Monday, February 6th 2017

Intel Readies the Xeon Gold Series Processors for Media Workstations

Hot on the heels of AMD Ryzen, Intel is planning to launch the pro-consumer targeted Xeon Gold line of processors. The company is reportedly "freaked out" at the cost/performance of AMD Ryzen R7-1800X in creative productivity applications, and is preparing a new line of processors targeting that niche of the market, which uses MacPro desktops and media production workstations using HEDT processors, but needs a bit of "reliability." The Xeon Gold series will be based on the 14 nm "Skylake-EP" silicon, and will feature up to 18 CPU cores. The first model in the series is the Xeon Gold 6150.

The Xeon Gold 6150 features 18 CPU cores, with HyperThreading enabling 36 logical CPUs. Intel increased the L2 cache amount per core to 1 MB, from 256 KB found on other implementations of the "Skylake" architecture. The chip features 25,344 KB (24.75 MB) of shared L3 cache. The core clock speed is 2.70 GHz, with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 3.70 GHz. The chip features a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface. Going by its specs, the Xeon Gold 6150 will clearly occupy a higher market segment than the Ryzen R7-1800X, but could lure orders from the likes of Apple, for its next-generation MacPro workstations.Sources: CanardPC on Twitter, HardOCP Forums
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29 Comments on Intel Readies the Xeon Gold Series Processors for Media Workstations

#1
eowli
i guess i'm not the only one with questions....
What exactly is the purpose of this release?, what gains will this processor have over, say a "normal" xeon?
creative profesionals who dont use mac pros already use xeons, where is the market for these processors? will they be cheaper than a normal xeon with similar specs?
to me this just looks like a modern 2699v3,

i hope they will be attractive in some way, they look cool. just dont see a reason :/
Posted on Reply
#2
XiGMAKiD
Looks like Intel wants to compete with AMD in fancy product name

So what's next, Intel Hard Core for enthusiast level and Intel Soft Core for mainstream and entry level?
Posted on Reply
#3
RejZoR
I guess Ryzen will be good after all :)
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#4
chaosmassive
explain this Professional usage of CPU for me, as per my understanding :
Xeon intended for workstation/server
Core/Pentium/Celeron for average user

is there any kind of special processor that I dont aware of?
Posted on Reply
#5
Tom.699
eowli said:
i guess i'm not the only one with questions....
What exactly is the purpose of this release?, what gains will this processor have over, say a "normal" xeon?
creative profesionals who dont use mac pros already use xeons, where is the market for these processors? will they be cheaper than a normal xeon with similar specs?
to me this just looks like a modern 2699v3,

i hope they will be attractive in some way, they look cool. just dont see a reason :/
The may be dropping QPI links from higher end multicore Xeon and making them somewhat cheaper (hopefully) and clocked faster.
I agree though unless it is priced right this looks like just a gimmick.

They may also limit memory to 64GB or something effectively making Gold very poor choice for server and whoever needs a server will still have to pay premium for "regular" Xeon but it will be good CPU for workstation.
Posted on Reply
#6
Xajel
Well, Ryzen still a desktop CPU.. for consumers after all... it only compete with Core i7. so If Intel is making a Xeon for Media workstation ( which is great BTW ), then AMD might have something to compete also, we already know that Zen based Opteron ( or whatever they will name them, lets call it Zepteron ) will have 16C/32T to 32C/64T core configuration with Quad Channel ECC DDR4...

It will be interesting to see how such competition will be, cost is a major concern for self prosumers and HEDT consumers, going from HEDT to workstation class platform add too much cost over a high-end system... I still think AMD might in future release a dedicated HEDT platform if Ryzen proved it well and gives AMD the cash it needs to invest more. but for the time being they will depend mainly on Ryzen and Zepteron to fill any gap, I guess for AMD the price jump between Ryzen and Zepteron will be higher than the jump from Intel's specially that Intel already have an HEDT platform which sits between regular Z260 platform and entry level Xeon Workstation.
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#7
JalleR
The big deferens is 1MB of L2 pr. Core that is 4 times more than other Xeons...

So for many small task this will have a upper hand..
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#8
Camm
Where's the pricing going to hit - all well and good to create yourself a new market segment, but if your still going to flog the chip off for $1k plus, no one except some very specialist customers will care.
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#9
pat-roner
Man, i hope AMD delivers on this. Intel really needs to be shaken up.
Posted on Reply
#10
R0H1T
Camm said:
Where's the pricing going to hit - all well and good to create yourself a new market segment, but if your still going to flog the chip off for $1k plus, no one except some very specialist customers will care.
A grand, try 3 o_O

I bet with the 18 core Xeon, Intel will be targeting them TitanZ owners.
Posted on Reply
#11
Xajel
chaosmassive said:
explain this Professional usage of CPU for me, as per my understanding :
Xeon intended for workstation/server
Core/Pentium/Celeron for average user

is there any kind of special processor that I dont aware of?
No this is Xeon.. so a workstation class CPU... It's just optimized for Media workstations more, like audio/photo/video editing and production, the first thing that attract pro users is high core count as media application uses what ever cores they have.. so user will like an 18C/36T over 10C/20T with a good price...

A professional user does not just need high-performance but also high reability, Xeon platforms offer more of this compared to HEDT platform...
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#12
Ferrum Master
The gold could actually mean the pricing for this stone :D
Posted on Reply
#13
JalleR
Looks like there will be a platinum aswell :D

"Skylake-SP" (14 nm) Scalable Performance

Xeon Gold 6150 18 (36) 2.7 GHz ?/3.7 GHz 18 × 1 MB 24.75 MB
198 W
LGA 3647 3 × 10.4 GT/s UPI 6 × DDR4-2400 Q2, 2017
Xeon Platinum 8180 28 (56) 2.5 GHz ?/? GHz 28 × 1 MB 38.50 MB
205 W
LGA 3647 3 × 10.4 GT/s UPI 6 × DDR4-2400 Q2, 2017

I take the Bronze then :D I guess the price will be affordable.
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#14
spooh
I wouldn't say creatives really need multicore.
Most Adobe software has limited thread usage to four. Some parts of software are singlecore only.
Actually only 3D rendering and most of video software are well prepared to handle more than 4 threads.
So if you're pro working in 2D and 3D, then you'd need something very fast when using four threads, but also having more threads available when needed. At the moment i7-E's are best available cpus for mixed creative usage, but still far from perfect. In 2D the fastest consumer quadcores still beat Xeons and -E's in performance.
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#15
zelnep
it will be a normal CPU + additional price tag "for those special people"... by the way - few weeks and intel will have to clear its stock from future irrelevantly priced CPUs... first they will try special or rebrand edditions, then price cuts
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#16
thebluebumblebee
RejZoR said:
I guess Ryzen will be good after all :)
A friend of mine talked to an Intel employee who said that Ryzen is a really good CPU. Normally, when someone says that the competition's product is good, what they are really saying is that it's superior. I wish I could tell you the people involved, but I won't. Intel's squirming does say volumes though.
Xajel said:
I still think AMD might in future release a dedicated HEDT platform
I sure hope not. I have always felt that HEDT is Intel sticking a finger in our collective eyes. I'm expecting the top Ryzen pieces to so cannibalize HEDT as to render it void.
Posted on Reply
#17
Jizzler
Putting my money on simplified naming and not much more. My guess is that we might be seeing the end of E3, E5, and E7 destinations because they aren't nearly as helpful as they once were when one picks a Xeon CPU.
Posted on Reply
#18
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
eowli said:
i guess i'm not the only one with questions....
What exactly is the purpose of this release?, what gains will this processor have over, say a "normal" xeon?
Say How About
Higher Profit margin .Higher Stock price=Happier Stock holders. Improved NASDAC Rating/position
Just a Guess :)

PS
chaosmassive said:
is there any kind of special processor that I dont aware of?
Intel Iitanium cpu :)
Posted on Reply
#19
efikkan
If there's any truth to this, it's about bloody time! Pro users have been neglected for far too long, even though they are a profitable segment.

There are great selections for server uses among Xeons, and even workstations which only need many "slow" cores, like:
Xeon E5-2630 v4 10 cores, 2.2 GHz (3.1 GHz boost), 85W, $667
Which offers fantastic performance per dollar and watt, and two of these offers a massive 20 cores.

But many professional users still need a decent clock speed, since many workloads scales better on many fast cores than many slow cores. This includes video encoding, rendering (both ray tracing and OpenGL based), CAD, compute etc.

The current options are too sparse:
i7-6800K 6 cores, 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz boost) $434 - Great value, but too few cores.
i7-6900K 8 cores, 3.2 GHz (4.0 GHz boost) $1089 - Great performance per core, but too expensive.
i7-6950X 10 cores, 3.0 GHz (4.0 GHz boost) $1723 - Great performance per core, but way too expensive.
Xeon E5-2687W v4 12 cores, 3.0 GHz (3.5 GHz boost) $2141

The rumors of Xeon Gold sounds nice, I would love a CPU of ~3 GHz (~4 GHz boost) with more cores, and I'm willing to pay ~$1500 for a such CPU, if it justifies the price for professional use.
If the specs are roughly true, quadruple L2 cache per core would require a redesign of the cache hierarchy, which would mean that Intel planned this ~2 years ahead of release, so that can't be a reaction to Ryzen in any way. More L2 cache will improve IPC, but why cut down on the L3? There's hardly any point with both L2 and L3 if the L3 is so small. I would rather spend those transistors on more L3, giving the CPU ~100 MB of L3 cache.

btarunr said:
… and is preparing a new line of processors targeting that niche of the market, which uses MacPro desktops and media production workstations using HEDT processors, but needs a bit of "reliability."
As a note, the "trashcan" MacPros are hardly used by pros any more, due to outdated configurations and extremely overpriced hardware. But there are too few affordable non-custom options out there, so it would be refreshing to see Intel actually focusing on this market segment. Perhaps finally the market can move beyond thinking a quad core is a proper workstation.

eowli said:
i guess i'm not the only one with questions....
What exactly is the purpose of this release?, what gains will this processor have over, say a "normal" xeon?
creative profesionals who dont use mac pros already use xeons, where is the market for these processors? will they be cheaper than a normal xeon with similar specs?
to me this just looks like a modern 2699v3,

i hope they will be attractive in some way, they look cool. just dont see a reason :/
It may not appeal to you, but for we professionals can't simply get enough fast cores.

RejZoR said:
I guess Ryzen will be good after all :)
Hopefully yes, but these beasts wouldn't compete with Ryzen, but rather Opteron versions of Zen.

chaosmassive said:
explain this Professional usage of CPU for me, as per my understanding :
Xeon intended for workstation/server
Core/Pentium/Celeron for average user

is there any kind of special processor that I dont aware of?
See above, there are almost no Xeons for workstation use, but plenty for various server uses.
Posted on Reply
#20
David Fallaha
JalleR said:
The big deferens is 1MB of L2 pr. Core that is 4 times more than other Xeons...

So for many small task this will have a upper hand..
nah 1MB is the silliest thing i've ever heard -this is why this 'leak' isn't correct
Posted on Reply
#21
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
This will be interesting if they use it to ax 2011-v4. That will be a very short lived product line which is not like Intel for HEDT. I am almost curious if the will offer 3647 side by side with 20111-V4.
Posted on Reply
#22
R0H1T
thebluebumblebee said:
A friend of mine talked to an Intel employee who said that Ryzen is a really good CPU. Normally, when someone says that the competition's product is good, what they are really saying is that it's superior. I wish I could tell you the people involved, but I won't. Intel's squirming does say volumes though.

I sure hope not. I have always felt that HEDT is Intel sticking a finger in our collective eyes. I'm expecting the top Ryzen pieces to so cannibalize HEDT as to render it void.
There's no need to, Intel created this artificial segmentation to make more money especially off buyers who'd get a (high end) dGPU. With AMD they have an APU, as well as IGP less Ryzen coupled with an AMD dGPU, there's no real incentive to increase the number of sockets for desktop CPU sales. With a single socket they can (somewhat) keep the prices down & quality in check.
Posted on Reply
#23
JalleR
David Fallaha said:
nah 1MB is the silliest thing i've ever heard -this is why this 'leak' isn't correct
I agree, it sounds too much to be true really 18MB of L1 cache will take up a lot of room on a die..

But again with the new LGA 3647 there is room for a BIG chip.
Posted on Reply
#24
David Fallaha
So...anyone else wish to comment on the potential die size of a chip with:

-18meg L2 cache
-AVX512

Looks like Intel getting panicky and FUD'ing to me
Posted on Reply
#25
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
cdawall said:
This will be interesting if they use it to ax 2011-v4. That will be a very short lived product line which is not like Intel for HEDT. I am almost curious if the will offer 3647 side by side with 20111-V4.
Isn't the next HEDT socket using Skylake X supposed to be LGA2066, not another revision of 2011?
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