Intel unveils powerful 48-core Xeon processor

Intel has revealed its new Xeon processor line-up, which boasts chips with up to 48 physical cores and support for a ridiculous amount of RAM.

The new chips are named the Xeon Cascade Lake series, and feature a new architecture with multiple CPU dies on a single package – similar to the design used by AMD’s recently-launched EPYC processors.

Intel has not confirmed whether its latest Xeon CPUs will feature hyper-threading, but the ability to include two chips in a single multi-processor motherboard means you could technically use the new high-end CPUs to build a system with 96 CPU cores.

The Xeon Cascade Lake chips also support up to 24 DDR4 RAM modules for a total of up to 3TB or RAM – in addition to Intel’s Optane SSDs.

Intel stated that its new Xeon Cascade Lake chips are built for the most demanding workloads available, offering up to 3.4-times the performance of AMD’s EPYC 7601 chip in certain tasks.

The powerful Cascade Lake processors are still based on Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process, as the company has struggled to shrink down to 10nm.

Intel’s new chips are set to launch in the first half of 2019, and it is also launching an entry-level Xeon E-2100 range for entry-level servers – available today.

Xeon E-2100

While there are few specifications available for the Xeon Cascade Lake, Intel’s XE-2100 range is officially for sale, offering budget server CPUs with up to six physical cores and support for Optane memory.

The Xeon E-2100 processors also support hyper-threading, except for the E2126G, E-2124G, and E-2124 chips.

CPU Cores/Threads Boost/Base Clock TDP Price
Xeon E-2186G 6/12 3.8/4.7GHz 95W $450
Xeon E-2176G 6/12 3.7/4.7GHz 80W $362
Xeon E-2174G 4/8 3.8/4.7GHz 71W $328
Xeon E-2146G 6/12 3.5/4.5GHz 80W $311
Xeon E-2144G 4/8 3.6/4.5GHz 71W $272
Xeon E-2136 6/12 3.3/4.5GHz 80W $284
Xeon E-2134 4/8 3.5/4.5GHz 71W $250
Xeon E-2126G 6/6 3.3/4.5GHz 80W $255
Xeon E-2124G 4/4 3.4/4.5GHz 71W $213
Xeon E-2124 4/4 3.3/4.3GHz 71W $193

AMD EPYC

Intel’s new Xeon Cascade Lake processors may offer increased performance compared to AMD’s current generation of EPYC server chips, but AMD is also developing a new line-up of workstation CPUs.

AMD is expected to announce its new EPYC server chips tomorrow, which will reportedly feature a 64-core variant and will be built on a 7nm manufacturing process.

These chips will also become available next year and will compete directly against Intel’s Xeon Cascade Lake CPUs in the high-end server market.

AMD’s next generation of EPYC server processors are code-named “Rome” and will be the first of the company’s processors built on a 7nm manufacturing process.

Whether this architecture upgrade will be enough to trump Intel’s upcoming Cascade Lake Xeon processors remains to be seen, but a move to a new manufacturing process usually brings with it improved power efficiency and better density, which leads to greater performance.

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Intel unveils powerful 48-core Xeon processor