What Is The Scalable Series, Anyway?

Released in 2017, the Xeon scalable processor family features a new form of CPU architecture, codenamed Skylake. Supported by the Lewisberg chipset, they represent the largest advance for server CPUs in more than ten years. Even if they don’t look like they’re much more powerful than their predecessors on paper, they’ve got a ton of under-the-hood performance enhancements that make them run both faster and more efficiently.AVX-512

First, they support the latest version of Advanced Vector Extensions, known as AVX-512. Developed by Intel as an extension to the x86 instruction set, AVX-512 has seen a few iterations since its initial release. In essence, you could think of it as a way to provide better commands to the CPU’s processor, adding new ‘instructions’ that allow the CPU to handle more tasks simultaneously.

In the case of AVX-512 specifically, it’s designed for extremely resource-intensive tasks like artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency mining, audio/video encoding, application development, and other high-performance computing processes. Intel’s new processors will be able to handle such tasks without as much stress as older processors, while also generally operating more efficiently.

New Mesh Architecture

Perhaps one of the most significant changes present in the scalable series is in the underlying architecture. Older processors use something known as a ring bus – essentially, data travels in a circuit between different processor nodes. As the number of processor cores increased, Intel realized how inefficient this method was, and added a second ring bus to some of its newer models.

The new Xeon processors throw that model out the window with a new, scalable ‘mesh’ architecture. Bits can be moved to or from any core on the processor via the most direct route. This not only ensures that Intel can save space by doing away with buffer switches, but also reduces overall processor latency and allows for a theoretically infinite number of cores.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that this mesh architecture isn’t 100% new – it debuted on Intel’s Knight’s Landing line. Where the Xeon Scalable Processors differentiate themselves is through Ultra Path Interconnect, a new memory and resource provisioning method that functions more dynamically than QuickPath Interconnect, which facilitated communication on the previous model of mesh.

Built-in Functionality

In addition to its mesh architecture, Intel’s new processors have the capacity to build Ethernet, Fabric, and Intel Quick Assist directly into the CPU. It’s worth mentioning that certain models of Intel’s processors don’t offer this functionality – but more on that in a moment.

An Enormous Cache

You might be forgiven for thinking the new processors offer a reduced memory cache – on paper, it looks like they do. There’s a reason for that, though. See, Intel has ensured that each core on its new processors possesses quadruple the amount of dedicated memory. It’s reduced the amount of shared memory on its processor line in light of this, as said memory is no longer necessary.

Naming Conventions

In broad strokes, there are four different ‘lines’ in the new Intel processor family. Each one has different specs and a different pricing structure. We’ve listed them below (but spared you the pricing details):

  • Bronze (3000 Series): Supports up to two sockets with 2133 MHz of memory. They’ve one FMA unit per core, with a maximum of eight cores. Does not support Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 or Intel Run Sure. Not available with integrated fabric, high memory capacity, or an optimized thermal profile.
  • Silver (4000 Series): Supports up to two sockets with 2400 MHz DDR4 memory, with one FMA unit per core and a maximum of 12 cores. Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, but does not support Intel Run Sure. Not available with integrated fabric or high memory capacity.
  • Gold (5000/6000 Series): Supports up to 4 sockets, with either 2666 MHz DDR4/two FMA units (6000 Series) or 2400 MHz/one FMA unit per core (5000 series). The 5000 series has a maximum of 14 cores, and the 6000 series a maximum of 20. Available with integrated fabric, high memory capacity, and an optimized turbo profile. Turbo Boost and Run Sure are available for all models.
  • Platinum (8000 Series): Supports up to 8 sockets with 2666 MHz DDR4 memory, two FMA units per core, and up to 24 cores. Only some models support integrated fabric, high memory capacity, and optimized thermal profile. Turbo Boost and Run Sure are available for all models.

How do The New Processors Compare to Our Old Ones?

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s take a look at how the two new additions to our portfolio compare to what was previously available.


Comparison ChartDual E5-2630v4Silver 4114 Gold 5118
 Data from: CPUBenchmark.net  
Socket Type FCLGA2011-3FCLGA3647FCLGA3647
CPU Class ServerServerServer
Clockspeed 2.2 GHz 2.2 GHz2.3 GHz
Turbo Speed 3.1 GHz3.0 GHz3.2 GHz
# of Physical Cores 101012
Typical TDP 85 W85W 105W
CPU Mark Rating 13.5112.93 7.96
Single Thread Rating 16111561 1730
CPU Mark1885719569 21447

Also Available With NVME

As was the case with our Intel Xeon W processors, our Xeon Scalable Series line will be available with your choice of SATA, SSD, or NVME storage drives. Because the latter requires a different chassis, we’ll also be offering two new chasses, courtesy of Supermicro. You can learn more about NVME servers and what they offer here.

Only The Best For Your Business

At ServerMania, our core directive has always been to provide our clients with the best services and infrastructure possible. The release of these new processors is a step in the right direction in that regard. They’re cutting-edge in every sense of the word – and a perfect tool for your plan, whether you’re hosting a game server, a high-intensity database, a development environment, or anything in-between.