Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 30 Aug 2017.
Xeon to fight off Threadripper? Surely that's I9's job?
AMD doesn't have the financial power that Intel has, so AMD has to follow a "one size fits all" model, so Threadripper is an enthusiast grade CPU AND a workstation CPU.
Intel can separate these two out, using their brand name Xeon for workstations and i9 for enthusiast grade, making the Xeon seem more professional and reliable. It's a great marketing ploy.
I'd say this may also have a bit to do with the PCI-E lanes as well.
EDIT: Both the flagship and the entry level Xeon W-2XXX have 48 PCI-E lanes. I believe that explains a lot.
Wot yuusou said. Core i9 is for high-end desktop; Xeon W is for workstations; Xeon Scalable is for high-end workstations and servers. Nobody's going to build a workstation around a Core i9 for one very simple reason: it doesn't support ECC memory, while the Xeon W does. Threadripper, meanwhile, does support ECC.
So, in short, the bottom end of Threadripper is going up against the Core i9 family while the upper end of Threadripper is going up against the Xeon W family.
So Epyc is purely server? I know it's already been confirmed that Epyc chips won't work in X399 boards, but are there any actual hardware differences between them?
Epyc is targeted at the server market, but just as you can buy workstations with Xeon Scalable chips in 'em you'll be able to buy workstations with Epyc chips in 'em (if only because "Threadripper" sounds so try-hard xxX_VirginSlayer69_Xxx gamertagesque).
The main reason for going Epyc over Threadripper is that Threadripper is single socket only (just like the Xeon W), while Epyc can go dual-socket (just like the Xeon Scalable Processor). So if you need ALL THE CORES, you're going Epyc (64c/128t in a dual-socket Epyc 7601 workstation compared with 16c/32t in a Threadripper 1950X workstation).
So, to extend my previous post:
Lower-end Threadripper is a direct competitor to the Core i9.
Top-end Threadripper is a direct competitor to the Xeon W.
Epyc is a direct competitor to the Xeon Scalable.
To simplify things a lot:
Intel: Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, i7
AMD: Ryzen 3, 5, 7
Intel: Xeon W
AMD: Threadripper and Epyc
Intel: Xeon Bronze / Silver / Gold / Platinum
OI course there are some extra ones that I left out, like the x299 i5 and i7 as they fit in nowhere on the market, also it ignores the fact that Intel is still launching new chips in some "old" Xeon lines like the Xeon D-1553N which is based on Broadwell and that there are hundreds of old chips around that haven't been discontinued yet.
Not to mention you'll need yourself some new Windows to go with that... As this is the hardware that Windows Pro for Workstations is aimed at/required for.
The i7-7280x has a nice niche for "I'd normally be getting the top-end 115x i7 for ST performance, but I'd like some of the extra platform features of X299 and maybe run some occasional threaded workloads". Add more threads as you move into the i9s and you lose out on single-threaded workloads (and pay a whole pile more), move down to the 115x i7s and you gain only a marginal bump to single-threaded performance (and even for the upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, you still lose the extra platform features, though the i7s might eat the i7-7800x's lunch). It's basically the HEDT gateway for everyone who previously dismissed HEDT due to performance regression in most of their practical lightly threaded workloads.
The Kaby Lake X299 chips are a bit odd though. If Intel enforced support for both Kaby Lake and Skylake-X chips on every motherboard (even with that adding to the cost by needing PCIe switches between the CPU and PCH, and possible a PLX chip if you wanted to avoid disabling slots), it would make perfect sense as an upgrade-path for future X299 chips. Without the current state of most boards being an either/or proposition they just sort of languish as functionally the same as 115x in almost every respect but with a much murkier possibility of ever having something to upgrade to.
Unfortunately Intel is cutting plenty of PCIe lanes from the 6 and 8 core i7s causing people to miss out on platform features.
All the internal lanes are still present, so the only platform feature missed is an additional x16 slot. You can still run an x16 GPU and 3x x4 NVME drives with 'just' 28 lanes from the CPU. Plus all the PCH lanes.
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