Intel’s had an absolute monopoly in the server space for over the past decade. However, with AMD’s Zen architecture, the company is once again assaulting Intel’s Xeon chips with the new Epyc parts. Higher core counts at notably lower prices are Team Red’s main strength. AMD plans to break into double-digit server shares by the end of 2020, a first in over a decade. Intel isn’t sitting idle though. The new Cascade Lake AP chips feature as many as 56 cores (basically two 28-core Xeons glued together) and thanks to the company’s superior IPC can keep up with the 64 core behemoths from AMD. The price-performance ratio is still hugely in the latter’s favor. It looks like Intel is looking to change that with yet another 14nm Xeon Cascade Lake refresh.
|CPU||Cores / Threads||Base Freq.(GHz)||TDP|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6238R||28 / 56||2.2||165W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6258R||28 / 56||2.7||205W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6230R||26 / 52||2.1||150W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6248R||24 / 48||3.0||205W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6340R||24 / 48||2.4||165W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 5220R||24 / 48||2.2||150W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6242R||20 / 40||3.1||205W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 5218R||20 / 40||2.1||125W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6208U||16 / 32||2.9||150W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6226R||16 / 32||2.9||150W|
|Intel Xeon Gold 6246R||16 / 32||3.4||205W|
|Intel Xeon Silver 4216R||16 / 32||2.2||125W|
|Intel Xeon Silver 4214R||12 / 24||2.4||100W|
|Intel Xeon Silver 4210R||10 / 20||2.4||100W|
|Intel Xeon Silver 4210T||10 / 20||2.3||95W|
|Intel Xeon Silver 4215R||8 / 16||3.2||130W|
|Intel Xeon Bronze||8 / 16||1.9||85W|
The refreshed R lineup increases the Xeon Gold core count to 28, up from 24. Strangely, there are also 8-10 core chips with TDPs in excess of 100W. These Bronze series Xeon chips appear rather ridiculous in light of AMD’s recent offerings.
We’re basically looking at a rebrand with higher core counts and better server features such as higher memory support (4.5TB up from 4TB). These chips will also support Intel’s proprietary Optane technology and probably include hardware-level fixes for at least some of the security vulnerabilities that plague’s Intel’s CPUs.
At the end of the day, a server lineup that tops out at 28 core pales in comparison to the 64 core Epyc Rome CPU. Add to the fact, that the top-end chip costs less than $10,000 while Intel’s 28 core parts cost well over $20,000. A server chip that supports PCIe 4, more memory, lanes, and bandwidth and offers twice the performance while costing half as much is a no brainer. It’s also worth adapting your infrastructure to the new architecture since the 7nm process is so damn efficient. You’re saving on power, time and money.