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Intel Hardware

Intel Releases Sandy Bridge-based Xeon E5 Series 96

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the please-send-eight dept.
crookedvulture writes "Desktop and notebook users have been enjoying chips based on Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture for more than a year. Now, workstations and servers can get in on the action with the Xeon E5-2600 series. These Sandy Bridge-EP Xeons offer up to eight cores, 20MB of cache, and a truly staggering amount of I/O bandwidth. Unlike their consumer-grade counterparts, the new chips feature more advanced power management and the ability to deposit incoming data packets directly into the CPU's cache rather than going through main memory. They also plug into LGA2011 sockets, requiring an upgrade to the new Romley-EP platform. No fewer than 17 models are available, with prices falling between $200 and $2000 and TDPs ranging from 60-150W." The summary is slightly incorrect -- the Xeon E3 series has been out for the workstation market for quite a while (sporting graphics cores on the models ending in -XXX5 too).
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Intel Releases Sandy Bridge-based Xeon E5 Series

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  • Mac Pro (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FreakyGeeky (23009) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:34PM (#39265311)
    Come on new Mac Pros!
    • Re:Mac Pro (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:36PM (#39265339)

      Yeah, the timing couldn't be better. Mortgage rates are at some of the lowest levels in decades.

      • Oh, come on. Why mod this down? This is comically pointing out the biggest problem with Mac Pros: the absolutely ridiculous price tag. When you can build a Hackintosh [tonymacx86.com] with twice the power for less than half the starting price of the Mac Pro line, there's something very wrong.

        My Mac Pro wish is for a line refresh with a major price cut.

        • You do realize that the Mac Pro is not a commodity gaming box, right? These are Xeon-based workstations with ECC RAM. I doubt that many Hackintoshes are built with those. As for the price, Mac Pros tend to be surprisingly competitive, sometimes even better-priced than the competition, but only for a while after their introduction. The line is stale now while the competition has been shuffling models and prices around. The next line will probably be priced appropriately for its particular market (at least in
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            As for the price, Mac Pros tend to be surprisingly competitive, sometimes even better-priced than the competition, but only for a while after their introduction.

            Actually, building your own Mac Pro, with roughly the same parts, costs around $2k less than the Mac Pro. For example, with the baseline dual-socket Mac Pro 5,1 you get two 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5620 processors, 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA HDD, an ATI Radeon HD 5770, an 18x SuperDrive, and a Magic Mouse/Trackpad and keyboard for $3949. For $2022 you get virtually same components:

            Intel Xeon E5620 Westmere 2.4GHz 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor
            http://

            • Which is why I said for a while after introduction. You can build one cheaper now because Apple rarely does much with the MP line aside from perhaps one or two minor bumps/BTO options during a model's lifetime. When they first come out, they're pretty competitive. When they've been out a year+...not so much.
        • Seriously? Go part for part one Mac pro.

          You're talking about systems that have CPUs that cost upwards of 1600 bucks each. With one CPU plus motherboard plus case plus ram plus an upgraded psu to match spec for spec on a pro comes up to about the same price and you haven't even factored in disk, video card or peripherals.

          A Mac Pro is relatively priced with its competitors.

          The only thing that blows is that Apple nor AMD nor nvidia is interested in support for newer gpus. But if that's your bend, you're proba

          • you don't need a 1K PSU in a one cpu system and other stuff in the mac pro is over kill. Now apple needs a $1000-$1500 1 cpu desktop system. The 1 cpu mac pro at $2500 is very over priced and the mini is to small and under powered for people who need a good desktop.

            • You sure could use a 1k psu if you're powering several video cards, max out all the drive bays etc.

              The problem with a standard desktop machine is that there's no place in the apple mindset for them. users who want that kind of flexibility don't make up a significant portion of the overall market.

              OTOH, users who need such features are people who can spring for a pro.

            • Mac mini (the latest models) are jsut fine as a 'good' desktop. My win 7 gaming PC transcodes video about 1/3 faster with the extra 2 cores (but no hyperthreading like on the mac.) Ive run handbrake side by side, i5 quad core PC vs i5 dual core HT and the difference is not as great as you would make out. As a DESKTOP its a fine machine, as a workstation, it functions well. 16 GB RAM + SSD in a mac mini = a blazing fast computer with a tiny heat, size and noise footprint. Currently running 2 linux and a win
          • by Kjella (173770)

            Actually what he's frustrated about isn't the Mac Pro, it's that there's no normal Mac. Not a micro, not a all-in-one, not pro. Just a normal box that you'd find at any PC store that uses normal consumer CPUs, normal RAM, normal graphics cards, normal HDDs, normal everything. Because he might like OS X, he might like Mac software, but the hardware is such a total mismatch it's not going to happen. Been there, considered that but the only Mac I'd consider buying is a Mac laptop because luckily the form facto

            • normal consumer CPUs, normal RAM, normal graphics cards, normal HDDs, normal everything

              A Xeon is not a consumer CPU. DDR3 ECC memory is not normal consumer memory. Most likely it will be server HDDs which cost slightly more. Other than upgrading to server parts, it's not normal.

        • Maybe because the majority of hackintoses are not twice the power of Mac Pro. A Core i Series from Intel is not the same things as a Xeon from Intel unless you believe Intel is ripping you off charging more for workstation/server class CPUs. Apple does not make mid-towers for consumers. A Mac Pro is a workstation or server (if configured to be). Most people here seem to only see CPU frequency and ignore other aspects that make them not comparable.
          • Umn, well Intel Xeons are generally underclocked versions of their desktop CPUs with a better lead time, and more testing. It's the additional testing that is part of the cost. In general "Workstation" and "Server" components are usually non-extreme, conservatively clocked components with a *very* large margin (profit) built in, far more than the leading edge desktop fanboi parts by far.
            • They are different chips besides just lead time and testing. They carry ALOT more cache, which isnt cheap, as well as handle very high amounts of I/O in a much more efficient manner. Xeons are more then just rebadged Cores
              • Perhaps you could share some architectural differences? I mean, more cache allows higher amounts of I/O, but just the same, not sure in what ways (or even one) Xeons are dramatically different.
    • Re:Mac Pro (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pope (17780) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:36PM (#39265341)

      They'll be here soon enough :) Now if only Apple could do something about the dreadful state of the video cards available...

    • starting at $3000 with 4gb ram + low end video card and say only a 1TB HDD.

      • What page are you looking at? A starting Mac Pro is $2500 with 3GB not 4. Putting in 4GB with that architecture is possible but not efficient.
        • That is what apple can price the next one at. The cpu's are faster let's up the price $500 and there are 4 ram channels so let's put 1 1gb in each.

          • The history of the Mac Pro suggests that the base price is $2499. With a base price of $200 for the lowest processor, all you have is rampant speculation about Apple may or may not do.
            • it was $2000 before the last upgrade and even then it was high priced.

              • A Mac Pro was never $2000 unless you have some sort of proof. The last update was 2010. The starting price of the 2009 Quad-Core MacPro was $2499 [macworld.com]. And again, these are workstations which are fairly comparable to others in their classes. These are not gaming machines or mid-towers.
  • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:41PM (#39265399)
    We run a large number of XenApp servers as VM's and while total system throughput is important so is single threaded performance. Right now we use x5670's with 2.93 GHz clock speeds and a 95W TDP. I'm wondering if the E5-2660 would be as powerful for single threaded workloads which would get us 33% more total throughput for the same power budget but I'm not sure that a 2.2GHz base clock with a 500MHz turbo boost using the SB core is going to be as fast as a 2.93GHz Westmere core.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:47PM (#39265481) Homepage

      Anandtech's review is up, only single threaded benchmark I saw though was the Cinebench [anandtech.com] one where the 2.2 GHz is only a slight improvement. The 2.9 GHz top model is running away from everything else though, if you got $2000 to spare...

      • by afidel (530433)
        Thanks! A 6% improvement in single threaded from the x5670 to the E5-2660 is good news. It's not a matter of the money for the E5-2690 it's not wanting to grow my power per rack by ~20%.
    • by CRC'99 (96526)

      We run a large number of XenApp servers as VM's and while total system throughput is important so is single threaded performance. Right now we use x5670's with 2.93 GHz clock speeds and a 95W TDP. I'm wondering if the E5-2660 would be as powerful for single threaded workloads which would get us 33% more total throughput for the same power budget but I'm not sure that a 2.2GHz base clock with a 500MHz turbo boost using the SB core is going to be as fast as a 2.93GHz Westmere core.

      Be careful. You may get bitten by this bug [redhat.com]. The tl;dr version: If your apps use dynamic loading on Sandy Bridge, you may get segmentation faults cause by a bug in glibc.

      RHEL should have this fixed by release 6.3. Other clones of EL will get the fix via the update to 6.3 after RH has released it.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:49PM (#39265495)
    How's linux support for Sandy Bridge coming along? Last I checked, about 6 months ago, there was still a lot of bugs/bad performance with the graphics, power management not working, etc. Do any of the distros have good out-of-the-box support yet?
    • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles AT dantian DOT org> on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:20PM (#39265883)

      Intel seems to finally have fixed the power management bug and from the comments on the bug report on Launchpad (LP#818830) it seems very likely that Ubuntu 12.04 will ship with rc6 enabled by default.

      I don't know that the sibiling AC is on about, I have used Unity on a Sandybridge laptop with integrated graphics and found no reason to complain about graphics performance, including HD video. YMMV

      • Heh, when it comes to graphics performance on linux YMMV is pretty much the tagline. That being said, I'm savoring the anecdotal rebuttal to a blanket statement with no source. Now is my chance to go meta...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      As of Linux kernel 3.0, machines with Sandy Bridge chips are stable; kernels version 3.1 and 3.2 even more so. Linux 3.3 will be released in the next week or two and should include more performance/power-related functionality for these chips.

      On the graphics front, the on-board graphics on both my Sandy Bridge laptop and desktop work fine enough for desktop workloads, including 1080p over HDMI. This is both with Ubuntu 11.10-based distributions, which ships with a 3.0 kernel by default, but I typically
      • by David Greene (463)
        Are you noticing any of the chipset framerate issues with Sandy Bridge? I'm looking to build an HTPC out of them but it sounds like waiting for Ivy Bridge might be a better idea given the chipset issues.
    • by CRC'99 (96526)

      I posted this just above, but as this is a thread purely about linux on SB, I'll place it here also:

      Be careful. You may get bitten by this bug [redhat.com]. The tl;dr version: If your apps use dynamic loading on Sandy Bridge, you may get segmentation faults cause by a bug in glibc.

      RHEL should have this fixed by release 6.3. Other clones of EL will get the fix via the update to 6.3 after RH has released it.

  • So, how many organs will these cost?

  • Where's the 10GbE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by danpbrowning (149453) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:01PM (#39265651)

    There have been news items all year about how the E5 was going to usher in a new era of low-cost 10 GbE LOM (LAN on motherboard). Even today's news stories are talking about it. But where's the beef? I've looked through about 30 motherboards from Supermicro, Tyan, etc., and the only 10 Gb LOM I've found is on a proprietary Supermicro MB and it's not even ethernet. Sure, system integrators have them, but I'd rather build my own box.

    Anyone have an idea where they are?

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, the Anandtech review [anandtech.com] on the Intel S2600GZ said:

      Four GBe interfaces are on board and an optional I/O module can add dual 10 GBe (Base-T or optical) or QDR infiniband.

      So maybe what you should be looking for is IO modules? I don't know.

      • by afidel (530433)
        Yep, I know from Dell's announcement that they have pluggable modules that don't take up any PCIe lanes that can support either 4x GbE or 2x 10GbE or 2x 10Gb FCoE CNA's.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You'll see most of the server vendors offering alternative mezz cards so that you can order with 1GbE or 10GbE on the card, so 10GbE is available without consuming a PCIe slot, For example, Dell is offering 10GbE this way on all their next gen servers and blades

  • Now have Nvidia release a refresh to the Quadro series as well and I might be interested.

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