Intel’s Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2698 V4 Processor Benchmarked – Powered by 20 Cores, 40 Threads and 50 MB L3 Cache

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Dec 7, 2015

Intel’s Broadwell-EP processors are going to launch in Q1 2016 but details of the some specific SKUs have already made their way on the web. Posted over at Chinese online retailer, Taobao, is a specific Intel Xeon “Broadwell-EP” SKU which has been marked as a qualification sample and one can buy it for 15,500 Chinese Yuan, although there are some things to think twice about before buying a non-retail chip off an unknown source, regardless, the user who made the listing posted some benchmarks of the specific chip which look really interesting.

Shots of Intel’s Broadwell-EP Chips. Courtesy/Source: ServerTheHome

Intel’s 20 Core Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2698 V4 Processor Tested

So a little recap to Broadwell-EP, as we know, Intel has processors aimed for servers and workstation platforms that are branded under the Xeon family. These chip can be housed in platforms ranging from single socket, all the way up to 8 socket racks and enterprise solutions with large amounts of cores and memory working in parallel to accomplish several tasks and workloads. The Grantley and Brickland platform which will support the new Broadwell-EP and EX chip models (respectively) has already spanned the market for three generations. These include Ivy Bridge EP/EX V2, Haswell-EP/EX V3 and the latest Broadwell-EP/EX V4 processors. Broadwell-EP/EX V4 processors will be the last processors to arrive as Intel phases out their current platform and move to the new Purely Platform for Skylake and Cannonlake processors. The new Broadwell-EP/EX series will have a launch schedule as detailed below:

  • Xeon E5 V4 family of processors will be landing in the first half of 2016. This will consist of the Broadwell EP series of processors for one. Which include the Xeon E5 1600 v4 and E5 2600 v4 family of processors for both single and dual socket motherboards. The E5 1600 v4 series will have upto 8 cores whieas the 2600v4 series will rock upto 22 cores and have full support of DDR4 2400 memory. The platform will be compatible with the C610 series chipset. The Broadwell-EP 4S platform (upto 4 sockets on one motherboard) consisting of the Xeon E5 4600 v4 will be launched sometime in Q2 2016.
  • The Xeon E7 V4 family of processors, constituting the Broadwell-EX platform, and the nomenclature range of Xeon E7 4800v4 and Xeon E7 8800 v4 will be launched in Q2 2016. It will also be compatible with the existing Brickland platform.
  • The Xeon Phi X200 series of products (Knights Landing) will be available in Q3 2016. Knight’s Landing was built on the 14nm Process and uses modified silvermont cores (x86 ofcourse). It is also one of the first mass produced components developed for this market segment that features stacked DRAM.

The processor we are looking at today is a direct replacement for the Haswell-EP based, 22nm Xeon E5-2698 V3 known as the Xeon E5-2698 V4. From the CPU-Z screenshot provided, the processor features a core clock of 2.10 GHz across the 20 cores which are hyper-threaded down to 40 threads. The CPU block is partitioned into several cache blocks with each core housing 2.5 MB L3 cache which equals a total of 50 MB L3 cache on this processor. The maximum core clock is suggested around 3.5 GHz (boost) while the chip has a TDP range of 130-140W. Compared to the E5-2698 V3 which had 16 cores, 32 threads, 40 MB L3 cache and a core clock ranging from 2.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz, the V4 is an incremental increase since it’s also based on an improved 14 nm process node. To sweeten up the deal, Intel will up the standard memory speed up to 2400 MHz, a good increase over the 2133/1866 MHz DIMMs supported as reference on current generation Xeon processors.

In terms of overall specifications, Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2600 V4 processors will feature up to 22 cores while the EX series will feature up to 24 cores. The 22 core beast will feature a total of 44 threads and if we take 2.5 MB cache (per core slice) from Haswell-EP, we can expect to see up to 55 MB of L3 cache on these processors. The TDPs of the chips will range from 55 to 145 (160W Workstation only) and will be compatible with Socket R1. Broadwell-EP will feature up to 40 PCI-Express lanes and quad channel DDR4 memory support. The same chips will be tuned down into Broadwell-E (HEDT) chips which will range from 6 to 10 core models that will be offered to enthusiasts in late 2016.

In terms of benchmarks, the chips are a complete beast with DDR4 memory adding to increased memory bandwidth while the L3 cache bandwidth and latency numbers are in a league of their own. In CineBench, the chip (Xeon E5-2698 V4) scored an insane 4980 cb points in multi-threaded benchmark which is greater than the numbers from the 16 core Xeon E5-2698 V3.

This is just a small showcase of Broadwell-EP’s power as the bigger 22 core model, the Xeon E5-2699 V4 is also expected to launch at debut of the new and last Grantley Xeon family. You will see more of the new Xeon processors in action in 2016 with Intel aiming to offer a robust server and workstation offering to professional audience. Currently, Intel faces little challenge in the server space as they dominate the entire field. IBM does offer some decent packages in their Power lineup which can be found in top-of-the-line supercomputers but so does Intel. AMD is prepping their Zen core for integration in the next iteration of Opteron, server-focused processors which aim to bring AMD back in the professional CPU space.

Intel’s Current/Future Generation Xeon Families:

Product Family Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V4 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V4 Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V5 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V5 Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V6 Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V6
Family Branding Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EX Skylake-EP Skylake-EX Cannonlake-EP Cannonlake-EX
Process Node 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 10nm 10nm
Xeon Platform Intel Grantley Intel Brickland Intel Purely Intel Purely Intel Purley Intel Purley
PCH C610 Series C602J Series Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH Lewisburg PCH
Socket Socket R3 Socket R1 Socket P Socket P Socket P Socket P
Omni-Path (Interconnect) N/A N/A Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1 Storm Lake Gen1
Max Core Count 22 24 26 28 30-32? 32-34?
Max Thread Count 44 48 52 56 60-64? 64-68?
Max L3 Cache 55 MB 60 MB 65 MB 70 MB 75-80? 80-85?
Max PCI-Express Lanes 40 PCI-E Gen3 32 PCI-E Gen3 48 PCI-E Gen3 48 PCI-E Gen3 >48 PCI-E Gen3 >48 PCI-E Gen3
DDR4 Memory Support 4-Channel DDR4 4-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4 6-Channel DDR4
TDP Range 55-145W 115-165W 45-160W 110-160W 45-160W 110-160W
Launch Expected Q1 2016 Q2 2016 1H 2017 2017 2018 2018