In the past week, Intel has launched a new halo CPU - its highest-performing multi-core CPU for multi-socket mission-critical servers, the Xeon E7-8894 v4. The new processor is based on the Broadwell-EX die and has approximately a 200 MHz higher base frequency than its direct predecessor, released in Q2 2016. Intel said that the new CPU has set a number of records in various benchmarks. Intel’s customers interested in the chip will also have to pay a record price too.

The flagship Intel Xeon E7-8894 v4 processor features the Broadwell-EX XCC (extreme core-count) die and has 24 cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 60 MB of L3 cache, 165 W TDP, a default frequency of 2.4 GHz and a turbo frequency of up to 3.4 GHz. Like other Broadwell-EX XCC CPUs, the new chip has quad-channel DDR3/DDR4 memory controller support and can manage up to ~3 TB of DRAM per socket (when used in conjunction with four Jordan Creek 2 scalable memory buffers). The CPUs are also equipped with 32 PCIe 3.0 lanes and three 9.6 GT/s QPI links for multi-socket environments.

Intel E7-8800 v4 Xeon Family
  E7-8867 v4 E7-8870 v4 E7-8880 v4 E7-8890 v4 E7-8894
v4
  E7-8891 v4 E7-8893 v4
TDP 165 W 140 W 150 W 165 W 165 W 140 W
Cores 18 / 36 20 / 40 22 / 44 24 / 48 10 / 20 4 / 8
Base Freq 2400 2100 2200 2200 2400 2800 3200
Turbo 3300 3000 3300 3400 3500 3500
L3 Cache 45 MB 50 MB 55 MB 60 MB 60 MB 60 MB
QPI (GT/s) 3 × 9.6 3 x 9.6 3 x 9.6
DRAM DDR4-1866
DDR3-1600
DDR4-1866
DDR3-1600
PCIe PCIe 3.0 x32 3.0 x32 3.0 x32
Price $4672 $4762 $5895 $7174 $8898 $6841 $6841

Intel’s multi-core Xeon E7 processors are designed for various heavy-duty servers with four, eight or more sockets (to support more than eight sockets special third-party node controllers are required). Such mission-critical machines typically to be available 24/7/365 and this is why the Xeon E7 v4 and the Broadwell-EX range has a host of various RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability) features. The Xeon E7-8894 v4 CPU has exactly the same set of capabilities as its direct predecessor, the Xeon E7-8890 v4 released last year.

Intel claims that due to increased default frequency (and obviously because of the core count in general), the Xeon E7-8894 v4 sets a number of performance records in various general, server, HPC, big data analytics, business processing, database and other benchmarks, such as SPECint_base2006, SPECompG_2012, and so on.

The Intel Xeon E7-8894 v4 processor carries a tray price of $8898, which is the highest price of an Intel mass-produced CPU ever. Its predecessor on the top spot in the range, the 24-core Xeon E7-8890 v4 (which runs at 2.2 GHz) is priced at $7174 and still sits at its original tray price. As always, there are customers willing to pay such sums of money for server CPUs that deliver certain levels of performance. Moreover, there are workloads that benefit from a +200MHz (9%) performance increase so significantly (from a financial point of view to the owners of the machines) that it justifies paying extra 24% (or $1724) for a 200 MHz frequency increase (provided that this is the only advantage that this CPU has over the E7-8890 v4).

Intel Xeon E-Series Families (February 2017)*
  E3-1200 v5 E3-1500 v5 E5-1600 v4
E5-2600 v4
E5-4600 v4
E7-4800 v4 E7-8800 v4
Core Family Skylake Skylake Broadwell Broadwell Broadwell
Core Count 2 to 4 2 to 4 4 to 22 8 to 16 4 to 24
Integrated Graphics Few, HD 520 Yes, Iris Pro No No No
DRAM Channels 2 2 4 4 4
Max DRAM Support (per CPU) 64 GB 64 GB 1536 GB 3072 GB 3072GB
DMI/QPI DMI 3.0 DMI 3.0 2600: 1xQPI
4600: 1xQPI
3 QPI 3 QPI
Multi-Socket Support No No 2600: 1S/2S
4600: 1S/2S
1S, 2S or 4S Up to 8S
PCIe Lanes 16 16 40 32 32
Cost $213 to
$612
$396 to
$1207
$294 to
$7007
$1223 to
$3003
$4061 to
$8898
Suited For Entry Workstations QuickSync,
Memory Compute
High-End Workstation Many-Core Server World Domination

*Intel also has the E3-1500M v5 and E3-1500M v6 mobile parts which are left out of this table

We've asked Intel to disclose the official per-core turbo numbers for comparison to their other chips, as well as a full range of DRAM support depending on memory type and memory density. We will update this news piece as we get more information.

Related Reading:

Source: Intel

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  • Meteor2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    To be fair, I thought we were discussing price. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    To be fair what I was really referring to is that Xeon chips do tend to plummet in value on Ebay after around 5 years. I've picked up top of the range 2008 Xeons for double figures just a couple of years a go. Ran a nice dual X5470 ($1500 new) setup and got both chips together in 2013 for £80! Still WPrimed in around 6.5 seconds! Most folks ignore Xeons. Reply
  • smithereen - Monday, February 20, 2017 - link

    Westmeres drop into x58 motherboards though. Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Most of the companies I know have no issue reselling the raw system: they just remove the boot drives.

    Even then that would be minimal since storage on these beasts is often supplemented by a SAN.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, February 13, 2017 - link

    Amusingly enough, I just saw an ebay listing for a 16 core Opteron at $25 USD. Server chips don't hold their value for long and I wouldn't be surprised to see any Xeon turn up on ebay after 4-5 years for minimal cost. Reply
  • HighTech4US - Monday, February 13, 2017 - link

    Top of the line ones DO HOLD value. Obsolete slow old ones not so much. Reply
  • Byte - Monday, February 13, 2017 - link

    Any drop in high end chip holds lots of value. Just look at old i7s on ebay. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    The difference is the ease of putting them into systems. An i7 will have a huge choice of old motherboards so helps keep the value. Trying to build a Xeon system is a different beast entirely. The lack of system options reduces their value to tinkerers. Thats why I buy old Dell workstations to put them into. Less messing about. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Not to mention you may have to use ECC ram. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    i7's are consumer processors, not server CPUs. There's a much smaller market for used server processors than there are for second hand consumer chips. Businesses and enterprise customers usually have vendor support or are purchasing new hardware with a warranty rather than spelunking ebay for a replacement CPU in a dead, mission-critical server. Reply

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