3 Different LGA 2011 pin outs: Haswell-EP Pictured Alongside Ivy Bridge-EX, Ivy Bridge-EP and Sandy Bridge-EP
The server world is going to get a lot more interesting. Intel yesterday released the Ivy Bridge-EX series which introduced a second, not pin compatible, LGA2011 socket. We received many questions asking exactly which socket the new chips used. Checking out ark.intel.com we see Socket FCLGA2011 listed. That is the same as is listed for the Ivy Bridge-EP chips. A common question was whether the Ivy Bridge-EX is therefore compatible with the Ivy Bridge-EP platform. From what we have heard on the now released platforms they are not compatible. What is more, the next generation Haswell-EP is expected to use yet a third LGA2011 revision.
For those that remember, the original LGA2011 socket is used for Intel Xeon E5-x600 series processors and high-end Core i7 chips. If two different 2011 pin socket types were not enough, that family will soon grow. Likely later this year we will get Haswell-EP chips with the new LGA2011-3 socket.
Haswell-EP is not “officially” released yet and will not be for many more months. Large customers had Haswell-EP A0 silicon well before Ivy Bridge-EP launched so many thousands of these chips are being used on a daily basis. We managed to get a lineup of the Sandy Bridge-EP and Ivy Bridge-EP which use the original LGA2011 socket. The Ivy Bridge-EX chip using the “new” LGA2011 socket. Finally we were able to get a picture of the upcoming Haswell-EP chips with the much publicized LGA2011-3 socket.
A few quick details pop out. At first glance just looking at the four edges of the Sandy Bridge-EP and Ivy Bridge-EP chips one can see different contact pad alignment than the more full edges around Ivy Bridge-EX and Haswell-EP. At first glance Ivy Bridge-EX and Haswell-EP look like they have similar contact pad alignment. If you look along the bottom right edge you can see between the corner and the notch there are four contact pads on Ivy Bridge-EX. Looking at Haswell-EP there appear to be six.
Here is a shot of two 15 core Ivy Bridge-EX parts. This is likely not a final retail version so the final retail version may differ. There are no chip markings on this one.
Looking at the Haswell-EP part that will likely become the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 in a few months we can get a better idea about the differences. These Haswell-EP chips appear to be an upcoming 14 core variant. For those keeping track, the current Ivy Bridge-EP has a maximum of 12 cores.
The bottom line is that from looking at the physical processors we may have three different and incompatible LGA2011 versions by the end of 2014. This makes perfect sense as the E7 v2 chips are a different market segment and the Haswell-EP chips are going to have new features such as DDR4. Still, adding or subtracting a pin wold make things much easier. Finding spare parts three years down the road that are compatible will not be as easy as just doing a search for “LGA2011 motherboard” or “LGA2011 processor” for example.
Disclaimer: The above photographs were not furnished by Intel. Final shipping parts may differ. With the Haswell-EP chips, this is of course just speculation into what Intel may release in the future. We now have evidence of a high-end server Skip-Tock cadence with the E7 series skipping a Sandy Bridge generation.