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Intel will be launching the Xeon E5 series in the near future. The Xeon E5-1600 series CPUs are single socket only with three parts that look like their Core i7 desktop counterparts and have either four our six cores plus Hyper-Threading. The high-end will be taken by the Xeon E5-4600 series, with the ‘4’ denoting that the CPUs will be four-socket capable. Probably the sweet spot for most readers on this site will be the Xeon E5-2400 and E5-2600 series. These CPUs will be both single and dual-socket capable with the E5-2400 series having only one QPI link and three memory channels per LGA 1356 socket. The slightly higher-end here is the Xeon E5-2600 series which will utilize the LGA 2011 socket and therefore four memory channels per socket (one can see this in the X79 consumer platforms today.)


After taking a look at an LGA 2011 3.1GHz Xeon E5-2600 part from a benchmark and performance standpoint, and coming away impressed, I decided to put together a table that highlights the entire 2P capable Xeon E5-2400 and Xeon E5-2600 lines.

Intel Xeon E5-2400 and E5-2600 Series CPU Comparison

One can see a few things here. First Intel has created several points of parity between LGA1356 and LGA2011 Xeon E5 CPUs. Examples are the Intel Xeon CPU E5-2403 and E5-2603 where there is a $10 premium for the LGA 2011 platform. Others include the E5-2420 and E5-2620 with the E5-2620 gaining 100MHz, the LGA 2011 socket and an $18 price bump. The low power chips of the E5-2430L and the E5-2630L have the same specs and the same list price saves the socket. Finally, the E5-2470 and E5-2665 both hit the $1,440 price point with the LGA 2011 part posting a 100MHz bump for the same price. Overall, at these parity points, Intel does give one slightly more for the money on the LGA 2011 platform.

Another aspect I looked at was a simple calculation of Price/ (Cores * GHz) and Price/ (HT Cores * GHz). Of the two, I think that Price/ (Cores * GHz) is going to be more informative because applications tend to scale in performance with physical cores. If one were comparing the HT core number (possibly for a logical core/ Opteron 6200 series comparison), they should look at an application profile, and then assign an uplift for HT performance (if it exists in the application.) With that being said, I highlighted the below-average Price/ (Cores * GHz) numbers above. One must remember that enterprise applications are often priced per socket or per server, and by having more processing power in a server, if one can consolidate more applications onto the box, there is a cost avoidance of purchasing additional hardware and software. As a result, Intel is reflecting this in their pricing by charging a premium for extra performance, although the E5-2667 seems a bit off the curve.

I will say that I am a bit bummed that Intel has continued to handicap the sub-$300 CPU market. These CPUs are of little use to a consumer from a price/ performance standpoint, but I think Intel could have at minimum made them four core plus Hyper-Threading in this generation. The Intel Xeon CPU E5-2637 seems exceedingly overpriced for a 2C/4T/5MB part since it is basically a Core i3-2100 CPU performance-wise.



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