Intel launches quad-core Xeon E5-4600 chips
Intel’s Xeon line got a major revamp in March with the launch of the Sandy Bridge E-based Xeon E5-2600 series of processors, however the firm has now introduced four-socket Xeon E5-4600 processors. The firm claims that the Xeon E5-4600 series chips are good for high density deployments.
Intel’s Xeon E5-4600 line offers firms servers with 32 cores and 48 DIMM sockets, which sounds impressive until you remember that AMD’s Bulldozer Opterons can put 128 physical cores in a 2U server. Nevertheless, Intel’s quad-socket Xeon E5-4600 series processors will sit nicely between its dual-socket Xeon E5-2600 workhorses and the niche Xeon E7 chips.
Dell did not waste any time in announcing its quad-socket Poweredge R820 server, a machine that can support four PCI-Express SSDs. The firm also announced its dual-socket Poweredge M420 quarter-height blade server that makes use of Intel’s Xeon E5-2400 processors.
As both AMD and Intel will admit, quad-socket servers might sound impressive but the volume market is in dual-socket and increasingly single-socket servers, which Intel calls micro-servers. For dual-socket systems, Intel launched the Xeon E5-2400 series of processors, which are priced a little more keenly than the Xeon E5-2600 chips.
To cater for single-socket servers, Intel has launched 11 Xeon E3-1200 v2 chips, one of which tipped up at last week’s launch of the Dell Poweredge C5220 server. The Xeon E3-1200 v2 processors are the first in the Xeon range to use Ivy Bridge architecture, with Intel citing a 17W thermal design power (TDP) for the Xeon E3-1220L chip.
Finally Intel said that it will be announcing an Atom-based Xeon chip codenamed Centerton in the second half of this year. Intel’s literature places this chip as a replacement for 15W Xeon parts from yesteryear.
Intel will likely spend the rest of the year pushing its micro-server vision in a bid to counter ARM’s growing presence in the market. While quad-socket and especially dual-socket Xeons are Intel’s bread and butter in the server market, low-power servers are likely to be its future and for that it needs Centerton and perhaps something with even lower TDP to really counter the growing threat posed by ARM.