Intel refreshes Xeon E5-2600 range for servers and workstations

Intel has launched its new Xeon E5-2600 processor range for dual-socket servers and workstations, which introduces performance and energy efficiency improvements over the previous generation.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Intel has launched its new family of Xeon E5 processors aimed at dual socket servers and workstations, which introduces performance and efficiency improvements over the previous Xeon E5 server range.

The new 22nm Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors offer up to 45 percent greater efficiency, benchmarked using SPECpower_ssj2008, and 50 percent more performance, benchmarked using SPECVirt_sc2013, than E5-2600 v1 processors.

Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel's datacenter and connected systems group, said the new family of 18 processors is suited to handling a wide range of virtualised workloads as datacentres move towards "software-defined" compute, storage and networking.

"Workloads need to be easy to deploy, on-demand and always viable," she said at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today.

The E5-2600 v2 processor range increases the maximum core count from eight cores to 12 over the previous generation and bumps the Level 3 cache from 20MB to 30MB. The maximum operating frequency is increased by 200MHz, taking it to 3.5GHz base frequency and 4GHz turbo frequency.

The lower power consumption of the v2 family has been made possible by the move from a 32nm to 22nm manufacturing process from E5-2600 v1 and the introduction of new power management features, said Bryant.

Maximum system memory is doubled to 1.5TB of DRAM and memory speed stepped up to 1,866MHz (for 1.5V memory).

Two new security features are introduced in the processor family, OS Guard, which isolates the operating system privilege from the application privilege to prevent malware from spoofing the OS, and instruction-level support for generating a random 64-bit key.

There processor family is built around three variants of Ivy Bridge-EP processor die, each targeted towards different workloads.

The first is a four to six core chip with 15MB of shared L3 cache and a 40 – 80W TDP, a six to 10 core chip with 25MB shared L3 cache and 70 to 130W TDP and a 12-core chip with 30MB L3 cache and 115 to 130W TDP. The 12-core variant also includes an additional memory controller to boost memory bandwidth.

The different processors support varying QuickPath Interconnect speeds, ranging from 6.4 to 8 GT/s, and PCI Express controllers run at 8GT/s for each SKU.

As well as the various server-targeted processors, there is the Xeon E5-2687W, which is an eight core processor running at 3.4GHz with a 150W TDP, designed for two-socket workstations.

The Intel Xeon processors E5-2600 v2 product family will power the new IBM NeXtScale System, a high-density, flexible computing platform designed for high-demand workloads such as analytics, technical computing and cloud delivery.

Intel's newest processor family will also be used in IBM's new x3650 M4 HD high-density storage server, aimed at managing big data and business-critical workloads, as well as all of IBM's two-socket systems including System x racks and towers, Flex System, iDataPlex, and BladeCenter offerings. Dell has also selected the new processors for its upcoming storage solution, the PowerEdge VRTX.

The Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 product family are shipping from today and range in price from $202 to $2,614 when bought in quantities of 1,000. Additionally three single-socket Intel Xeon processor E5-1600 parts will be offered for workstations and range in price from $294 to $1080. 

ZDNet attended IDF as a guest of Intel

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