In the past week, Intel has launched a new halo CPU - its highest-performing multi-core CPU for multi-socket mission-critical servers, the Xeon E7-8894 v4. The new processor is based on the Broadwell-EX die and has approximately a 200 MHz higher base frequency than its direct predecessor, released in Q2 2016. Intel said that the new CPU has set a number of records in various benchmarks. Intel’s customers interested in the chip will also have to pay a record price too.

The flagship Intel Xeon E7-8894 v4 processor features the Broadwell-EX XCC (extreme core-count) die and has 24 cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 60 MB of L3 cache, 165 W TDP, a default frequency of 2.4 GHz and a turbo frequency of up to 3.4 GHz. Like other Broadwell-EX XCC CPUs, the new chip has quad-channel DDR3/DDR4 memory controller support and can manage up to ~3 TB of DRAM per socket (when used in conjunction with four Jordan Creek 2 scalable memory buffers). The CPUs are also equipped with 32 PCIe 3.0 lanes and three 9.6 GT/s QPI links for multi-socket environments.

Intel E7-8800 v4 Xeon Family
  E7-8867 v4 E7-8870 v4 E7-8880 v4 E7-8890 v4 E7-8894
  E7-8891 v4 E7-8893 v4
TDP 165 W 140 W 150 W 165 W 165 W 140 W
Cores 18 / 36 20 / 40 22 / 44 24 / 48 10 / 20 4 / 8
Base Freq 2400 2100 2200 2200 2400 2800 3200
Turbo 3300 3000 3300 3400 3500 3500
L3 Cache 45 MB 50 MB 55 MB 60 MB 60 MB 60 MB
QPI (GT/s) 3 × 9.6 3 x 9.6 3 x 9.6
DRAM DDR4-1866
PCIe PCIe 3.0 x32 3.0 x32 3.0 x32
Price $4672 $4762 $5895 $7174 $8898 $6841 $6841

Intel’s multi-core Xeon E7 processors are designed for various heavy-duty servers with four, eight or more sockets (to support more than eight sockets special third-party node controllers are required). Such mission-critical machines typically to be available 24/7/365 and this is why the Xeon E7 v4 and the Broadwell-EX range has a host of various RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability) features. The Xeon E7-8894 v4 CPU has exactly the same set of capabilities as its direct predecessor, the Xeon E7-8890 v4 released last year.

Intel claims that due to increased default frequency (and obviously because of the core count in general), the Xeon E7-8894 v4 sets a number of performance records in various general, server, HPC, big data analytics, business processing, database and other benchmarks, such as SPECint_base2006, SPECompG_2012, and so on.

The Intel Xeon E7-8894 v4 processor carries a tray price of $8898, which is the highest price of an Intel mass-produced CPU ever. Its predecessor on the top spot in the range, the 24-core Xeon E7-8890 v4 (which runs at 2.2 GHz) is priced at $7174 and still sits at its original tray price. As always, there are customers willing to pay such sums of money for server CPUs that deliver certain levels of performance. Moreover, there are workloads that benefit from a +200MHz (9%) performance increase so significantly (from a financial point of view to the owners of the machines) that it justifies paying extra 24% (or $1724) for a 200 MHz frequency increase (provided that this is the only advantage that this CPU has over the E7-8890 v4).

Intel Xeon E-Series Families (February 2017)*
  E3-1200 v5 E3-1500 v5 E5-1600 v4
E5-2600 v4
E5-4600 v4
E7-4800 v4 E7-8800 v4
Core Family Skylake Skylake Broadwell Broadwell Broadwell
Core Count 2 to 4 2 to 4 4 to 22 8 to 16 4 to 24
Integrated Graphics Few, HD 520 Yes, Iris Pro No No No
DRAM Channels 2 2 4 4 4
Max DRAM Support (per CPU) 64 GB 64 GB 1536 GB 3072 GB 3072GB
DMI/QPI DMI 3.0 DMI 3.0 2600: 1xQPI
4600: 1xQPI
Multi-Socket Support No No 2600: 1S/2S
4600: 1S/2S
1S, 2S or 4S Up to 8S
PCIe Lanes 16 16 40 32 32
Cost $213 to
$396 to
$294 to
$1223 to
$4061 to
Suited For Entry Workstations QuickSync,
Memory Compute
High-End Workstation Many-Core Server World Domination

*Intel also has the E3-1500M v5 and E3-1500M v6 mobile parts which are left out of this table

We've asked Intel to disclose the official per-core turbo numbers for comparison to their other chips, as well as a full range of DRAM support depending on memory type and memory density. We will update this news piece as we get more information.

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Source: Intel

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  • Meteor2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Which is why I think the Zen core is so promising. If Zen has out-Cored Core, i.e. they've constructed a relatively simple, relatively fast, and efficient core, it shouldn't be hard for them to start knocking out a wide range of parts. That would really challenge Intel.
  • FalcomPSX - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    4 core 8 thread, 3.5ghz turbo xeon for nearly $7,000?? Who in their right mind would order this overpriced turd of a chip? Yes the high core count chips demand a high price premium, and they have the specs/performance to back it up, but what possible purpose would a $7,000 server cpu that a pedestrian $300 i7 would wipe the floor with in every single possible way serve? I mean yes, i get that the xeon's are capable of SMP configurations and you could have an 8 socket system with 8 of these chips in it, but if you need a system with as much horsepower as an 8-way system(or even a 4-way) could provide, you wouldn't be settling for 4 core chips, their own 24-core chip is only ~$300 more, TDP is only 25w higher, and runs 100mhz slower at max turbo, granted probably much closer to base with all cores loaded, but if you're able to load all the cores on a system with 4 or 8 sockets, it would absolutely demolish a 4-way setup with 4 quad core chips. The only purpose this 4-core chip serves is to drain tons of money out of companies with more money than brains.
  • Meteor2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Why the anger? You never know, there might just be a workload out there for which this chip delivers the best return on investment. In the meantime, it's not harming anyone.
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, February 18, 2017 - link

  • keeepcool - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    ECC memory, your fancy i7 wont know how to use it, and that WHY Intel can and does charge those prices.
  • fanofanand - Monday, February 20, 2017 - link

    AMD has long supported ECC with their consumer chips, what Intel is doing there is market segmentation. The only reason they have been able to get away with it is because of AMD's inability to provide competition. Assuming Ryzen supports ECC (which all signs point to it doing) then what will be the excuse then? Intel charges a LOT more for VERY similar silicon because of the validation that goes into it, but is that validation worth a 30x premium?
  • StrangerGuy - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    After software licenses, power/HVAC costs, server space limitations, maintenance, rent, wages etc $8000 per chip is trivial to multibillion companies.

    But hey, what do those professional enterprise guys know anyway, they obviously suck at their jobs compared to know-it-alls like you.
  • nils_ - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    I've seen that sort of thing, but the reasons more often than not don't have a lot to do with money, it's just people spending that isn't theirs don't look too close. There is very little reason to try and scale out, since putting 48 Cores in one server costs you a lot more than putting 48 cores in 2 (as a rule of thumb).
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - link

    The whole model of having your own data centre is dead; if you have one, it's just a dragging anchor with all of the management necessary. Cloud computing is successful for good reasons.
  • nils_ - Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - link

    Unless there are significant economies of scale at work I agree as far as running a data center goes. However you can also rent parts of a datacenter, get a cage, a rack or whatever. Unless you are actually consuming cloud services instead of just running virtual machines you may be surprised how expensive it can be.

    And with it comes a significant counter-party risk: Your cloud provider can decide to jack up the prices, cancel a cloud service you rely on, be bought by a competitor and change the whole infrastructure etc.., not to mention security and legal issues.

    It makes sense at a certain size or scale, but at some point business continuity is a huge concern, at which point many advantages of the cloud turn into disadvantages. You're talking about the datacenter as an anchor, shackling yourself to "the cloud" can also carry immense risks. I've been reading stories recently about companies moving petabytes of data to a cloud provider, just show me what would happen once you try to get your data out...

    Talk to Oracle customers for example, Oracle has recently doubled license fees for hosting on Amazon (what counted as 1/2 CPU now counts as 1 CPU) in an effort to push their own cloud offering. Now imagine what they'll do once you moved there. I truly believe that the more hosting, storage, compute etc. concentrates in a few companies the worse we'll be off in the long term.

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