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Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2: More Cores, Cache, And Better Efficiency

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January 7, 2014 12:00:03 AM

Intel recently launched its Xeon E5-2600 v2 CPU, based on the Ivy Bridge-EP architecture. We got a couple of workstation-specific -2687W v2 processors with eight cores and 25 MB of L3 cache each, and are comparing them to previous-generation -2687Ws.

Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2: More Cores, Cache, And Better Efficiency : Read more
January 7, 2014 12:54:42 AM

Does this mean, that the 12-core variant with 2 memory controllers will be a NUMA CPU, with cores having different latencies when accessing memory depending on which MC is near them?
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January 7, 2014 1:43:00 AM

The Maya playblast test, as far as I can tell, is very single-threaded, just like the other 3d application preview tests I (we) use. This means it favors clock speed over memory bandwidth.

The Maya render test seems to be missing O.o
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January 7, 2014 2:43:43 AM

Thank you Tom's for this Intel Server CPU. I sure hope you'll make a review of AMD's upcoming 16 core Steamroller server CPU
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January 7, 2014 3:08:14 AM

Tell AMD that.
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January 7, 2014 3:09:45 AM

Dat Price...
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January 7, 2014 3:10:44 AM

If you've got 3ds max, why don't you use something more serious/advanced like Mental Ray ? The default renderer tech represent distant past like year 1995.
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January 7, 2014 3:13:13 AM

"Our playblast animation in Maya 2014 confounds us."@canjelini : Apart from rendering, most of tools in Maya are single threaded(most of the functionality has stayed same for this two decades old software). So benchmarking maya playblast is as identical as itunes encode benchmarking.
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January 7, 2014 3:33:58 AM

I love Xeon machines. As they are not mainstream you can usually pick up crazy spec Xeon workstations for next to nothing just a few years after they were going for $3000. They make damn good workhorses.
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January 7, 2014 6:20:59 AM

@GL1zdA1: the ring-bus already means every core has different latency accessing any given memory controller.Memory controller latency is not as much of a problem with massively threaded applications on a multi-threaded CPU since there is still plenty of other work that can be done while a few threads are stalled on IO/data. Games and most mainstream applications have 1-2 performance-critical threads and the remainder of their 30-150 other threads are mostly non-critical automatic threading from libraries, application frameworks and various background or housekeeping stuff.
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January 7, 2014 8:03:09 AM

Small note, one can of course manually add the Quadro FX 1800 to the relevant file
(raytracer_supported_cards.txt) in the appropriate Adobe folder and it will work just
fine for CUDA, though of course it's not a card anyone who wants decent CUDA
performance with Adobe apps should use (one or more GTX 580 3GB or 780Ti is best).

Also, hate to say it but showing results for using the card with OpenCL but not
showing what happens to the relevant test times when the 1800 is used for CUDA
is a bit odd...

Ian.

PS. I see the messed-up forum posting problems are back again (text all squashed
up, have to edit on the UK site to fix the layout). Really, it's been months now, is
anyone working on it?

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January 7, 2014 1:48:35 PM

voltagetoe said:
If you've got 3ds max, why don't you use something more serious/advanced like Mental Ray ? The default renderer tech represent distant past like year 1995.


The 3dsMax test does use mental ray. Our Maya render test also uses mr, and the other Max render test uses VRay.

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January 7, 2014 7:22:27 PM

Quote:
Our Core i7 and dual Sandy Bridge-EP-based Xeons score similarly. Meanwhile, the -2687W v2 crushes this test.
There are a number of reasons this could occur, without knowing what the exact input and output are any attempts to explain this are guessing (my first guess is that the output is different, bug perhaps). The fact that these benchmarks are run the same way as Tom's runs desktop CPU benchmarks shows that whomever was running these really didn't know what they were doing. These CPUs are fast but this article does them a disservice. I would like to see power measurements when the systems run for the same workload and are running for the same period of time. True they are rarely loaded 24x7 but they are generally running 24x7. The workloads should also match the hardware. These things had 64Gb RAM and not a single one of the benchmarks would have stressed that amount of RAM appropriately. The problem is that if your actually reading and writing this much RAM it can have an impact on power consumption.
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January 7, 2014 7:46:25 PM

We don't have any tests specifically oriented towards 64 GB of RAM, but the AE test will use as much as you throw at it. At some point though, the AE test runs into the storage limitation, which is what i suspect was happening here. I also don't know if Chris was using the SD or HD version of the AE test. If the machine had 128 GB of RAM, he could have run the AE test from a RAM disk, thus removing storage from the equation. Without just throwing random items into a scene, it is difficult to create a test meant for 64 GB systems without a 64 GB system to create the test on- some of these tests were originally created on the HP z400 we reviewed a few years back, and the newer Maya and Max tests I use on workstations were authored on our baseline workstation. I am now developing updated test s on an HP z600 with 12 GB of RAM... but the extra RAM will be nearly inconsequential in the actual tests because I'll still need to be able to run them on the baseline workstation (8 GB RAM). My personal feeling is that the Premiere test is getting a little long in the tooth, as is the AE test (hence why i went back and redid it for HD).
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January 7, 2014 9:12:18 PM

I know this chip is absolutely inappropriate for gaming, but it would still be somewhat interesting to me to see how it stacks up in the usual gaming benchmarks. Multithreading in games is getting a little better, and the results might show Intel's potential if they weren't so heavily focused on power consumption in their recent consumer-level products. On the other hand, it might be completely predictable and boring. But I think it would still be interesting to find out for sure.

Again, obviously, I know the productivity benches are what's important here. I know no one's gaming on a server processor, like ever. But while you've got a review sample, why not experiment a little? :) 

Great review as always.
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January 7, 2014 9:27:07 PM

What is 'segmented' models? It is all over the article and not explained.
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January 8, 2014 2:07:26 AM

Right now I am using a system build in 2008 with two Xeon 5450 (thats basically eight cores at 3.0Ghz from the last Core2 Q9000 series), 16GB RAM and a Radeon 280X for Work, Development and also Gaming. Runs quite well, even a slightly overclocked i7-4770 doesn't beat this old war horse (at least not always). The i7-49xx on the other hand is quite superior to my old Xeon, especially when overclocked (My Xeon board offers not overclocking at all).
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January 8, 2014 3:30:41 AM

Yes I'm running a 2008 Dell Precision T5400 with a single 2.8GHz quad Xeon (soon to be a double 2.8Ghz quad setup this week) with 16GB of ECC ram and 1TB SSHD drives.Fantastic machine. Takes everything I throw at it and will take even more once I get up to 8 cores.Might treat it to a matched pair of 3.3GHz chips in the summer.
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January 8, 2014 4:01:05 AM

daglesj said:
I love Xeon machines. As they are not mainstream you can usually pick up crazy spec Xeon workstations for next to nothing just a few years after they were going for $3000. They make damn good workhorses.


I have an HP z600 with 2x 2.26 Ghz Xeon 5520s and 12 GB RAM, 2x 500 GB hard drives... total invested: $550. Its my personal 3d machine and benchmark development machine. Going to put it up to 24 GB shortly.
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January 8, 2014 4:10:43 AM

I think for people that already own a pair of E5-2687W processors, the upgrade to the V2 version isn’t really worth it from a price point. If its purely for work purposes and multi-threaded apps then the E5-2690V2 being in the same price bracket, would be a better choice. Very slight drop in clocks, but more cores. Shame Tom’s didn’t include the 2690V2 and 2697V2 in the multithreaded tests, for people considering whether or not to upgrade their SandyBridge platforms. Definitely something wrong with Tom’s CineBench results.Every benchmark I have seen online scores a pair of E5-2687w’s at around the 26 mark for the multiple test, and my own E5-2687w’s lowest score has been 25.6 and highest 26.22, so I’m guessing the results should be 26 for the E5-2687w and 28 for the V2.
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January 8, 2014 5:13:18 AM

I still find it difficult understanding where you'd use them though. Sure the idea of 12 cores on two CPU's (and I assume 48 threads) sounds like a geek dream but with so much graphic work capable of being offloaded onto the GPU I'm not sure what the point is. It would of been interesting to see some figures for CPU bound games as well - I know these things aren't for gaming but it allows us non-workstation users to be able to contrast and compare. It would also of been interesting to try and run tests with various programs (and limiting the cores being used) to see whether huge cache sizes make much of a difference and how. A similar thing could be done for the number of cores to see what games really can use each and every core.
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January 8, 2014 7:08:56 AM

In order to show the effects of various cache sizes, we'd literally have to run a half dozen to a dozen different 3D rendering tests. Then people would say we are running too many rendering tests...


The thing is, a lot of the techniques I know for showing these kinds of things date back to the days of 512k-1mb of L2 cache. There were 'tricks' in render setups that would cause cache hits, and tricks where the latency of the cache became an issue (anyone else remember when the L2 cache wasn't running at full CPU speed?) and the relative complexity of these 'tricks' has gone up drastically.
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January 8, 2014 8:27:35 AM

Draven35 said:
daglesj said:
I love Xeon machines. As they are not mainstream you can usually pick up crazy spec Xeon workstations for next to nothing just a few years after they were going for $3000. They make damn good workhorses.


I have an HP z600 with 2x 2.26 Ghz Xeon 5520s and 12 GB RAM, 2x 500 GB hard drives... total invested: $550. Its my personal 3d machine and benchmark development machine. Going to put it up to 24 GB shortly.


Yep managed to pick my Precision T5400 up in mint condition with 8GB of ram in it for just £80! ($130)

I got another SLANS 2.8Ghz Quad Xeon CPU for just £25! ($40)
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January 8, 2014 9:37:31 AM

The article says, Maya Playblast test,which is a GPU related test, unless there are some uncached deformations or effects happening, Default renderer for maya is also mental ray, We all know dual cpu XEONs are going to be superior to single CPU machines in terms of speed because an 4.5GHZ overclocked I7-2600K(my home machine) does similar render times and simulation times in comparison to my work machine which is e5 2640 6 cores, dual cpu, however, I maxed my home machine to 32gb ram whereas these dual cpu boards can go 192gb ... So why dont you guys make a detailed review of XEON PHIs instead, in terms of rendering, memory limitations and distributed simulations from Houdini for example, come on I am sure Intel will be happy to send some
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January 8, 2014 9:47:35 AM

Draven35 said:
In order to show the effects of various cache sizes, we'd literally have to run a half dozen to a dozen different 3D rendering tests. Then people would say we are running too many rendering tests
Thanks for your reply. I agree it would make a dull read to see dozens of similar tests all lined up but it might offer an insight into how different cache sizes affect performance (games, mainstream apps, multiuser systems etc). At the moment we sort of assume that more is better but is there a sweat spot and what type of cache memory is more important for what sort of apps? It might make an interesting article for the geeks out there. Similarly with number of cores (with and without hyperthreading). Would even highly threaded games make use of all the available cores? how does the benefit change when you move to 2 CPU's on the same board? would an end user see any noticeable benefit? Obviously Xeons aren't aimed at gamers but they do offer a taste of the future. If I had money to burn then 2 Xeons would be nice but would they be any faster than an i5 running much of it's processing through a moderate GPU?
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January 8, 2014 2:12:26 PM

I bought a Dell T7500 with dual 3.3 GHz 4-core Xeon W5590s, 24 GB RAM, and a Quadro 4800 card on ebay. The machine came off lease after 3 years; the leasing company who sold it to me spiffed it up and put 2 new 2TB hard drives it in (with a fresh Win7 Pro64 install & COA sticker). I found a review of almost the exact same machine when new in 2009, which included a link to a scanned invoice: $12k. I got it for $1500 in 2012, and only added a nice sound board and a PCIe card for USB 3. You couldn't tell it wasn't new, and it's still an excellent machine at a great price.
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January 8, 2014 2:18:25 PM

I bought a Dell T7500 with dual 3.3 GHz 4-core Xeon W5590s, 24 GB RAM, and a Quadro 4800 card on ebay. The machine came off lease after 3 years; the leasing company who sold it to me spiffed it up and put 2 new 2TB hard drives it in (with a fresh Win7 Pro64 install & COA sticker). I found a review of almost the exact same machine when new in 2009, which included a link to a scanned invoice: $12k. I got it for $1500 in 2012, and only added a nice sound board and a PCIe card for USB 3. You couldn't tell it wasn't new, and it's still an excellent machine at a great price.
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January 8, 2014 5:54:14 PM

Michael Robinson said:
Draven35 said:
In order to show the effects of various cache sizes, we'd literally have to run a half dozen to a dozen different 3D rendering tests. Then people would say we are running too many rendering tests
Thanks for your reply. I agree it would make a dull read to see dozens of similar tests all lined up but it might offer an insight into how different cache sizes affect performance (games, mainstream apps, multiuser systems etc). At the moment we sort of assume that more is better but is there a sweat spot and what type of cache memory is more important for what sort of apps? It might make an interesting article for the geeks out there. Similarly with number of cores (with and without hyperthreading). Would even highly threaded games make use of all the available cores? how does the benefit change when you move to 2 CPU's on the same board? would an end user see any noticeable benefit? Obviously Xeons aren't aimed at gamers but they do offer a taste of the future. If I had money to burn then 2 Xeons would be nice but would they be any faster than an i5 running much of it's processing through a moderate GPU?


I don't know how many games that multithread have some kind of limit on how many threads they can launch. Look at the i5 vs i7 tests that include games, and i7 tests that include the same games, to see if they continue to benefit from the added cores. there *may* be a limit to how many threads they are designed to launch, and how many threads can run asynchronously, but the testing of something like that is beyond my purview.
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January 8, 2014 6:02:40 PM

DoDidDont said:
Definitely something wrong with Tom’s CineBench results.Every benchmark I have seen online scores a pair of E5-2687w’s at around the 26 mark for the multiple test, and my own E5-2687w’s lowest score has been 25.6 and highest 26.22, so I’m guessing the results should be 26 for the E5-2687w and 28 for the V2.


you did catch that its CineBench R15, right?
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January 8, 2014 6:06:54 PM

Michael Robinson said:
I don't know how many games that multithread have some kind of limit on how many threads they can launch.

The number of threads an application or game is running is a really poor indication of how well-threaded the software actually is since the bulk of those threads is usually background/housekeeping stuff and if you monitor the process with Process Explorer or equivalent, you will find that on a process with 20+ threads that might be using around 25% total CPU time, you might have one thread using ~20%, another thread using ~5% and all the ~20 other threads being under 0.01%. So, despite having tons of threads, the application itself barely qualifies as dual-threaded in terms of (probable) meaningful load on extra threads.
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January 8, 2014 6:28:44 PM

Yes, that's my exact point. (also why renderers break the screen into tiles or bands and renders each tile/band in a separate thread to do multithreaded rendering)
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January 9, 2014 2:21:21 AM

Rendering a playblast in maya is not really "rendering". If you want to do some real torture tests for maya renders, load up a scene with mental ray chrome and glass textures, hdri lighting, turn on final gathering and crank up the max sample quality etc. then do a Render of the current frame with mental ray...not a playblast. That will show you what a dual cpu can do vs a single socket. I could design that static scene for you if you cannot find a freebie floating around
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January 9, 2014 2:24:04 AM

Also, any way we could we get the same benchs with the 12 core xeon in single and dual config to see what $2700 per really nets you in productivity?
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January 9, 2014 2:26:32 AM

The mental ray playblast test is a CPU/GPU test, the actual rendering test isn't on that page. I've already mentioned that to Chris. For the mental ray render test we have a Maya version of the Tom's Hardware logo scene, rendering the same frames as rendered in the LightWave version (and the Max version, which uses V-Ray as the renderer). We're using the logo scene because at 1.7+ million polygons (because the N-gons didn't make it through FBX) it at least has the poly count of a production-level model.
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January 9, 2014 2:29:39 AM

Jess Castro said:
Also, any way we could we get the same benchs with the 12 core xeon in single and dual config to see what $2700 per really nets you in productivity?


For multithreaded workloads it is approximately double. (realistically, you gain about 95% more CPU speed, depending on how memory bandwidth intensive your test is.) for single threaded workloads it is no gain :D 


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January 9, 2014 2:49:05 AM

What kind of texture is applied? ...putting mental ray material chrome or glass vs a base lambert will beat a system up. Final gather just adds extra insult to injury for the render time. If I'm not mistaken doesn't v ray leverage the graphics cards as well for the renders?
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January 9, 2014 2:59:34 AM

What kind of texture is applied? ...putting mental ray material chrome or glass vs a base lambert will beat a system up. Final gather just adds extra insult to injury for the render time. If I'm not mistaken doesn't v ray leverage the graphics cards as well for the renders?
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January 9, 2014 3:00:15 AM

Love the article btw.
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January 9, 2014 3:03:07 AM

Love the article btw.
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January 9, 2014 3:10:07 AM

Jess Castro said:
What kind of texture is applied? ...putting mental ray material chrome or glass vs a base lambert will beat a system up. Final gather just adds extra insult to injury for the render time. If I'm not mistaken doesn't v ray leverage the graphics cards as well for the renders?


V-Ray has a GPU renderer (VRayRT) with lots of limitations, or a CPU-based renderer (V-Ray), just like iray versus mental ray. (have an iray test too, its the chair scene from Auodesk's content)

1.7 or so million polygons, cubic mapped generic tile texture, Final Gather and motion blur are ON... its not exactly a 'quick' test. I've been considering painting a custom map for it but it would end up being a HUGE UV map in order to cover it decently.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/precision-t5600-xeo...
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January 9, 2014 4:22:33 AM

Brainstorms said:
I bought a Dell T7500 with dual 3.3 GHz 4-core Xeon W5590s, 24 GB RAM, and a Quadro 4800 card on ebay. ...


I built up a Dell T7500 a while ago, certainly a very quiet system. Sometimes if I've switched monitor inputs
to something else, I forget it's turned on. :D  I started with a bare-bones case (everything except CPU, RAM,
gfx, drives) for 200 UKP; Dell were selling some cheap because the side panel case had 'damage' (which was
really just a moderate scratch). I obtained two X5570s off eBay for a good price (so 8 cores & 16 threads total),
24GB RAM (low cost 2GB modules), a used 600GB 15K SAS (80 UKP) which I'll replace with an SSD soon.
GPU varies as I test different things (variety of Quadros and gamer cards). Only slightly tricky part was sourcing
the right parts for the 2nd CPU board, but got them ok for a good price. It runs nicely, stays at 3.2GHz most of
the time; decent threaded performance (faster than a 5GHz 2700K), but of course it's utterly hammered for
single-threaded tasks by any consumer oc'd setup, and beaten for threaded stuff by a stock 3930K:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/tests-jj.txt

I've read that since the T7500, Dell's builds haven't been quite so good, which would be a shame.

Ian.

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January 9, 2014 5:10:47 AM

The T5600 we tested as kinda loud...
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January 9, 2014 6:33:06 AM

Draven35 said:
The T5600 we tested as kinda loud...


That's a shame, but mirrors what I'd read about their newer builds. Pity, as the T7500 is almost silent.

Ian.

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January 21, 2014 5:06:27 PM

Draven35 writes:> My personal feeling is that the Premiere test is getting a little long in the tooth,> as is the AE test (hence why i went back and redid it for HD). I meant to say, did Chris mention to you that a friend of mine (also called Chris)is creating a more 'real-world' AE test for you guys to use? Not finished yet, butit hammers a system pretty hard (30 second animation).Ian.
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January 21, 2014 5:19:00 PM

No, didn't mention it to me at all. My test is a motion graphics test with three picture-in-picture panels, similar to what you'd see in a DVD menu. So it isn't a test that is not real world at all, IMO. just having footage that I can use as i want that is useable as a comp has been problematic- a lot of the footage I have that I *could* use, is technically from a film made under the SAG student agreement, and it might be a violation to use said footage in a for-profit venture outside of the film, even....

I was planning on doing a separate comp test, but that is going to be in.... another product we're going to add to our testing suite.... (not gonna discuss that in an open forum, sorry)
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January 21, 2014 5:44:29 PM

Draven35 said:
No, didn't mention it to me at all. My test is a motion graphics test with three picture-in-picture panels, similar to what you'd see in a DVD menu. So it isn't a test that is not real world at all, IMO. ...


I should clarify, when I said real-world, what I meant was that it's an animation typical of what one might
create for a proper complex movie sequence, advert, video or suchlike. It takes 2 hours to render with
the default settings using two 3GB GTX 580s (faster than a Titan). One can of course create a shorter
test simply by reducing the AA level in the RayTrace3D options.


Draven35 said:
I was planning on doing a separate comp test, but that is going to be in.... another product we're going to add to our testing suite.... (not gonna discuss that in an open forum, sorry)


No prob! Feel free to email if preferred )see below); btw, Chris has a screenshot I sent him
of the test being constructed, a reasonably recent snap, I'm sure he could send it to you.


Hey, do you happent to know if AE is able to make any use at all of 64bit CUDA ops? The
other issue I'm trying to resolve is whether most of the main AE user interface uses OpenGL
or D3D for the display, ie. is one better off having a Quadro card or something like a Titan
or 780Ti for the primary display. If it's mostly OGL then I'd have thought a Quadro would be
better. The system I built for the AE guy has a Quadro 4000 and three 3GB GTX 580s.

Ian.

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January 21, 2014 5:48:08 PM

AE only uses CUDA for the 3d rendering stuff, and that is only useful for things like flying logos (and i mean 3d rendering, not 3d compositing
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January 21, 2014 9:16:10 PM

Draven35 said:
AE only uses CUDA for the 3d rendering stuff, and that is only useful for things like flying logos (and i mean 3d rendering, not 3d compositing


Yes, I know, the RayTraced3D function. But ask Chris to send you the image I sent him,
you'll see what I mean.

Ian.

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