Intel Xeon Gold 5220 Market Positioning
Thes chips are not released in a vacuum instead, they have competition on both the Intel and AMD sides. When you purchase a server and select a CPU, it is important to see the value of a platform versus its competitors.
Intel Xeon Gold 5220 v. Intel Alternatives
The Intel Xeon Gold 5220 is one of the best performance per dollar parts that Intel offers in this generation. Here is a chart from our Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable SKU List and Value Analysis piece.
Again, adding four cores and 700MHz of maximum clock speed at the same $1555 price point means that mainstream CPU users are getting a massive benefit in this generation. The Intel Xeon Gold 5218 is a strong part, but in the context of a fully-configured dual socket system, the $282 per socket price increment for two more cores is likely worth it.
By the same token, the move up to the Intel Xeon Gold 6230 is likely worthwhile for most users. One also gets faster DDR4-2933 speeds as well as dual port FMA AVX-512 with that part.
Intel Xeon Gold 5220 v. AMD EPYC Alternatives
At the time of this writing, the current generation of AMD product is the AMD EPYC 7001 series. If you are looking for Intel Optane DCPMM support or lower power chips, then AMD EPYC is not a direct competition at the time of this writing. Intel did a great job of closing the performance per dollar gap in this segment with the Intel Xeon Gold 5220.
As we see the AMD EPYC “Rome” generation launch, this will change. AMD will have enough cores to consolidate dual socket Intel Xeon Gold 5220 systems by more than a 2:1 ratio, potentially over a 3:1 ratio. With up to 64 cores per socket, the AMD EPYC 7002 series is set to deliver more features which will put enormous pressure on the Intel Xeon Gold 5220.
With that said, Intel has a better diversity of platforms. Even with vendors greatly expanding platforms for AMD EPYC “Rome”, Intel still will have more platforms in the market.
AMD is about to make the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 a tough sell in the market. On the other hand, if you want Intel Optane DCPMM the Xeon Gold 5220 is better. Also, the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 you can buy on the open market today and Rome is still not released at the time of this writing.
The Intel Xeon Gold 5220 is perhaps one of the biggest performance per dollar increases we have seen from Intel over the last decade. The Intel Xeon Gold 5220 costs as much as the previous-generation Gold 5120. With 29% more cores and higher turbo speeds from 22% higher clocks, the Gold 5220 reaches 30%+ performance increases at the same price point which is astounding. Versus the current AMD EPYC 7001 series, Intel did a great job closing the price/ performance gap.