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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Xenokilla 3 years ago

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

Mike Coyne 3 years ago

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...

inspector 3 years ago

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

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

rapid1 3 years ago

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.

omegadraco 3 years ago

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. :)

slugbug 3 years ago

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

rapid1 3 years ago

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.

DScheive 3 years ago

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

der meister 3 years ago

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

rapid1 3 years ago

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.

omegadraco 3 years ago

Check out these babies paired with servers based on this technology would create a very nice computing environment and are the future.

wannab 3 years ago

So, using one of these to watch youtube movies on it would pretty much be over kill huh? ;P I bet there is someone out there who is going to do just that!

rapid1 3 years ago

From what I am hearing this may not actually be all that attractive a processor for Intel as the newer chip model of this (this specific XEON is made of Nehalem chips from what I understand), and there will be an implementation of this with newer chips pretty quick with a -.3 watts per core power usage percentage. That is 1/3rd of the power for 1 chip which is also a major reason (energy efficiency) for a chip like this on a server.

Grady56 3 years ago

Jeez! 10 Cores? That's a little over-the-top if you ask me. But I guess if its a business server or something like that that needs that kind of performance I can see why It'd be OK

I just read the title and some of the posts ( had to leave  :P ) so please don't hate XD

AKnudson 3 years ago

excuse me if i sound retarded, but i understood a good 2/3 of that. the issue i am having is what do xeon proccesors do? why would any one prefer one over say an i7. can anyone please elaborate this point for me?

rapid1 3 years ago

Really for most uses on a home computer including gaming a 10 core Xeon CPU is over the top. If you are doing CAD work or maybe Graphic design/Game Design or something of that nature or higher Accounting work there would be a point and or Scientific work involving super number crunching (Genetic/Physics/etc), also for bragging rights lol! Other than specialized higher end work that requires it basically I see no reason. To many on HH it is just exciting because it moves everything forward more. In reality almost everything developmentally moves to the military then to science, industry and then finally comes to the commercial market for the general consumer. So when we actually see these things hit the Industry side of things they have already been through Military and science and are getting to general industrial sales that means we or the general market and population is next. Which also means there is higher end equipment (which is generally hidden from the general market) that is both being used and developed above those being used in the hidden (Military, Science, Industrial) portions of the market.

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