Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 “Broadwell”

In Technology by admin

Today Strongbox begin shipping Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors in both our X and DX Series workstation computers. The new v4 Xeons provide more CPU cores, more cache, faster memory access and more efficient operation. These are based upon Intel microarchitecture code-named “Broadwell” – the HPC processors of choice.

Important changes in Xeon E5-2600 v4 include:

  • Up to 22 processor cores per CPU
  • Support for DDR4 memory speeds up to 2400MHz
  • Faster Floating Point Instruction performance
  • Improved parallelism in scheduling micro-operations
  • Improved performance for large data sets

Move faster with Xeon E5-2600 v4

Expect these new processors to be more nimble than their predecessors. A variety of microarchitecture improvements have been added to increase parallelism, speed up processing time, and strip out inefficiencies from previous models. Broadwell reduces the time to complete a multiplication by 40% (division operations also complete more quickly). Each core’s ability to optimize instruction ordering has been improved by ~6%. The tables which manage on-die L2 cache have been expanded to speed up memory operations. Several CPU instruction latencies have been reduced. Overall, Intel expects these new CPUs to complete at least 5% more instructions on every clock cycle.

The Broadwell-EP microarchitecture increases the maximum number of cores/threads from 18/36 to 22/44, and also makes room for up to 55MB of shared L3 cache (up from 45MB). Intel still enables four channels of DDR4 memory, but increases the peak data rate to 2400 MT/s (a 15 percent improvement). Intel also added new memory features, such as support for 3DS LRDIMMs and DDR4 Write CRC (an enhanced form of error control).

The E5-2600 v4s offer a different base frequency and Turbo Boost setting for AVX and non-AVX functions, but Intel notably allows each core to operate in either mode without affecting the clock rate of other cores. In the past, every core ran at a lower base and peak Turbo Boost frequency if the cores were running a mix of AVX and non-AVX code. That restriction is no longer in place.


Transitioning from “Haswell” E5-2600 v3 Series Xeons

Those who are adding to existing HPC clusters will find they have a choice: spend the same for increased performance or spend less for the same performance. Here is a comparison of the older generation with this new generation:

Get more for less – improved cost-effectiveness

Because each CPU core offers increased performance, and many models offer a higher core count, a lower-end CPU model can match performance with many of the older CPU models. Xeon E5-2630v4 offers performance equivalent to the E5-2640v3 (and can even challenge the E5-2650v3)

  • Xeon E5-2640v4 matches the E5-2650v3 in nearly every case
  • Xeon E5-2650v4 matches the E5-2660v3 in nearly every case (and challenges the E5-2670v3)
  • Xeon E5-2660v4 will beat the E5-2670v3 and E5-2680v3 on well-parallelized applications
  • Xeon E5-2680v4 and Xeon E5-2690v4 best almost every E5-2600v3 CPU

Next Steps – Putting Xeon E5-2600 v4 into Strongbox

All of our Xeon workstations, servers & clusters are immediately available with these new CPUs. They are socket-compatible with all Xeon E5-2600 v3 platforms, so your existing systems can also be upgraded.