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As expected, Intel has launched its 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable ‘Cascade Lake’ Refresh family e5-2680 v3 with several new SKUs offering higher core, thread, cache counts at better perf/dollar ratios to compete against AMD’s 2nd Gen EPYC Rome CPUs. The new processors retain the 14nm process node which is now in its more advanced form to date, offering Intel to boost up the clock speeds even 46c0599 further.

Intel Refreshes Xeon Scalable ‘Cascade Lake’ Server CPU Family – Now With More Cores, Threads, Cache & Competitive Prices

The launch comes as no surprise as we had already got to know about Intel’s 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Refresh family of processors earlier this month. Today, Intel is officially unveiling the new lineup which is composed of 18 SKUs, ranging all the way from 8 to 24 cores. It’s not a complete top-to-bottom refresh as Intel has primarily focused on its Gold, Silver and Bronze series while the Platinum line of Xeon Scalable processors remains unchanged.

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“Intel’s data-centric platforms offer the broadest market coverage of any server processor platform -– from the cloud, through the network, to the intelligent edge,” said Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president and general manager of the Xeon and Memory Group within Intel’s Data Platform Group. “Working closely with our customers, we are delivering these new server processors to address their performance and pricing needs across a broad range of markets and workloads.” – Intel

The Xeon Platinum line did receive price cuts last month so that has to be taken into account but the 2nd Gen family offers completely new specifications. Intel has reported up to 36% performance improvement and up to 42% more performance per dollar compared to its initial Xeon Cascade Lake lineup. According to Intel themselves, the new Xeon family brings:

  • Industry-leading frequencies for high-performance usages: New Intel Xeon Gold 6200 processors deliver up to 4.5 GHz processor frequency with Intel Turbo Boost Technology and up to 33% more processor cache, offering customers breakthrough performance for frequency-fueled workloads.
  • Enhanced performance for mainstream usages: New Intel Xeon Gold 6200R and 5200R processors deliver built-in value through a combination of higher base and Intel Turbo Boost Technology frequencies, in addition to increased processor cache.
  • Increased value and capability for entry-level, edge, networking and IoT usages: New Intel Xeon Gold 6200U, Silver 4200R, Silver 4210T and Bronze 3200R processors deliver increased value for single-socket entry-level servers, as well as edge, networking, and internet of things (IoT) usages.

Coming to the SKUs, all 18 SKUs are labeled with the ‘R’ suffix at the very end of their codename which indicates the Refresh part. As mentioned, most of these SKUs are part of the Xeon Gold and Xeon Silver segment while the Xeon Platinum CPUs would stick to their existing specifications. Intel has already announced some significant price cuts to its Xeon Platinum lineup recently without changing the specifications. However, recent benchmarks have shown that top-tier EPYC parts are still doing very well compared to whatever Intel has to respond with despite price cuts of several thousand dollars. An example would be the Xeon Platinum 8280 itself which has been cut from its original price of $18,000 US to $13,000 US.

There wasn’t a 28 core part in the Xeon Gold segment so that’s new. The Xeon Gold segment now also offers a faster 16 core variant while the Bronze line is upgraded to 8 cores versus 6 cores of the previous SKU. Following is the list of all the chips with their respective specifications. All across the board, we can see a boost in clocks, cores, threads, and cache which is a nice initiative by Intel to retain their server dominance with a market share of around 95%. Following is the specifications list for the complete lineup.

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Intel Cascade Lake Refresh Xeon Scalable Family Specs:

Cascade Lake Refresh SKU Name Cores / Threads Base/Boost Clock Cache / TDP Cascade Lake SKU Name Cores / Threads Base/Boost Clock Cache / TDP Price
Intel Xeon Gold 6258R 28/56 2.7/4.0 GHz 38.50 MB / 205W Intel Xeon Gold 6252 24/48 2.1/3.7 GHz 35.75 MB/ 150W $3950 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6256 12/24 3.6/4.5 GHz 33.00 MB / 205W N/A N/A N/A N/A $3900 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6250 8/16 3.9/4.5 GHz 35.75 MB / 185W N/A N/A N/A N/A $3400 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6248R 24/48 3.0/4.0 GHz 35.75 MB / 205W Intel Xeon Gold 6248 20/40 2.5/3.9 GHz 27.50 MB/ 150W $2700 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6246R 16/32 3.4/4.1 GHz 35.75 MB / 205W N/A N/A N/A N/A $3286 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6242R 20/40 3.1/4.1 GHz 35.75 MB / 205W Intel Xeon Gold 6242 16/32 2.8/3.9 GHz 22.00 MB / 150W $2529 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6240R 24/48 2.4/4.0 GHz 35.75 MB / 165W Intel Xeon Gold 6240 18/36 2.6/3.9 GHz 24.75 MB / 150W $2445 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6238R 28/56 2.2/4.0 GHz 38.50 MB / 165W Intel Xeon Gold 6238 22/48 2.1/3.7 GHz 30.25 MB / 140W $2612 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6230R 26/52 2.1/4.0 GHz 35.75 MB / 150W Intel Xeon Gold 6230 20/40 2.1/3.9 GHz 27.50 MB / 125W $1894 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6226R 16/32 2.9/3.9 GHz 22.00 MB / 150W Intel Xeon Gold 6226 12/24 2.8/3.7 GHz 19.25 MB / 125W $1300 US
Intel Xeon Gold 6208U 16/32 2.9/3.9 GHz 22.00 MB / 150W N/A N/A N/A N/A $989 US
Intel Xeon Gold 5220R 24/48 2.2/4.0 GHz 35.75 MB / 150W Intel Xeon Gold 5220 18/36 2.2/3.9 GHz 24.75 MB / 125W $1555 US
Intel Xeon Gold 5218R 20/40 2.1/4.0 GHz 27.50 MB / 125W Intel Xeon Gold 5218 16/32 2.3/3.9 GHz 22.00 MB / 125W $1273 US
Intel Xeon Silver 4215R 8/16 3.2/4.0 GHz 11.00 MB / 130W Intel Xeon Silver 4215 8/16 2.5/3.5 GHz 16.50 MB / 85W $749 US
Intel Xeon Silver 4214R 12/24 2.4/3.5 GHz 16.50 MB / 100W Intel Xeon Silver 4214 12/24 2.2/3.2 GHz 16.50 MB / 85W $694 US
Intel Xeon Silver 4210R 10/20 2.4/3.2 GHz 13.75 MB / 100W Intel Xeon Silver 4210 10/20 2.2/3.2 GHz 13.75 MB / 85W $501 US
Intel Xeon Silver 4210T 10/20 2.3/3.2 GHz 13.75 MB / 95W Intel Xeon Silver 4209 T 8/16 2.2/3.2 GHz 11.00 MB / 70W $554 US
Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R 8/16 1.9 GHz 11.00 MB / 85W Intel Xeon Bronze 3204 6/12 1.9 GHz 8.250 MB / 85W $306 US

The only advantage that the Xeon Platinum lineup has on its own now is 8S support since the Gold series only support 2S configurations. Aside from that, the Gold series offers more competitive prices that may in fact put more pressure on sales figures for the Platinum lineup. All of the said chips are available starting today so they will show up on retail stores rather soon.

This refresh further confirms the reports of delays we are hearing regarding Intel’s Cooper Lake and Ice Lake Xeon processors which have been pushed back by up to 3 months due to various instability issues. This would further increase the pressure on Intel as their 10nm and 14nm Xeon processors would be directly competing against AMD’s 7nm+ EUV based EPYC Milan lineup which is going to feature the brand new Zen 3 core architecture which is confirmed to be one of AMD’s biggest architectural upgrade since the original Zen core. But recent benchmarks have shown that the next-generation Xeon Scalable family is pushing some serious performance figures which if true might totally be worth the wait.



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