Seeking Alpha

Intel launches high-end server CPU line to good reviews

  • Three years after launching its last big refresh (the 32nm Westmere-EX family) for its high-end Xeon E7 server CPU line, Intel (INTC) has rolled out its Xeon E7 v2 family. The first reviews for the chips, which rely on Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge platform, have been mostly positive.
  • Whereas Intel's low-end Atom server CPU lines (such as Avoton) are aimed at cheap, low-power, servers, and meant to head off competition from ARM server CPU vendors, the E7 v2 line is meant to handle demanding and/or mission-critical workloads such as ERP software, high-performance computing, and data mining.
  • The family supports up to 15 cores, consume as much as 155W, and cost as much as $6,841. It will face off against  RISC server CPU platforms from IBM and Oracle. While Intel has been steadily taking share from RISC platforms, IBM and Oracle have been busy refreshing their lineups over the last year.
  • AnandTech's benchmarks show major performance gains relative to prior-gen E7 CPUs. The site also notes the E7 v2 line supports more RAM than RISC alternatives, which could be very useful for some big data/analytics workloads.
Comments (7)
  • Are the PR people at Intel stupid? Why would you publish a good review on Friday at 19:13 when no one is paying attention. This time slot is usually reserved for bad news.
    22 Feb, 01:09 AM Reply Like
  • @seth -- This news is irrelevant to most tech-people because "... the RISC market accounts for about 150k units while the x86 market has almost 10 million servers."

     

    As a matter of fact, "...the high-end RISC server vendors—IBM and Oracle—have been bleeding market share in favor of high-end Intel Xeon based servers."

     

    source, 2/21/2014: http://bit.ly/1gUIcPw
    22 Feb, 02:06 AM Reply Like
  • scabalqu - you neglected to include the last sentence of the lead paragraph of the article you linked - which happens to be the most significant.

     

    "Still, that tiny amount of RISC servers represents about 50% of the server market revenues."

     

    And even that sentence doesn't address the factor which is likely most relevant. I don't know the fine details of the server market, but if it is like most, that "tiny" fraction of the server market that happens to account for 50% of all server market revenues probablyproduces 80+% of all server vendor profits.
    22 Feb, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • dubya,
    That is poorly worded, as the context is the high-end server market, not the overall server market. Overall in Q3 2013 x86 had nearly 80% revenue share. The high-end would be x86 + RISC + EPIC(Itanium), so RISC is 50% of that specific market.

     

    What's most relevant is where things are headed, on revenues Gartner says x86 grew 4.4%, while RISC/Itanium declined 31%. And the RISC/Itanium decline is accelerating. In Q2 the drop was 25.3%, while x86 grew 2.1%. The release of these next gen Xeons will only make things much worse for IBM and Oracle.

     

    http://gtnr.it/1mlEIao
    http://gtnr.it/1mlEIap
    22 Feb, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • Intel on servers is so solid, there is nothing challenging in years. Cheap ARM just will not do a dent, CPU is not expensive part in the setup anyway. Bad thing is that server market alone is not enough for Intel to prosper
    22 Feb, 01:54 AM Reply Like
  • "CPU is not expensive part in the setup anyway"

     

    Really, the CPUs are $4400 each X4 per server. Doesn't take to many to make a dent in Intel's earnings.
    22 Feb, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • As there is no comparable performance from competition that is a fair price. ARM was shooting for low power and low performance market.

     

    I compared HP Moonshot pricing last year:
    HP launched their micro server Moonshot: 'pricing starts at $61,875 for the Moonshot 1500 system, which includes one chassis, 45 Intel Atom S1200 cartridges.'

     

    If HP would pay retail 54$ per CPU, total CPU cost for server is 2430$, only about 4% of the total cost of the server. For ARM to be successful in this category they need to provide clearly superior product to succeed.
    23 Feb, 08:34 PM Reply Like
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