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Intel Xeon W? Now we're talking!

Ericloewe

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Good news for those of us who felt that Xeon Scalable was overpriced overkill:

https://www.servethehome.com/new-intel-xeon-w-processors-for-professional-workstations-announced/

The Xeon W line is the successor to Xeon E5-16xx. It uses the same socket as consumer high-end (LGA2066). Four channels of DDR4, 48 PCIe lanes, same microarchitecture as Xeon Scalable (Skylake with the new cache distribution and mesh network instead of the old ring bus).

The disappointment comes in the PCH. Instead of something as fancy as the C62x line, the C422 PCH is little more than a C236. It supports up to 24 PCIe lanes (up from 20 on C236), but is otherwise the same. Yes, that means two fewer SATA ports than Haswell-EP and, surprisingly, no 10GbE NIC. Onboard is still 1GbE (presumably with an i219 external PHY).
 
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Ericloewe

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Also interesting: LRDIMMs are now supported.
 

Stux

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Also interesting: LRDIMMs are now supported.
AMD effect I assume.

Ryzen/ThreadRipper/EPYC still looks far more appealing

(1, 2 or 4 die)
 

Stux

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We were a bit shocked to see the news that the platform does not get 10GbE built-in. That is now a low-end embedded feature with the Intel Xeon C3000 series. It is 2017 so not seeing this as a standard feature is borderline shocking
Pretty much.

This is supposed to be a high-end workstation CPU, and the PCH is limited to 100MB/s networking?

Really Really Really disliking Intel's 'enhanced' market segmentation this year. No matter what, it feels like you're getting shafted.

Even the i3/i5 Kaby lakes... no ECC for you.
 

Ericloewe

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Well, i5s never supported ECC. Otherwise, it's fewer features at a higher price or insane overkill at an obscene price.
 

joeschmuck

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Intel must have had some marketing reason for building a system chipset like this. I'm sure it all comes down to money of course.
 

Ericloewe

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Intel must have had some marketing reason for building a system chipset like this.
A quasi-monopoly on the middle ground between Xeon E3 and Xeon Scalable territory.
 

Stux

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Intel must have had some marketing reason for building a system chipset like this. I'm sure it all comes down to money of course.
AMD doesn't have 10gbaseT in their chipset. So intel doesn't need to ship it... it's probably on the silicon ;)
 

Ericloewe

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it's probably on the silicon
I doubt it, but I definitely see them having plans for a higher end C426 with 10GbE (at the cost of some CPU PCIe lanes). Which is probably one of the Xeon Scalable parts with a different model number.
 

pro lamer

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Will it FreeNAS? ;) Are Xeon W-21xx professional enough?

I am considering W-2123 cos of a good deal found yesterday. My other preference is Xeon E5 Socket R3 but seems a bit more expensive than Xeon W to me.

I am worried that Xeon W is named workstation (eg https://www.anandtech.com/show/11775/intel-launches-xeon-w-cpus-for-workstations) and the members here advise only server grade hardware.
 

joeschmuck

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pro lamer

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Stux

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Doesn’t the W require W motherboards?

They are super fast though. Got a 10 core in my iMac Pro :)
 

Ericloewe

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Doesn’t the W require W motherboards?

They are super fast though. Got a 10 core in my iMac Pro :)
Yes, LGA2066. And only with the C422 PCH, if you want a Xeon. X299 or whatever it's called only supports i7s and i9s.

Good luck finding a server board, though, I've yet to see one.
 

pro lamer

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Ericloewe

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The X11SRM models only have four DIMM slots and the microATX form factor limits expansion. Both tend to defeat the purpose of Xeon E5/Xeon-W.

The X11SRA models are decidedly workstation boards.
 

Stux

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Good luck finding a server board, though, I've yet to see one.
Well, I think some of these Xeon W boards actually look fairly interesting,

https://www.supermicro.com.tw/products/motherboard/Xeon3000/#2066

Micro ATX or ATX options, IPMI options, ability to NOT have audio. 4 PCIe3 slots, of which 3 are 16 lanes (mmmm Bifurcation...) ... 128-256GB of RAM support... dual M.2 22110 slots (ie good for Intel SLOG M.2 drives)... U.2 support... etc.

and SuperMicro certainly seem to think they count as server/workstation boards...

Supermicro's single processor motherboards are the perfect solution for a variety of server and workstation applications
 

joeschmuck

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Now don't get me thinking about buying a new motherboard to replace my main computer. I don't need a server board for that but a workstation, just maybe. I run 24GB RAM right now, jumping up to 32GB or 64GB would be nice to play with, but dang that is going to cost me. The X11FRA-F looks nice, I need audio if this replaces my main system.
 

zac_baker

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The X11SRM models only have four DIMM slots and the microATX form factor limits expansion. Both tend to defeat the purpose of Xeon E5/Xeon-W.

The X11SRA models are decidedly workstation boards.
Thinking of buying an X11SRA for a new build. Despite it being workstation-esque, would it still be a decent choice? What is it lacking that other C422 boards have? As far as I can tell it still has IPMI and support for full 512GB LRDIMM RAM. So what’s the benefit of a less “workstation” board? Cheers.
 

Ericloewe

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The big ones are no IPMI and the desktop-like layout, which is crappy for airflow. Then there's things like audio which can take up space and draw extra power despite being useless.
 
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