Intel recently launched the Haswell-EN line with about as little publicity as possible. Last year we wrote about the death of the EN platform, and how great value servers would arise. This piece was written just after we heard from Intel that there were no plans for an EN v3 platform based on the Haswell architecture. Now we see that there are five new processors in the Haswell-EN series that were launched with little fanfare.
The Intel Xeon E5-2400 V3 and E5-1400 V3 Family
Although it is rather difficult to find a server with the Haswell-EN chips, the processors were launched this quarter. Rumor has it that they are now targeted at specialized network and storage platforms, but not general purpose compute servers. There are four new Xeon E5-2400 V3 processors ranging from 4 cores and up to 10 cores. These processors are all “L” model designations so they have TDPs between 45w and 70w. The single Intel Xeon E5-1400 processor, the E5-1428L V3 is a 8 core/ 16 thread processor with a 65w TDP. The Xeon E5-1400 series processors have a “1” which means single socket only.
One of the more interesting notes here is that the processors share a triple memory configuration and up to DDR3 1600 RAM. The majority of Haswell-EP (quad memory channel) chips come with a DDR4 memory controller so progress in the EN range is not where the EP range has gone. The EN line can also only accept 2 DDR3 DIMMs per channel versus up to 3 on the EP line.
For those wondering, the origin of the EN line was for server vendors to build high density compute platforms with less power and space requirements than the quad memory channel E5-2600 series. The 3-6 DIMM/ socket configurations were a carryover from the Westmere-EP days. Over time, vendors managed to fit the larger chips in similarly sized chassis so the EN line was doomed with the Haswell Xeon E5 generation, or so we were told. We published our Intel Xeon EN value buyer’s guide last year under this assumption. Lately, forum members have been finding awesome deals on the Intel Xeon E5-2400 series platforms and processors.
The bottom line is that these five new parts are part of a breed that is approaching extinction. Compared with the Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3 series there is only a small fraction of the processors available and they are not destined for most off-the-shelf servers.