Intel Unveils 10-Core Xeons, Mission-Critical Servers

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Intel announced its new E-series of Xeon processors today, claiming that the new processors will deliver nearly unparalleled advances in CPU performance and power efficiency. It's been just over a year since Santa Clara released its Nehalem-based octal-core Beckton processors. Whereas Beckton was focused entirely on performance and architectural efficiency, these new Xeons are more balanced. The new chips boost the core count to ten (up to 20 threads with HT enabled) and will be offered at a wide range of TDPs.


Beckton Evolved: Now with two more cores and twice the RAM

"Intel has been changing the economics for mission-critical computing server deployments for more than a decade, and today we are raising the bar yet again," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "The new Intel Xeon processor E7 family delivers record breaking performance with powerful new security, reliability and energy efficiency enhancements. The industry momentum we're seeing for this new server processor architecture is unparalleled in Intel's history. The days of IT organizations being forced to deploy expensive, closed RISC architectures for mission-critical applications are nearing an end."



Intel's presentation made it clear that it's gunning for what's left of the RISC market. Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, made a point of telling the conference that there's "No workload in the world today that Xeon can't handle." History certainly favors his words. Intel's quoted figures indicate that while the high end of the server market grew just five percent from 2002-2010, Intel's share of it nearly doubled.

The company went out of its way to note that Itanium's share of the market grew enormously over the past eight years, but it's Xeon, not Poulson, Intel is betting on. The new E7 series incorporates the benefits of Sandy Bridge, its support for new instructions, and its improved power management technology. Intel has also baked in support for low-voltage DIMMs, which allows vendors to opt for 1.35v products. The power savings, at 1W per DIMM, might not sound like much, but the E7 series supports up to 2TB of RAM in a 4S system. According to Intel, low-voltage DDR3 can cut a server's power consumption by up to 128W.


OEM support for the new E7 processors seems downright enthusiastic; 19 vendors have announced a total of 35 systems with shipping to begin immediately. This may be partly due to the way the E7 helps to simplify Intel's product mix. Up to now, Intel's heavy-hitting Beckton was a 45nm chip that lacked the 32nm enhancements of the Xeon 5600 parts.

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2tb of ram, yikes! run that as the swap file

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Imaged if Intel build a Extreme Edition based on Xeon. It will be super powerful game PC out there. I would like to see the 10 care Intel CPU start at 4 GHz with unlocked same on Extreme Edition processor. One day it might be happen if Intel build one for Extreme Edition. We will never know...

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If they do mike, HH has to give me one! :D

But dam, i need myself one of these servers with them...

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Looks like some awesome specs would love to see what kinda madness this could be in a box, maybe if I win the lottery right, XEON processors are expensive, and I could not put one of these 10 core beaut's in a box with anything but the best. SO I will let you know when that happens.

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I think the real idea behind this is that most server applications are going the way of virtualization technology. With 10 cores running potentially 20 threads with HT enabled you can run more servers on one box. :)

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I bet they can fold like there's no tomorrow.

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Yes Omega thats probably part of it, but the cloud does not only run one way there are multiple ways. You can be on the general cloud, a private leased cloud, a private cloud on leased servers, or a truly private cloud run by a single company. There are more combinations to this CPU seems viable for them all.

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Pretty cool, it'll take 20 years or so for them to incorporate this into the military :p lol

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Impressive, Multi core applications would really excel with a pair of theses on one mobo

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I personally am watching whats happening with Graphene as a processor material. I would imagine if Intel is not already on this they will be very shortly, IBM is already on there second operating round of them. They self cool and are very energy efficient so a processor pulling very high Ghz would be conceivably a moot point in many aspects, I think they are pulling 150 on a core, so a 600Ghz operational processor I imagine if in a quad core build. Not to mention it needs no cooling, is 200 faster than most OC'd i7 processors, and with that self cooling and energy efficiency a 10 core would be a cake walk so maybe double that. IBM is into this major and there main lineup is server hardware as well so it would make obvious sense from that side to for Intel to be all over it.

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