Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable SKU List and Value Analysis

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Comparing First and Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Stacks

With that done, we pulled out the N, V, Y, S, T, M, and F SKUs from each series. We then ordered the lists according to family placing second and first generation SKUs in order. That gives us a broad view of the value strategy for just the CPUs.

First And Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors Value Analysis Comparison
First And Second Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors Value Analysis Comparison

We have a few key highlights to this chart that we wanted to point out by series:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8200 Changes

  • The Intel Xeon Platinum series did not get any additional cores at a SKU level and pricing remained relatively constant save the Platinum 8×68. Most of the new value here is in Optane DCPMM support, VNNI, security enhancements, DDR4-2933 speeds and minor clock speed bumps.

Intel Xeon Gold 6200 Changes

  • Here the Intel Xeon Gold 6252 sees two more cores, additional clocks and more cache at a similar price as the Gold 6152.
  • The Intel Xeon Gold 6242 sees higher clocks and lower pricing. With the changes to the Gold 6130 (discussed shortly), this is a clear competitive response to the AMD EPYC 7371 and its great pricing.
  • Intel Xeon Gold 6238 sees two more cores, additional clocks and more cache at a similar price versus the Gold 6138.
  • The Intel Xeon Gold 6230 is no longer positioned as a sixteen core part competing in 16 core license pack markets. Instead, it is repositioned as a twenty core part at the same price. This is the power of competition.

Intel Xeon Gold 5200 Changes

  • The Intel Xeon Gold 5220 sees four more cores, or around 28.6% cores count increase, at the same price. This is an enormous move. It is likely due to the competition where the Intel Xeon Gold 5120 was popular but falling short on performance.
  • The Intel Xeon Gold 5218 gets four more cores or a 33% increase at the same price.
  • Intel has pivoted the positioning of the 5×17 parts lowering core counts and increasing clock speeds. We did not get an official number on the Gold 5117 price, so we used the CDW online discounted price on 31 March 2019.
  • The Intel Xeon 5215 still has 10 cores, but now gets additional cache and clock speed at the same price.
  • Based on our testing, Intel may have added dual port FMA AVX-512 to this line.

Intel Xeon Silver 4200 Changes

  • Intel Xeon Silver 4216 gets 4 more cores (a 33% increase) along with 200MHz higher clocks for only a 15W TDP boost at the same ~$1,000 price.
  • Intel Xeon Silver 4214 and 4210 parts add two more cores at the same price with 200MHz higher turbo clocks.
  • The Intel Xeon Silver 4112 does not have a direct successor in this generation. If you saw our Intel Xeon Silver 4112 Linux Benchmarks and Review you could see that this was not our favorite part.
  • At the Intel Xeon Silver 4208 level, one only gets a clock speed boost. The Intel Xeon Silver 4208 does not have direct competition from AMD.

Intel Xeon Bronze 3200 Changes

Final Words

There are a few key points. First, at the high-end Platinum 8200 series CPUs designed for 4 and 8 socket servers, Intel does not have much competition from AMD and thus, gains were modest. These are lower volume parts.

At the heart of the lineup, with the Intel Xeon Silver 4200, Xeon Gold 5200, and lower-end Xeon Gold 6200 parts, Intel has significantly increased core counts and raised turbo clocks in large portions of the range. We see this as a direct competitive move versus AMD EPYC CPUs with significantly higher core counts. The price differential between a single AMD EPYC 7401P and two Intel Xeon Silver 4214’s is relatively minor now.

CPUs are only a portion of the story. Oftentimes, RAM, accelerators, drives, and the server platform with NIC and storage controllers can cost more than the CPUs. This is more of an exercise to see what is changing, rather than an absolute comparison point. In a $10,000 server, adding $500 for higher-end SKUs is only a 5% increase in cost for what can be a 20% or more increase in performance in some parts of the SKU stack.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. Our cpu of choice was 6136 with two cores per dram channel, full cache, relatively high frequency and still sensible price. There is (currently?) simply no comparable option among 62xx offers. I wonder if there will be more SKUs in the near future …

  2. In your comparison table your 6252 base clock freq. is incorrect – as far as I know it is a 2.1GHz part not 2.5GHz, which seems to be the same as the Intel slides. Boost is correct though.

    Just waiting for ours to arrive with a new Dell R740 test box. Interested to see how it performs with LoginVSI and generally with our VDI workloads, we will also be running the same tests with the 6254 part.

  3. > Based on our testing, Intel may have added dual port FMA AVX-512 to this line.

    Not according to intel ARK.

    > One can also see a clear trend showing how its core performance optimized SKUs are priced higher. These SKUs are utilized to lower licensing costs by using fewer higher-clocked cores.

    It’s surprising to me that software vendors haven’t changed their licensing terms. If there’s one thing these guys are good at it’s shaking down their captive audience.

  4. Nils, we covered the AVX-512 bit in our note. It may have been the QS chip we were using. Need to re-test that one.

    On software licensing, we have a piece that has been sitting in our publishing queue for a month going live this weekend.

  5. Weird, that 3204 part could very well have fit in a much lower TDP, 45W perhaps. Any particular reason why Intel would set its envelope as high as 85W? I wonder if that’s the bare-minimum for the FCLGA 3647 platform.

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