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Aug 17, 2014

Intel's Best Haswell-EP Xeon CPU Has 18 Cores, Full Series Detailed

We've been writing a lot about Intel's upcoming Haswell-E collection of central processing units. We still don't know exactly when the Core i7 Haswell-E will debut, but it seems like there is finally an actual roadmap and price list for the new Xeon-branded processors, Haswell-EP.

At the moment, you won't find any chip with more than 15 cores out on sale anywhere, and even that particular Xeon chip is very rarely used. Mostly, the 6-core units are employed worldwide, as well as the occasional 12-core. The matter of core number is an iffy one. More cores do increase the computing capabilities of computers, but most programs aren't coded for more than four. That's why only servers and data centers, which run many operations at once, use them. And even there, ludicrous core counts aren't needed overmuch because the systems are composed of a high number of different sub-systems, like server blades with one or two CPUs of their own. With such computers working in tandem, chips of up to 12 cores have been holding the fort just fine. That isn't going to stop Intel from launching an 18-core Haswell-EP chip though. According to ChipLoco and MacWorld, that is the number of cores sported by the flagship Xeon chip set for September 9 release. The processor will be called Xeon E5-2699 v3 and will have a clock of 2.3 GHz, a TDP of 145W (thermal design power), and a price of €3029 / $4,058.

The greater number of cores means a higher parallel computing power, reducing the need for NVIDIA Tesla or AMD FirePro/FireStream add-in PC Express compute accelerators. Right below the Xeon E5-2699 v3 is the Intel E5-2698 v3, with 16 cores, 2.3 GHz frequency, 135W TDP, and price of €2,379/ $3,187. The list continues with three 14-core processors, four 12-core units, three 10-core chips, three 8-core processors, and four six-core Xeon E5-series CPUs. Most of them are “normal” chips, but the E5-2650L v3 stands out thanks to its TDP of only 65W, in spite of the 12 cores. Its clock is of 1.8 GHz and the price is €989 / $1,325. The cheapest CPU is the 6-core E5-2603 v3: €169 / $226.

Dell Precision workstations will be the first systems equipped with Haswell-EP chips, according to reports on the net. The Apple Mac Pro should receive them as an upgrade as well, though probably not the 18-inch one. 4K video editing is the most obvious possible use for super-systems like these, but 3D game production should benefit greatly as well. If ever there will be another sequel to, say, the Dragon Age franchise, Dell's computers, or rival systems of similar make, will quite possibly play a part.

Intel Haswell-EP Xeon E5 CPU
Image credits to ChipLoco


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