Intel Xeon Gold 5220 Benchmarks and Review

Intel Bunny Suit With Xeon Scalable 2nd Gen
Intel Bunny Suit With Xeon Scalable 2nd Gen

In the heart of the market is the Intel Xeon Gold 5220. With the second generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel made a change. It greatly increased the cores and clock speeds in the mainstream segments of the market. Not only did it increase compute per dollar, but it also rationalized some of the SKU stack. When we reviewed the Intel Xeon Gold 5120, we called it a “new level of redundancy.” Those days are gone and we now have an updated CPU with new features at the same price point.

Key stats for the Intel Xeon Gold 5220: 18 cores / 36 threads and 2.2GHz base clock and 3.9GHz turbo boost with 24.75MB cache. The CPU features a 125W TDP. These are $1,555 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 5220 Lscpu Output
Intel Xeon Gold 5220 Lscpu Output

Moving the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 up the stack to 125W TDP is important. If you purchased the premium Gold 5120 in this generation, that was a 105W TDP part. What you get in return is a massive upgrade in terms of cores and clock speed. Base clocks are the same but one gets four more cores or about 29% more. Turbo clock also goes from 3.2GHz max to 3.9GHz for a 22% increase. Add in support for VNNI, Intel Optane DCPMM, and the security mitigations and this is an enormous performance per dollar upgrade at the same price point.

Dual Intel Xeon Gold 5220 Test Configuration

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

  • System: Inspur Systems NF5280M5
  • CPU: Intel Xeon Gold 5220
  • RAM: 12x 32GB DDR4-2666 ECC RDIMMs
  • Storage: 2x Intel DC S3520 480GB OS
  • PCIe Networking: Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx 25GbE, Intel X710 4x 10GbE SFP+

A quick note here, we did not utilize the Intel Optane DCPMM here because we had standard chips. Using Intel Optane DCPMM even with two 128GB modules per CPU to stay well below the 1TB per CPU memory limit would change our performance relative to other non-DCPMM results because of how the memory controller works when present. We want to remain consistent.

Inspur Systems NF5280M5 Front Badge
Inspur Systems NF5280M5 Front Badge

The Inspur Systems NF5280M5 is a dual-socket Intel Xeon Scalable solution that has a variety of I/O configurations. We kept our test unit relatively light on rear riser cards to ensure we had significant airflow for the Intel Xeon Scalable line we would test up to 205W TDP.

Inspur Systems NF5280M5 With DIMMs
Inspur Systems NF5280M5 With DIMMs

We are going to add a link to our full Inspur Systems NF5280M5 review once that is online in the next few weeks.

Next, we are going to take a look at our Intel Xeon Gold 5220 benchmarks, we are then going to focus on power consumption then conclude with our final words on the processors.


  1. No word on 5220S ? That one looks really interesting with higher base clock but I guess it’s only available to select customers.


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