Socket, Silicon, and SKUs

Cooper Lake Xeon Scalable ushers in a new socket, given that it is difficult to add in UPI links without adding additional pins. The new socket is known as LGA4189, for which there will be two variants: LGA4189-4 and LGA4189-5. When asked, Intel stated that Cooper Lake supports the LGA4189-5 socket, however when we asked an OEM about the difference between the sockets, we were told it comes down to the PCIe version.

LGA4189-5, for Cooper Lake, uses PCIe 3.0. LGA4189-4, which is for Ice Lake we were told, will be PCIe 4.0 Nonetheless, Intel obfuscates the difference by calling both of them ‘Socket P+’. It’s not clear if they will be interchangeable, given that technically PCIe 4.0 can work in PCIe 3.0 mode, and a PCIe 3.0 chip can work in a PCIe 4.0 board at PCIe 3.0 speeds, but it will come down to how the UPI links are distributed, and any other differences.

We've since been told that the design of the socket is meant to make sure that Ice Lake Xeon processors should not be placed in Cooper Lake systems, however Cooper Lake processors will be enabled in systems built for Ice Lake.

We’re unsure if that means that LGA4189 / Socket P+ will be a single generation socket or not. Sapphire Rapids, mean to be the next generation Xeon Scalable, is also set for 2nd gen Optane support, which could imply a DDR4 arrangement. If Sapphire Rapids supports CXL, then that’s a PCIe 5.0 technology. There’s going to be a flurry of change within Intel’s Xeon ecosystem it seems.

On the silicon side, Intel has decided to not disclose the die configurations for Cooper Lake. In previous generations of Xeon and Xeon Scalable, Intel would happily publish that it used three different die sizes at the silicon level to separate up the core count distribution. For Cooper Lake however, we were told that ‘we are not disclosing this information’.

I quipped that this is a new level of secrecy from Intel.

Given that Cooper Lake will be offered in variants from 16 to 28 cores, and is built on Intel’s 14nm class process (14+++?), we can at least conclude there is a ’28 core XCC’ variant. Usually on these things the L3 cache counts are a good indicator of something smaller is going to be part of the manufacturing regime, however each processor sticks to the 1.375 MB of L3 cache per core configuration.

This leads us onto the actual processors being launched. Intel is only launching Platinum 8300, Gold 6300, and Gold 5300 versions of Cooper Lake, given that its distribution is limited to four socket systems or greater, and to high scale OEMs only. TDPs start at 150-165 W for the 16-24 core parts, moving up to 205-250 W for the 18-28 core parts. The power increases come from a combination of slight frequency bumps, higher memory speed support, and double the UPI links.

Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable
Cooper Lake 4P/8P
AnandTech Cores Base
Xeon Platinum 8300
8380HL 28C 2900 4300 3200 2933 4.5 250 8P No $13012
8380H 28C 2900 4300 3200 2933 1.125 250 8P No $10009
8376HL 28C 2600 4300 3200 2933 4.5 205 8P No $11722
8376H 28C 2600 4300 3200 2933 1.12 205 8P No $8719
8354H 18C 3100 4300 3200 2933 1.12 205 8P No $3500
8353H 18C 2500 3800 3200 2933 1.12 150 8P No $3003
Xeon Gold 6300
6348H 24C 2300 4200 - 2933 1.12 165 4P No $2700
6328HL 16C 2800 4300 - 2933 4.5 165 4P Yes $4779
6328H 16C 2800 4300 - 2933 1.12 165 4P Yes $1776
Xeon Gold 5300
5320H 20C 2400 4200 - 2933 1.12 150 4P Yes $1555
5318H 18C 2500 3800 - 2933 1.12 150 4P No $1273
All CPUs have Hyperthreading

Quite honestly, Intel's naming scheme is getting more difficult to follow. Every generation of Xeon Scalable becomes a tangled mess of feature separation.

No prices are attached to any of the Cooper Lake processors from our briefings, but Intel did publish them in its price document. We can compare the top SKUs from the previous generations, as well as against AMD's best.

Intel Xeon 8x80 Compare
AnandTech EPYC
Skylake Cascade Cooper Platform Rome
14nm 14+ nm 14++ nm? Node 7nm + 14nm
$13011 $13012 $13012 Price ~$8500
28 C 28 C 28 C Cores 64 C
2500 MHz 2700 MHz 2900 MHz Base 2600 MHz
3800 MHz 4000 MHz 4300 MHz 1T Turbo 3300 MHz
6 x 2666 6 x 2933 6 x 3200 DDR4 8 x 3200
1.5 TiB DDR4 4.5 TiB Optane 4.5 TiB Optane Max Mem 4 TiB DDR4
205 W 205 W 250 W TDP 280 W
1P to 8P 1P to 8P 1P to 8P Sockets 1P, 2P
3 x 10.4 GT/s 3 x 10.4 GT/s 6 x 10.4 GT/s UPI/IF 64 x PCIe 4.0
3.0 x48 3.0 x48 3.0 x48 PCIe 4.0 x128

The new processor improves on base frequency by +200 MHz and turbo frequency by +300 MHz, but it does have that extra 45 W TDP.

Compared to AMD’s Rome processors, the most obvious advantages to Intel are in frequency socket support, the range of vector extensions supported, and also memory capacity if we bundle in Optane. AMD’s wins are in has core counts, price, interconnect, PCIe count, and memory bandwidth. However, the design of Intel’s Cooper Lake with BF16 support is ultimately for customers who weren’t looking at AMD for those workloads.

We should also point out that these SKUs are the only ones Intel is making public. As explained in previous presentations, more than 50% of Intel's Xeon sales are actually custom versions of these, with different frequency / L3 cache / TDP variations that the big customers are prepared to pay for. In Intel's briefing, some of the performance numbers given by its customers are based on that silicon, e.g. 'Alibaba Customized SKU'. We never tend to hear about these, unfortunately.


As hinted above, Intel is still supporting PCIe 3.0 with Cooper Lake, with 48 lanes per CPU. The topology will also reuse Intel’s C620 series chipsets, providing 20 more lanes of PCIe 3.0 as well as USB 3.0 and SATA. 

Intel did not go into items such as VROC support or improvements for this generation, so we expect support for those to be similar to Cascade Lake.

Intel Launches Cooper Lake: 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable for 4P/8P Servers Performance and Deployments
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  • Spunjji - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    It's the same line every time. It's like listening to a realtor trying to sell a house on a cliff-side.

    "Lovely ocean views, hasn't fallen into the sea any time in the past 20 years, so why would you ever expect it to?"

    It also sets up the weird false dichotomy that Intel can't be executing poorly if they're still selling lots of their products; as if the global CPU market would just go away tomorrow just because Intel were selling junk.
  • Deicidium369 - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    Yeah - revenues and profits are never used to measure a business. It's about fee fees and the # of rabid AMD supporters...

    Sorry that Intel consistently provides what the market wants, and make record revenue quarter after quarter - and AMD Epycs are sitting in systems at the OEMs - since no one is buying them
  • schujj07 - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    Just because someone makes profit doesn't mean it makes what the market wants. Sometimes there is only one option so by design you will make a profit. Doesn't mean that just because you are the only player that your product is what people want. More often than not the product does an OK job but people want something different. In IT data centers the people making the decisions are often times older or just don't know any better. Not to mention when trying to come into a market in which 1 player has >=95% of the mark share it will take time to make inroads.
  • Spunjji - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    Threadripper isn't a competitor for this product.
  • Duncan Macdonald - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    What low price 4S Xeon ? A 16 core 4 socket 4.5TB Xeon (the 6328HL) has a list price of $4779
    so 4 of these gives a list price of over $19,000 - for comparison a single 7702P costs $4600 and has the same 64 cores as the 4 Xeon CPUs put together and a maximum memory of 4TB (and for good measure has 128 PCIe 4 lanes vs 20 PCIe lanes per Xeon CPU). By the time that you include the price of the required extras for a 4 socket system (4 socket motherboard, special power supplies etc) the 4S Intel system is far more costly than the single socket AMD system.
  • flgt - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    Unless you're a FB or Intel employee, no one has any idea what the real price they pay for these processors. And only AMD and Intel know the margins that can be sacrificed to secure a crucial design win. You also have to balance the manufacturing capacity that can be brought to the table at a given price point. That's a huge advantage for Intel even with all the bad press their manufacturing has received. They can choose to pull capacity from low margin retail products if needed. AMD would have to negotiate with TSMC and compete against their other critical clients for capacity.
  • Spunjji - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    Technically AMD can also choose to pull capacity from their desktop processor sales if needs be, but you're right that the overall constraints on their manufacturing capacity are more severe.
  • Spunjji - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    Also worth noting that there's a difference between how much these things cost at list price, how much they cost for a massive organisation buying a few hundred units, and how much they cost for SMEs buying from resellers. I used to work for a large EU reseller and can confirm that even with the customary discounts and bids in place, 4S systems carry a substantial premium over 2S.
  • Deicidium369 - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    who cares about some fictional EU retailer you "worked for"...

    2 socket cost more than a single socket
    4 socket cost more than 2 socket
    8 socket cost more than 4 socket.

    The higher socket count are more expensive per socket than the lower socket count systems - due to the workload and specialized nature of a use case that requires 8 sockets.

    Didn't need to work somewhere to know that.
  • Korguz - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    and who cares the BS and FUD that you claim is your own fictional life, but yet, you constantly brad boast and keep making it up as you go along.

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