsoft revamped the licensing model for SQL Server 2012, it is especially important to do some thoughtful analysis before you decide exactly which processor to use for a database server that will be running SQL Server 2012. The move to core-based licensing for SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition means that a careless decision about precisely what processor you will be running on can cost both a great deal of money and a great deal of performance and scalability.
Recently, Microsoft pushed out Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2012, and they quickly followed up with Cumulative Update 1 for Service Pack 1. The reason for this is that the service pack – due to longer development and regression testing cycles – did not contain any of the fixes from RTM Cumulative Updates 3 & 4. Since many people have waited – based on mostly speculative bias at this point – to even start testing SQL Server 2012 until Service Pack 1 was released, I thought it might be useful to cover a couple of the scenarios you might come across.