Intel Xeon Processors Buyers Guide

What is an Intel Xeon CPU or processor?

The Central Processing Unit, or the CPU, is one of the most critical components to consider when buying or building a server or upgrading an existing one. Intel offers a vast range of Xeon server CPUs and in this buyer's guide we'll provide an overview of the key families. We’ll also cover suggestions of which to choose depending on your business needs and server workloads – from everyday business continuity tasks to digital content creation, commercial VR applications all the way through to high performance computing (HPC). It is worth mentioning that the Xeon CPU range also includes a family - Xeon W - dedicated to workstation use, but we cover these in our Desktop Processor Buyers Guide .

It is essential when choosing your Xeon server CPU (or CPUs if multiple are required) that you choose a compatible motherboard so we'll indicate this for each processor family as we go through them. As Intel has a regular upgrade cycle for their product range it is vital to know if you are looking at the latest generation, and if you’re considering an upgrade what CPU supersedes your current one, so we’ll cover this too.

The Intel Xeon range is primarily aimed at servers, with the CPUs typically offering more cores than mainstream PC counterparts - however clock speeds don’t necessarily directly compare to the Core i7 and i9 models. Xeon CPUs tend to have a lot more built-in, business-critical technology - for example, they support error-correcting code (ECC) memory, which prevents data corruption and system crashes. For businesses where continuous workloads are mission-critical, even a few hours downtime can cost far more than ECC memory is worth. Also Xeon processors support far more RAM than the Core range CPUs do, as well as many more PCIe lanes for connecting expansion cards. With all these extra features, scalability and fail-safes, naturally, the price reflects this.

Intel Xeon Server Processors

To help customers pick a Xeon processor, these chips are split into unique families whose characteristics best represent.

XEON PLATINUM
Ultra High-End
XEON GOLD
High End
XEON SILVER
Mid Range
XEON BRONZE / XEON E
Entry Level

Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

The fastest and most powerful server and workstation processors are from the Intel Xeon Scalable series, of which the latest are the 5th generation. These CPUs deliver industry leading, workload optimised performance, with built-in AI acceleration to help speed data’s transformative impact. The range is so extensive it is subdivided into four types, each designated a colour, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Most models can be deployed in at least two processors per system, with some models even supporting up to eight CPUs per server. These four families of CPU cover all workstation and server uses from entry-level tasks in small organisations all the way up to HPC clusters. It is fair to say that there is overlap between these families and it is always important to view a processor choice with your current and future workloads in mind.

To discuss the most suitable Xeon Scalable CPU option for your server
contact our team of system architects on 01204 474747 or [email protected].

Key Key Key

Intel 5th Gen Xeon Scalable Platform

The Intel 5th gen Xeon Scalable series is the latest range of server processors, and builds on the foundation created by the 4th gen CPUs. Memory capacity remains the same but bandwidth has been increased and there is still support for eight-channels of DDR5 memory and 80 lanes of PCIe 5.0. The maximum number of cores has been increased from 60 to 64. As with the 4th gen Xeon range, 5th gen CPUs feature dedicated accelerators cores for specific workloads including Intel AMX - Advanced Matrix Extensions; Intel IAA - In-memory Analytics Accelerator; Intel DSA - Data Streaming Accelerator; Intel DLB - Dynamic Load Balancer; and Intel QAT - QuickAssist Technology. Alongside these are new Intel TDX - Trust Domain Extensions offering isolation and confidentiality at the virtual machine (VM) level and the reintroduction of Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC), an enterprise RAID function for NVMe SSDssolution that unleashes the performance of NVMe SSDs. You can learn more about these by visiting our 5TH GEN XEON PAGE .

Intel Xeon Platinum 8500

High-end dual-socket servers for the most demanding workflows

Cores: up to 64
Level 3 Cache: 60-320MB
Max memory speed: 5,600MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 300-350W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Gold 6500

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 32
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-60MB
Max memory speed: 5,200MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 195-270W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Gold 5500

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 28
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-52.5MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 165-205W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Platinum 8500U, Gold 5500U, Bronze 3500U

Designed for single-socket servers for everyday workloads

Cores: up to 48
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-260MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
TDP: 125-300W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Silver 4500

Entry-level dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 24
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-45MB
Max memory speed: 4,400MHz
TDP: 125-185W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Platinum 8500N, Gold 6500N

High-end single and dual-socket servers for networking optimised workflows

Cores: up to 52
Level 3 Cache: 60-300MB
Max memory speed: 5,200MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 205-300W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Platinum 8500P/V

High-end single and dual-socket servers for cloud optimised workflows

Cores: up to 64
Level 3 Cache: 300-320MB
Max memory speed: 5,600MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 270-330W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

Intel Xeon Platinum 8500Q, Gold 6500Q

High-end dual-socket liquid cooled servers

Cores: up to 64
Level 3 Cache: 60-320MB
Max memory speed: 5,600MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 350-385W
Architecture: Emerald Rapids

LATEST ACHITECTURE Emerald Rapids

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDS C740-series

PREVIOUS GENERATION Intel 4th gen Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel 4th gen Xeon Scalable Processors

The Intel 4th gen Xeon Scalable series is the foundation of a whole new platform that introduces lots of new features. Memory bandwidth and capacity has been expanded to support eight-channels of DDR5 memory. In addition the I/O has been upgraded to 80 lanes of PCIe 5.0, providing double the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0. Finally, switching to a new 7nm manufacturing process enables the core count to be increased from 40 to 60. The 4th gen Xeon range is further enhanced by the addition of dedicated accelerators cores for specific workloads including Intel AMX - Advanced Matrix Extensions; Intel IAA - In-memory Analytics Accelerator; Intel DSA - Data Streaming Accelerator; Intel DLB - Dynamic Load Balancer; and Intel QAT - QuickAssist Technology. You can learn more about these by visiting our 4th gen Xeon page .

Intel Xeon Platinum 8400

High-end dual-socket servers for the most demanding workflows

Cores: up to 56
Level 3 Cache: 60-105MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 300-350W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Xeon Gold 6400

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 32
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-60MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 195-270W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Xeon Gold 5400

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 28
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-52.5MB
Max memory speed: 4,400MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 185-205W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Silver 4400

Entry-level dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 20
Level 3 Cache: 30-37.5MB
Max memory speed: 4,000MHz
TDP: 150-165W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Gold 6400U, Gold 5400U, Bronze 3400U

Designed for single-socket servers for everyday workloads

Cores: up to 32
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-60MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
TDP: 125-250W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Xeon Platinum 8400H, Gold 6400H

High-end eight-socket and four-socket servers for the most demanding workflows

Cores: up to 60
Level 3 Cache: 22.5-112.5MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 165-350W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

Intel Xeon Platinum 8400 Max, Gold 6400 Max

High-end dual-socket servers for HPC workloads

Cores: up to 56
Level 3 Cache: 60-112.5MB
Max memory speed: 4,800MHz
64GB HBM2e memory
TDP: 330-350W
Architecture: Sapphire Rapids

LATEST ACHITECTURE Sapphire Rapids

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDS C740-series

PREVIOUS GENERATION Intel 3rd gen Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel 3rd gen Xeon Scalable Processors

For legacy systems we still offer Intel 3rd gen Xeon processors. These use a different platform from the latest 4th gen Xeons, supporting 8-channels of DDR4 memory and 64 lanes of PCIe 4.0. Built using a 10nm manufacturing process enables the core count goes up to 40. Intel 3rd gen Xeon processors scale all the way from single-socket systems to servers up with eight CPUs. You can learn more about these by visiting our 3rd gen Xeon page .

Intel Xeon Platinum 8300

High-end dual-socket servers for the most demanding workflows

Cores: up to 40
Level 3 Cache: 25-57MB
Max memory speed: 3,200MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 150-270W
Architecture: Ice Lake

Intel Xeon Gold 6300

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 32
Level 3 Cache: 36-48MB
Max memory speed: 3,200MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 165-205W
Architecture: Ice Lake

Intel Xeon Gold 5300

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 24
Level 3 Cache: 12-30MB
Max memory speed: 2,933MHz
Intel Optane Memory support
TDP: 150-185W
Architecture: Ice Lake

Intel Xeon Silver 4300

Mid-range dual-socket servers for everyday workflows

Cores: up to 20
Level 3 Cache: 12-30MB
Max memory speed: 2,666MHz
TDP: 105-150W
Architecture: Ice Lake

LATEST ACHITECTURE Ice Lake

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDS C620-Series

PREVIOUS GENERATION Intel 2nd gen Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel Xeon E-2300 Processors

Designed for entry-level servers, Intel Xeon E processors provide solid performance with the built-in platform security features and reliability that professional users demand. A step up from desktop PC Core processors Xeon E processors support ECC memory technology to improve data integrity and system uptime. The Xeon E-2300 family is built on a 14nm process and features up to 8 cores and 16 threads, support for up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes for add-in cards and NVMe SSDs.

Intel Xeon E-2300

Entry-level single-socket for small office servers.

Cores: up to 8
Level 3 Cache: 8-16MB
Max memory speed: 3,200MHz
TDP: 65-95W
Architecture: Rocket Lake

Intel Xeon E-2300G

Entry-level single-socket for small office servers, with inbuilt Intel UHD Graphics P750.

Cores: up to 8
Level 3 Cache: 8-16MB
Max memory speed: 3,200MHz
TDP: 65-95W

LATEST ACHITECTURE Rocket Lake

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDS C242

PREVIOUS GENERATION Intel Xeon E-2200

Summary

Still not sure which Intel Xeon server processor is right for you? This table shows the relative performance and features of the main ranges of Xeon processor.

Xeon 5th gen Scalable Xeon 4th gen Scalable Xeon 3rd gen Scalable Xeon E
Platinum
8500
Gold
6500
Gold
5500
Silver
4500
Platinum
8400
Gold
6400
Gold
5400
Silver
4400
Platinum
8300
Gold
6300
Gold
5300
Silver
4300
E-2300
GEN 5th 5th 5th 5th 4th 4th 4th 4th 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 1th
SMP SUPPORT 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
SOCKET 4677 4677 4677 4677 4677 4677 4677 4677 4189 4189 4189 4189 1200
CORES / THREADS 64 / 128 32 / 64 28 / 56 24 / 48 60 / 120 60 / 120 28 / 56 20 / 40 40 / 80 32 / 64 24 / 48 20 / 40 8 / 16
MAX BASE FREQUENCY 4.1GHz 4.1GHz 4.1GHz 4.1GHz 3.9GHz 3.9GHz 3.8GHz 3.2GHz 4.0GHz 3.2GHz 4.0GHz 2.8GHz 3.7GHZ
MAX BOOST FREQUENC 2.8GHz 2.5GHz 2.2GHz 2.0GHz 4.4GHz 4.5GHz 4.2GHz 4.0GHz 4.5GHz 5.1GHz 5.3GHz 5.3GHz 5.1GHz
MAX L3 CACHE 320MB 60MB 52.5MB 45MB 105MB 60MB 52.5MB 37.5MB 57MB 48MB 30MB 30MB 16MB
MAX MEMORY 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 8TB 16TB
MEMORY CHANNELS Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Eight-channel Dual-channel
MEMORY TYPE DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR5 ECC Reg DDR4 ECC Reg DDR4 ECC Reg DDR4 ECC Reg DDR4 ECC Reg DDR4 ECC
MAX MEMORY SPEED 5,600MHz 5,200MHz 4,800MHz 4,400MHz 4,800MHz 4,800MHz 4,400MHz 4,000MHz 3,200MHz 3,200MHz 2,933MHz 2,933MHz 3,200MHz
PCIe VERSION 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
MAX PCIe LANES 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 64 64 64 64 20
MAX TDP 350W 270W 205W 185W 350W 270W 205W 165W 270W 205W 185W 150W 95W

We hope this guide has proved helpful in providing some insight as to which Intel Xeon processor may best suit your server requirement, but if you’re still in need of guidance don’t hesitate to contact our team of system architects on 01204 474747 or [email protected].