Skylake-based Xeon D chips show up on Intel’s price list

Remember Xeon D, gerbils? If you're not employed in networking or systems administration, you probably don't—and if you are, you almost certainly do. The extant Xeon-D chips use up to 16 Broadwell CPU cores, take up to 128 GB of ECC DDR4 memory, and have dual on-chip 10-Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Those chips came out about three years ago though, so it's time for an update. Indeed, Intel's just updated its price list, and it now includes the Xeon D-2191, Xeon D-2161I, and Xeon D-2141I.

The new Xeons aren't up on Intel's ARK site, and there's no other information from the company about exactly what those three processors are beyond what's reproduced above. However, the folks over at Heise.de found a bit of info over on Supermicro's website that confirms our natural expectation that these are the Skylake-based Xeon D chips that Intel confirmed would show up in "early 2018" late last year.

Supermicro's motherboard matrix has five new entries for boards based on "Skylake-D" processors. Three model numbers are mentioned: D-2146NT, D-2166NT, and D-2183IT. Curiously, none of those are listed in Intel's price list. Based on Supermicro's page, the D-2146NT appears to be an eight-core CPU, the D-2166NT seems to be a 12-core CPU, and the D-2183IT is probably a 16-core CPU. The matrix also lists two other Skylake-D setups most likely configured with eight- and four-core processors, but doesn't list the specific CPUs those boards will bear.

Further drawing from the Supermicro listing, we can see that the new-generation Xeon D parts will once again have dual 10-Gigabit Ethernet controllers, and that they'll use DDR4 memory at 2666 MT/s. Only three motherboards are specifically listed with four DIMM slots, but all of the boards have the same maximum capacity of 256 GB of registered ECC memory, or 512 GB if you use LRDIMMs. The Broadwell-based Xeon D chips only had dual-channel memory controllers, so it will be interesting to see if these systems are running one or two DIMM slots per channel.

Notably, the TDP specs on the new processors start at 65 W and peak at 90 W. That's double the 45 W TDP of the Broadwell-based Xeon D chips. Based on Intel's slides from last year, the new chips are most likely based on the same Skylake-SP core found in the Xeon W and Xeon Scalable processors. Like those chips, we'd expect the new Xeon Ds to run well below their TDP most of the time.

Skylake Xeon D CPUs Cores/Threads Turbo clock (GHz) L3 cache (MB) RAM support TDP Price
Xeon D-2191 18/36 1.6 24.75 ? 86W $2406
Xeon D-2183IT 16/? ? ? DDR4-2666 ? ?
Xeon D-2166NT 12/? ? ? DDR4-2666 ? ?
Xeon D-2161I 12/24 2.2 16.5 ? 90W $962
Xeon D-2146NT 8/? ? ? DDR4-2666 ? ?
Xeon D-2141I 8/16 2.2 11 ? 65W $555

The chart above collects everything we know about the new Xeon D chips at this time. Intel hasn't actually made any official announcement about these processors whatsoever, so for now we'll just have to sit tight until the boys in blue decide to give us the straight dope.

Comments closed
    • jts888
    • 2 years ago

    I struggle to understand who the intended market for a $2400 18*1.6 GHz chip is.
    In related mysteries, how has AMD not launched an underclocked BGA server variant of Threadripper?
    Do they just think that a $750 16c Epyc obsoletes Xeon-D singlehandedly?

      • Deadsalt
      • 2 years ago

      [url=https://hothardware.com/news/amd-snowy-owl-platform-epyc-3000-series-embedded-socs<]Snowy Owl is apparently AMD's answer to Xeon-D. [/url<] The rumor mill has given release dates from end of 2017 to iirc 2H2018.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]I struggle to understand who the intended market for a $2400 18*1.6 GHz chip is.[/quote<] Web serving video (or other primarily I/O task) in a power-constrained data-center. You need a lot of threads to handle all of the client connections and enough processing to handle the basic PHP stacks for Drupal or whatever. The threads are long-running but low-CPU power overall. And imagine a power-constrained data-center. You want a lot of these threads for best response-time but you need them to be as power-efficient as possible. So you run tons of threads at very low GHz. Memory-bound tasks (like Memcached or Redis) may be more power-efficient on a Xeon-D as well. Its not like Redis uses any CPU power, its just a key-value store all in RAM.

        • jts888
        • 2 years ago

        I would really expect some sort of 2P setup with moderate core count to do better in that scenario, since larger visible memory pools mean less aggregate memory needed, and thus fewer overall servers for a given workload.

        $2400 for a server CPU with only realistically 256 GB of RAM (512 GB at extortionate rates, and 1TB apparently not even supported) feels like it needs a stronger play than that IMO.

          • Beahmont
          • 2 years ago

          Well you’re wrong then. It doesn’t perform better. Which is why Xeon-D sells so well.

          Xeon-D also comes with 2 10Gbps RJ-45 Ethernet connections directly on the board that generally cost over $500 each in server grade add-on cards.

          Xeon-D is generally sold as a complete platform, just add RAM and Storage to operate.

            • jts888
            • 2 years ago

            I’m talking about the 18c $2400 SKU in particular above, which I think is pricey enough to.overshadow cost savings from the SoC 10GbE.

            Do you have sources on what large content farms actually use Xeon-D?

            • chuckula
            • 2 years ago

            Facebook’s main web front-end operations are running on several acres of older Xeon-Ds right now: [url<]https://code.facebook.com/posts/1711485769063510/facebook-s-new-front-end-server-design-delivers-on-performance-without-sucking-up-power/[/url<]

            • jts888
            • 2 years ago

            Great article! Had no idea FB was the driving force behind Broadwell-D.

            • chuckula
            • 2 years ago

            Near the end of that article the Facebook guy notes that the memory bandwidth will have to go up in future generations of the product.

            I would be very curious to see if the new Xeon D’s go to quad-channel memory to keep customers happy with increased bandwidth. The basic Skylake Xeon hardware actually includes 6 channels in the silicon, so it’s a matter of turning on the support and wiring up the motherboards.

            • Beahmont
            • 2 years ago

            If the SuperMicro Mother Board Matrix is to be believed the Skylake-D board is going to allow up to 3TB of ECC RDIMM. I don’t know enough about the various types of ECC RAM to know if that’s actually an improvement or even relatively a lot of RAM for RDIMM’s, though I do know the price of that amount of RDIMM is the GDP of a medium sized island nation.

            Or at least it’s going to feel like it when you buy it.

            • jts888
            • 2 years ago

            What you appear to be looking at in the matrix (X11DSF — Intel® Xeon® D Processor / Skylake-D — LGA 3647 — 205W) appears to be a mislabeled 2P Xeon Gold platform.

            Anything above 128 GB DIMMs (already horrendously expensive) exists nowhere outside of isolated industry test labs, and even the quoted 3TB is presumably using 24 slots, while everyone else is looking at the Broadwell-D-like 4 slot (i.e., realistically 4*32 GB total max) systems.

            • Beahmont
            • 2 years ago

            Well I did say if that SuperMicro table was to be believed! Apparently it wasn’t!

            • Beahmont
            • 2 years ago

            It’s an 18C/36T core processor in an 86W package that comes with most of a thousand dollars worth of networking equipment on the mother board. If it fits your needs that’s a damn steal at twice the price when you’re building a decent sized server farm.

      • shank15217
      • 2 years ago

      Routers and Switches probably. Many current gen 40/100GbE routers use Intel multi-core CPUs. For example, look up Juniper QFX10000 series.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 2 years ago

      Virtualization.

      VMware can hit much higher densities with more cores. If you have 18 cores @ 1.6 GHz, you have slightly more throughput than 12 cores @ 2.2 GHz—but you drop a ton of CPU ready under load (due to significantly lower co-stop).

      This is a huge improvement at high load—which is the only time performance really matters in the first place. Other hypervisors may behave differently. E.g., I believe Hyper-V sees a benefit in this situation as well, but not at the same level as VMWare.

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    Sorry Intel, hard pass for me.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      That’s what [spoiler<]she[/spoiler<] said.

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