Does the 6258R Make Sense for Intel?

For this test, I wanted to compare the difference between Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8280 and Intel’s Xeon Gold 6258R. These processors are practically identical on paper for any regular 1P or 2P server, offering up 28 cores at 2.7-4.0 GHz, however the Gold 6258R has a list price that saves over $6000 compared to the Platinum 8280.

As per our regular testing procedure, I put both CPUs in our 1P LGA3647 test system and ran through our performance benchmarks. We also took power measurements, latency measurements, and idle-to-turbo measurements. Everything came out the same. Without the name of the CPU on the heatspreader, or a different CPU string when probed, no-one would be able to tell the difference in a 1P or 2P environment.

So if anyone is thinking of deploying Intel’s high-end Xeon Platinum 8280s in anything less than a eight-socket system, don’t bother. Save a few grand per CPU and gain the plaudits of your boss – unless they start asking questions about why the infrastructure doesn’t have the latest ‘Xeon Plutonium’ things they’re heard about.

Jokes aside, the pragmatic question to ask is:

Has Intel shot itself in the foot with the 6258R?

Intel often repeats (as does AMD) that the majority of its server customers exist in that 1P and 2P spectrum. An offering like the 6258R replaces the 8280 in all aspects for that, giving Intel an effective performance-per-dollar improvement of 2.5x, while at the same time lowering its selling price - when we compare the prices, Intel stands to lose $6000 per processor sold.

 

However, Intel launched the 8280 in April 2019 as the flagship – the 6258R only came out in February 2020. Anyone who wanted the perfromance of the 8280 in that time frame already purchased one. At the same time, a few months later, the company has launched its 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable platform, known as Cooper Lake. We’ve covered Cooper Lake in detail, but the short information is that it is an OEM platform designed for 4-socket and 8-socket servers. Any customer who needs servers that large are now going to look at Cooper Lake as the leading product, meanwhile the 1-socket and 2-socket customers are still on the Cascade Refresh options.

At this point, the 8280 is a dead product for Intel.

  • Users who want the 4-8 socket compatibility and performance can now get the 8380H/HL.
  • Users who want the 1-2 socket compatibility and performance will go for the 6258R.

If you’re wondering where the 6258R stacks up against AMD, we’re in the process of re-testing the parts we have on hand as we go through our regression testing. The EPYC 7542 is probably the best comparison point (32C, 2.9-3.4 GHz, 225W, $3400), however we’ll have to look into getting one of those.

 

Test Bed and Benchmarks
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  • PixyMisa - Monday, August 10, 2020 - link

    You're a loony. Reply
  • schujj07 - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    I use both Ryzen and Epyc at my job. We have people who have the hardware assisted virtualization turned on in Win 10 for use with Virtual Box. They don't have any issues at all on the AMD hardware and those VMs run 24/7. For the Epyc server platforms, AMD Virtualization is turned on by default in the BIOS. Those VMware hosts run 24/7 with 100% uptime and not a single VM crash for months on end. Only time there is a reboot is to upgrade ESXi. They aren't just running little DNS Servers either, they are running HANA DBs, SQL DBs, Oracle DBs, etc... The VAR I use has never had anyone with the issues you are describing either. Reply
  • ZoZo - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    You misunderstood. I didn't say you couldn't run virtual machines, I said you couldn't run [hardware-accelerated] virtual machines within a virtual machine running a Windows OS, aka nested virtualization.
    So for instance, if you have a Windows guest, you can't use the Windows Sandbox feature on it.
    I'm not making that up, it's a feature planned for 20H2 :
    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/virtualizat...
    Reply
  • schujj07 - Saturday, August 8, 2020 - link

    I have a couple nested ESXi hosts on hardware assisted virtualization on AMD Epycs that work just fine. Maybe don't use Hyper-V and you will be fine. Reply
  • ZoZo - Sunday, August 9, 2020 - link

    Yes, maybe don't use this, and this, and that. That's my point. Thanks. Reply
  • ZoZo - Sunday, August 9, 2020 - link

    Also, I think you still haven't understood what I was talking about. It's not what the host hypervisor is that matters, it's what the guest OS is that matters. Even if the host is ESXi, you won't be able to use Windows Sandbox (or any other virtualization-based software) under a Windows guest until later this year. But maybe I just stumbled upon the only software incompatibility in the whole market. Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    Let's hope the Intel stuff does "just work" after having been milked for so long...;) It should certainly be "mature" by now, eh? And sure, I guess Linus Torvalds is a noob when it comes to CPUs, sure. What does he know?--he probably picked up AMD and rejected Intel because he enjoys all the "weird stuff that has no resolution in sight"--you betcha. BTW, Intel doesn't make anything competitive with TR--TR is a "prosumer" product. Spread that around to the very few OEMs who sell $10k Intel processors these days...;) You might want to consider getting over your childish pique concerning AMD, guy, seriously. It's rather silly. AMD is here and is Intel's worst nightmare, and that will not be changing anytime soon. All that remains to be seen is how long it will take Intel to catch up to AMD *this time*...that is, if AMD allows that to happen in the first place, imo. AMD now is firmly ensconced as a moving target architecturally--going to be an order of magnitude more difficult for Intel from now on. Pushing Intel onto a completely new architecture is just what Intel needs--maybe with a new design from the ground up like AMD's Zen architectures--because it should enable Intel to design out all the security flaws its *current* architectures have developed a sizable reputation for having! That's not something any CPU maker wants! Talk about "no resolution in sight"--the only resolution for Intel's myriad security flaws is a brand-new, ground-up architecture. Nothing else will do--right, Intel? Atta' boy--go get' um...;) Reply
  • Santoval - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    "maybe with a new design from the ground up like AMD's Zen architectures"
    That is already on Intel's schedule and in fact it was announced right when Intel hired Jim Keller. I am referring to Ocean Cove, the apparent successor of Golden Cove (the "big" core of Alder Lake). Ostensibly the CPUs with Ocean Cove cores are going to be called Meteor Lake. It is also supposed to be Intel's first 7nm CPU (it will be fabbed either at Intel's 7nm node or -if Intel craps the bed completely- at TSMC's 4/5nm node).

    I have no idea if Jim Keller's sudden departure will affect or delay the release of Ocean Cove / Meteor Lake but my guess is that it will. Therefore, on top of the 6-month delay of 7nm and the 12-month delay of high enough yields at 7nm the earliest Meteor Lake could be released is early 2024 - assuming no further delays. So it will compete against either Zen 5 or 6.
    Reply
  • ZoZo - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    "You might want to consider getting over your childish pique concerning AMD, guy, seriously. It's rather silly. AMD is here and is Intel's worst nightmare"
    That's the language of someone who's blindly cheering for his underdog team at a sports contest. There's no conversation to be had around that, it just discredits everything you might want to say.
    Reply
  • Joe Braga - Friday, August 7, 2020 - link

    The main fault in this case is Microsoft Reply

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