Intel targets data center with new Xeon E5-2600 chips

The Xeon E5-2600 chips are 80 percent faster and 50 percent more power-efficient than predecessors

Intel on Tuesday announced the Xeon E5-2600 processors for 2- and 4-socket servers, which is the company's first major chip upgrade for industry standard x86 servers in close to two years.

The processors include up to 8 cores and are up to 80 percent faster than predecessors, said Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at a press event in Santa Clara, California, which was webcast. The processors consume half the power of their predecessors, Intel said.

Intel's last major server upgrade was in March 2010, when the company announced the Xeon 5600 servers. Intel's current portfolio of server chips includes low-end Xeon E3 chips based on the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture for servers with up to 2 sockets, and Xeon E7 chips for high-end servers, which has up to 10 cores and is based on the older Westmere architecture.

Intel has over 400 server designs with the new chip, Bryant said. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are among the companies launching new servers. IBM claimed its new two-socket BladeCenter HS23 is 62 percent faster, supports four times more memory and runs 20 percent more virtual machines than its predecessor BladeCenter HS22.

Intel has already supplied E5 chips for a supercomputer called Stampede, which will be fully deployed in 2013 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas. The supercomputer will deliver peak performance of 10 petaflops (or 10,000 trillion operations per second), with E5 chips handling 20 percent of the processing load, and a specialized Intel coprocessor called Knights Corner handling 80 percent of the load.

Global Internet traffic growth is putting a strain on data centers, and the new processors will help servers respond more quickly to queries, Bryant said.

"We need to think about E5 across the entire data center," she said.

The new processors should also help drive up server utilization through virtualization, which should also help cut down power and cooling costs, Bryant said.

But it's not always about performance, so the company is addressing storage, networking, memory and security challenges related to data centers, Bryant said. Intel has built bandwidth improvements inside the chip to cut latency by 30 percent, which could help scale cloud deployments and the deployment of more virtual machines.

The Xeon E5-2600 processors are the first to integrate the PCI-Express 3.0 bus on the processor. The PCI-Express technology is prominently used to transfer data between components inside computers and devices. PCIe 3.0 moves data at 8 gigatransfers per second, which is an improvement over its predecessor PCI-Express 2.0, which has a speed of 5 gigatransfers per second.

The processor is also the first to allow Ethernet controllers and adapters to route I/O traffic directly to processor cache. The technology reduces DRAM refreshes by cutting trips of data to system memory, reducing latency and saving power.

Intel also launched an Ethernet controller that brings 10-gigabit Ethernet closer to motherboard, making it easier for companies to deploy the networking technology in servers. Server makers said that support for 10-Gigabit Ethernet at the motherboard level should shuffle network traffic a lot quicker in data centers.

Intel is initially launching 17 Xeon E5-2600 processors priced from US$198 to $2,050 in quantities of 1,000. The company also launched the Intel Xeon E5-1600 processors for workstations, which are priced between $284 to $1,080.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments


Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >



Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?