Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Benchmarks and Review

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Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Cover
Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Cover

In the mainstream of the market where the Intel Xeon Gold 5218 plays, Intel made sweeping changes to its lineup. If you were previously an Intel Xeon Gold 5118 customer, the new generation is priced the same but offers a lot more. One gets 33% more cores and a 700MHz higher turbo clock speed with the Gold 5218 which is massive for performance gains.

The Intel Xeon Gold 5218 occupies a high-volume market segment where buyers are willing to trade maximum per-socket performance for better value. In this generation, Intel is giving buyers significantly more value for their dollar.

Key stats for the Intel Xeon Gold 5218: 16 cores / 32 threads and 2.3GHz base clock and 3.9GHz turbo boost with 22MB cache. The CPU features a 125W TDP. These are $1273 list price parts. Here is the ARK page with the feature set.

Here is what the lscpu output looks like for the chips:

Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Lscpu
Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Lscpu

Aside from the core and clock increases, the chip gets new instructions like VNNI and is one of the lowest-cost options to support Intel Optane DCPMM. All of this has one small drawback, the 20W higher TDP. Adding over 35% more compute capacity for less than 20% more power budget is a great trade-off.

Intel Xeon Gold 5218 Test Configuration

For our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable CPU single-socket reviews, we are using the following configuration:

  • System: HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10
  • CPU: Intel Xeon Gold 5218
  • RAM: 6x 32GB DDR4-2666 ECC RDIMMs
  • Storage: 1x Intel DC S3700 400GB
  • PCIe Networking: Mellanox ConnectX-3 HPE FlexLOM dual-port 40GbE

The Intel Xeon Gold 5200 series supports DDR4-2666 speeds. That is slightly lower than the DDR4-2933 speeds that higher-end Gold and Platinum SKUs support. We covered the test system in more detail in our article A New STH 1P 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Test Platform including the process we went through to select the heatsinks and fans.

HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 1P High Performance Standard Configuration
HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 1P High-Performance Standard Configuration

One will notice that we are using the high-performance heatsink here with the high-performance fans. That is to ensure that even though we are using a 1U server, we have enough cooling capacity for our testing. If you purchase a new ProLiant DL360 Gen10 you will likely get a standard heatsink which is more than ample to cool a low-power part like this. You can see the difference between the high-performance and standard HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 heatsinks here:

HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 High Performance And Standard Heatsinks
HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 High Performance And Standard Heatsinks

Next, we are going to take a look at our Intel Xeon Gold 5218 benchmarks. We are then going to conclude with our market comparison and final words on the processors.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m getting all of our customer’s re-buy servers re-quoted with newer gen2’s because of performance bumps like this for free in the socket.

  2. What would be interesting to see is the placement of 5218 vs 4215. Both support Optane memory, but the latter with half the core-count.

  3. This 5218 Gen2 slaps around my originally priced $1900 Gold 6130 Gen1 in just about every way.

    I’m preparing for 2nd CPU to pair with my single 6130 but disheartening to spend so much for a Gen1. Maybe I should consider selling my single 6130 and go for two Gold 5218 or even two 5220.

    Eh, I’ll wait. I have enough cores for what I’m doing now anyway.

  4. If was in the fase of upgrading a proxmox VPS server, from 2x Intel Xeon silver 4114, which one would you choose of these 2?
    Intel Xeon Silver 4216 @ 2.10GHz
    Intel Xeon Gold 5218 @ 2.30GHz

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