When we first started tracking the Intel Xeon E5-2670 V1 pricing several months ago we had a suspicion that these chips were about to experience a significant drop in pricing. There were a number of early generation Open Compute servers that were being decommissioned at Facebook with the chips and the platforms that they were in were non-standard servers. Given that unlike what we saw with the Xeon L5520/ L5638/ L5639/ L5640 generation chips coming out of Dell C6100 chassis, there would be an oversupply of the Xeon E5-2670 V1 and an under supply of systems. The Intel Xeon E5-2670 V1 thread in the STH forums now has over 1700 replies as folks have been tracking prices and finding compatible systems.
Here is a view of the trend line of the chips starting at $200 in early October 2015 to around $60 today.
As you can see, prices are starting to steady over the past few months. In the $60-$70 range these chips are extremely cheap. We also did not see a major move after the Intel Xeon E5-2600 V4 launch. The new E5-2600 V4 / “Broadwell-EP” generation is particularly interesting because it is two process nodes later than the Intel Xeon E5-2670 V1. Practically, that means that the 8 core / 16 thread versions of the new chips are now considered some of the lowest end models.For example, we do not have our Intel Xeon E5-2620 V4 samples yet (they are on order), but from what we have seen those chips should have similar or better performance and cost just over $400 each new.
Here is a link to the latest ebay Intel Xeon E5-2670 pricing: ebay Intel Xeon E5-2670 search results (sorted by lowest price first).
Here is a look at how the dual Intel Xeon E5-2670 setup performs compared to newer chips:
Check the Great Deals Forum for more deals including those on systems (and post systems deals there if you find them!). Here is the official Intel E5-2670 V1 deal tracking thread that is active in the STH forums.
Finding platforms to accept these chips has been challenging. Two ideas are to check the STH Great Deals forum as several have come up recently. Alternatively, the STH For Sale/ For Trade forum is usually a good place to look for deals on rackmount gear that has been previously used by STH forum members.
The Intel Xeon E5-2670 V1 is an 8 core 16 thread chip that supports up to 1600MHz DDR3 RDIMMs and dual socket configurations. These chips have quad channel memory controllers and can handle up to three DIMMs per channel. That means one can find dual socket platforms that can support 8, 16 or 24 DIMMs per system.
There are two major stepping versions to look for:
- SR0H8 is C1 stepping. VT-x is supported but VT-d is supposedly not supported
- SR0KX is the C2 stepping with the VT-d fix which may be important for virtualization pass-through. If possible, this is the stepping you want.
Generally the SR0KX chips carry a slight premium due to the later stepping with VT-d support. At under $63 for the SR0KX, there is little reason to get the SR0H8 instead.