Intel Broadwell Xeon E5 2600 v4: Huge core count and faster code

Bigger, faster Xeons for scale-out servers and super-workstations. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich commends it to us all.

Brian Krzanich Intel CEO
Credit: Intel

Intel releases the Broadwell Xeon E5 v4 line. With an amazing 44 maximum threads, the processors promise performance beyond your wildest dreams.

Well, they'll be a bit faster than the previous generation, anyway. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers scale out and tune in. Not to mention: Awesome CGI Sci-Fi short

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What's the craic? Chris Williams registers his surprise—Intel's Broadwell Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips:

Intel today officially pulls the wraps off its mildly delayed Xeon E5 v4. ... Server and workstation processors using the Broadwell [architecture] have been...around since early 2015.

The Broadwell-EP Xeon E5 v4 [is] aimed at scale-out servers. [It] can have up to 22 cores or up to 44 hardware threads per socket [and] up to 2400MHz RAM. ... Each core has 2KB of data L1 cache...32KB of instruction L1 cache, and 256KB of L2 cache. The Xeon E5 v4 packages are socket compatible with E5 v3 Grantley.

Intel reckons Broadwell’s single thread performance is about five per cent higher than Haswell’s. [It] says it’s been able to speed up AES encryption, and ECDSA, RSA and DSA signing and reducing PCLMULQDQ from seven cycles to five, and introducing...two new instructions...ADOX (unsigned integer addition with carry-in/out using the overflow flag) and ADCX (unsigned integer addition with carry-in/out using the carry flag). ... There’s also RDSEED, which is supposed to be used to prime pseudorandom number generators.

Posted interrupts allow the make interrupts fire straight into the guest. ... It means virtual machines can react way faster to hardware events, boosting performance. ... Running the netperf benchmark, Intel says it was able to shift [up to] 41 per cent more data. ... [Intel claims] a x1.2 increase in performance...for various benchmarking tests, when using 22 versus 18 cores.

Bigger and faster, then. But cheaper? Nope. Timothy Prickett-Morgan drives the point home, with a balanced performance bump:

The workhorse of the datacenter, the Xeon E5 processor, is getting a bit stronger. ... Moore’s Law is providing more threads...and more L3 prices that are more or less the same as the parts they replace.

There are a slew of new processors covering all kinds of use cases. ... Intel has created 24 standard parts, plus two...not on the official price list, and one more aimed at workstations.

The one big that the chips now support CRC error correction on writes to the DDR4 memory. ... The Broadwell chips have a total of four memory channels.

The 22-core part might cost more than $4,000. [But] SKU for SKU, customers are getting a reasonable bump...and they are probably not going to pay a lot for it...perhaps nothing at all if they negotiate hard.

So the screamingest chips are spendy. Marco Chiappetta tries a pair—Intel Xeon Processor E5 v4 Family Debut: Dual E5-2697 v4 With 72 Threads Tested:

The new Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 family of processors offer...more advanced cores [and] better overall performance within a similar power envelope. [They] also introduce new security and virtualization features, additional memory bandwidth...AVX...hardware controlled power management [and] other architectural improvements.

What of HPC applications? Doug Black frames the conversation—‘Broadwell’ Launch Brings Intel’s Advanced Scale Framework Into Focus:

Intel has talked publicly for more than a year about its...Scalable Systems Framework (SSF), an integrated compilation of processor, fabric, storage and memory technologies. [The] Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 [is] the first processor within SSF.

Intel said that with its integration within SSF, the Omni-Path Fabric delivers up to 24 percent higher messaging rate. ... Intel will soon publish a variety of reference architectures and reference designs for the [SSF] based on the Broadwell microarchitecture as well as Omni-Path fabric and the Lustre parallel file system.

Let's wrap it up. Tarinder Sandhu obliges—Intel Xeon E5 2600 v4 Broadwell-EP unmasked:

The...launch offers a simple upgrade for IT managers and database architects looking to refresh their server/workstation line-up. ... Intel is really pushing these chips as able replacements for older systems.

Intel is keen to point out that software, often on a per-machine basis, is a key determinant of overall cost of ownership. ... The Xeon E5 v4 processors are more evolutionary than revolutionary, and make up one part of Intel's 2016 cloud strategy. ... The company's monopoly on mainstream servers means that Xeon E5 v4 will be an automatic choice for many. ... The Intel server bandwagon keeps on rolling.

And Finally…

Arene: Awesome CGI Sci-Fi short


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