This one came as a reader question given our recent Dell EMC switch reviews. The question came in: “Are the Dell PowerSwitch using Xeon Platinums better than the Megatrands generation?” Such a simple question sent us searching for answers. It appears as though we have an answer for our readers.
Dell EMC PowerSwitch Line is Not Using Intel Xeon Platinum
Dell EMC is advertising Intel Xeon Platinum inside as part of its PowerSwitch line. Here is the PowerSwitch page:
One can see the “Intel Xeon Platinum Inside” logo on the right hand of this image. When one drills down into the PowerSwitch Z-series, the Intel Xeon Platinum logo is again present.
On the PowerSwitch S-series, one can see the Intel Xeon Platinum logo again:
There is a bit of a difference between those logos as on the specific product pages they do not use the “Inside” logo as the switch overview page does.
We have already looked at the Dell EMC S5248F-ON, Dell S5296F-ON, Dell S5232F-ON, and showed in the Megatrands piece that we also have already looked at the S5224F-ON (review is coming later.) All of those use the Intel Atom C3000 series Denverton CPU and that is a big upgrade over the Dell S5148F-ON with the Atom C2000 series Rangely. The question was then what about the new switches the S5448F-ON and the Z9432F-ON. Are they using Intel Xeon Platinum since they are the only logical choice?
We dug into the Z9432F-ON switch spec sheet and found that it is using an Intel Atom C3758.
Also, the S5448F-ON switch spec sheet says it is using the Atom C3758.
As such, it seems as though Dell is not using an Intel Xeon Platinum CPU in the switches, despite using the Intel Xeon Platinum Inside logo.
We think that the answer is instead in the chassis switches, using a bit of a stretch.
The Dell EMC PowerEdge Modular System switches show the Dell EMC PowerEdge MX we reviewed. As a blade server, there are switches in the same chassis as the compute nodes. We looked through all of the spec sheets and the Dell page here, and none of these said “Intel” so we do not know the exact CPUs.
We looked through all of the spec sheets and the Dell page here, and none of these said “Intel” so we do not know the exact CPUs. Given the airflow, and the general goal of chassis switch management planes, it is more likely that these use an embedded processor rather than an Intel Xeon Platinum.
The only Intel reference was the Intel Xeon Platinum logo at the top of the page. Note, this is not the “Inside” logo.
Our best guess is that Dell should be using the Atom inside logo, not the Platinum inside logo. The products on the PowerSwitch page do not contain Intel Xeon Platinum CPUs. The PowerEdge MX can use Xeon Platinum, but not inside the actual switches that are being referenced on the page.
Although we have not looked at Dell’s newest switches yet, what we have seen and what we can gather from spec pages seems like, despite using Intel’s Xeon Platinum Inside logo, these switches do not use the Xeon Platinum processors. Again, in this instance that is a good thing since typically the Atom and Xeon D lines are used since embedded processors are a better fit for this application.
For our readers, hopefully, this clears up the confusion using the Intel Xeon Platinum Inside logo here caused. At some point, Dell’s competitors will probably bring this to Intel since usually using those logos has an MDF implication. At that point, there is a good chance we will see them updated. At least STH readers will know the answer without having to wait.
Update: Dell responded to STH in mid-March and confirmed it was using the Intel Xeon Platinum Inside in error. It says that it has remedied the issue.