It is not every day that we get to review a system with over $66,000 of CPUs. Today is one of those days. Actually, STH’s previous record in a single system was “only” a bit over $40K in our original Quad Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 initial benchmarks. Being fair, these CPUs are not intended for your average system. The “L” designation means that these are for the top tier of memory users, or those who are using products like the 256GB and 512GB Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Modules (DCPMM.) Still, with 112 cores and 224 threads, this is a high-end Intel Xeon configuration.
Key stats for the Intel Xeon Platinum 8260: 24 cores / 48 threads and 2.4GHz base clock and 3.9GHz turbo boost with 36MB cache. The CPU features a 165W TDP. These are $4702 list price parts. Here is the ARK page with the feature set.
Here is what the lscpu output looks like for the chips:
Since pricing is going to be a topic for many readers, Intel is tying increased memory to the CPU not because it is a significant additional cost for the onboard memory controllers to support. Instead, in a quad Intel Xeon Scalable system with even 6TB of Intel Optane DCPMM, one is spending around $53K in DCPMM and more with DDR4. Likewise, prices for 48x 128GB or 256GB DIMMs are also significant. Intel adds cost on its chips to capture some of the value that the memory makers are providing with high capacity parts. It also allows the company to keep Optane DCPMM at lower price points while offsetting pricing on the CPU side. We used the 6TB Intel Optane DCPMM configuration in our Quad Intel Xeon Platinum 8276L Benchmarks and Review. The Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 parts we had were standard version but there are L, M, and Y variants you can read more about in our Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable SKU List and Value Analysis piece.
Quad Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 Test Configuration
For our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable CPU quad socket reviews, we are using the following configuration:
- System: Supemicro SYS-2049U-TR4
- CPU: Intel Xeon Platinum 8260
- RAM: 48x 32GB DDR4-2933 ECC RDIMMs
- Storage: 4x Seagate Exos 2TB 2.5″, 2x Samsung 960GB U.2 NVMe SSDs, 128GB Supermicro SATA DOM
- 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 have meant our memory would work at only DDR4-2666 speeds.
You can learn more about the test server in our Supermicro SYS-2049U-TR4 review. Upgrading the server from our first generation to the second generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors simply required a BIOS update. In newer systems, the platform will come standard with that support.
Overall, the platform has support for an enormous amount of I/O and storage customization options. With four Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs, one has a maximum of 192 PCIe lanes available connected to the system which is twice what one has in a traditional dual socket server. Scaling up is a key value proposition of the Intel Xeon Gold 6xxx and Platinum 8xxx families.
Next, we are going to take a look at our quad Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 benchmarks, we are then going to focus on power consumption then conclude with our final words on the processors.