Competition and Market

As Johan mentioned in our initial Haswell-EP coverage, Intel’s main competition is with itself. Some other server CPU manufacturers focus on particular hardware and software combinations, while AMD has not updated their server line in over 2 years. ARM is making some inroads into the low end or the highly parallel market, but for the majority of workstations or servers, Intel has the market. The only downside to this strategy is that Intel has to convince that upgrading is worth it. One way to implement this is infrequent updates, although the customers demand a certain level of consistency over time such that updates are not super frequent.

Intel Xeon E5 v2 versus v3 2-socket SKU Comparison
Xeon E5 Cores/
TDP Clock Speed
Price Xeon E5 Cores/
TDP Clock Speed
High Performance (20 – 30MB LLC) High Performance (35-45MB LLC)
          2699 v3 18/36 145W 2.3-3.6 $4115
          2698 v3 16/32 135W 2.3-3.6 $3226
2697 v2 12/24 130W 2.7-3.5 $2614 2697 v3 14/28 145W 2.6-3.6 $2702
2695 v2 12/24 115W 2.4-3.2 $2336 2695 v3 14/28 120W 2.3-3.3 $2424
          "Advanced" (20-30MB LLC)
2690 v2 10/20 130W 3-3.6 $2057 2690 v3 12/24 135W 2.6-3.5 $2090
2680 v2 10/20 115W 2.8-3.6 $1723 2680 v3 12/24 120W 2.5-3.3 $1745
2660 v2 10/20 115W 2.2-3.0 $1389 2660 v3 10/20 105W 2.6-3.3 $1445
2650 v2 8/16 95W 2.6-3.4 $1166 2650 v3 10/20 105W 2.3-3.0 $1167
Midrange (10-20MB LLC) Midrange (15-25MB LLC)
2640 v2 8/16 95W 2.0-2.5 $885 2640 v3 8/16 90W 2.6-3.4 $939
2630 v2 6/12 80W 2.6-3.1 $612 2630 v3 8/16 85W 2.4-3.2 $667
2620 v2 6/12 80W 2.1-2.6 $410 2620 v3 6/12 85W 2.4-3.2 $422
Frequency optimized (15-25MB LLC) Frequency optimized (10-20MB LLC)
2687W v2 8/16 150W 3.4-4.0 $2108 2687W v3 10/20 160W 3.1-3.5 $2141
2667 v2 8/16 130W 3.3-4.0 $2057 2667 v3 8/16 135W 3.2-3.6 $2057
2643 v2 6/12 130W 3.5-3.8 $1552 2643 v3 6/12 135W 3.4-3.7 $1552
2637 v2 4/12 130W 3.5-3.8 $996 2637 v3 4/8 135W 3.5-3.7 $996
Budget (15MB LLC) Budget (15MB LLC)
2609 v2 4/4 80W 2.5 $294 2609 v3 6/6 85W 1.9 $306
2603 v2 4/4 80W 1.8 $202 2603 v3 6/6 85W 1.6 $213
Power Optimized (15 – 25MB LLC) Power Optimized (20-30MB LLC)
2650L v2 10/20 70W 1.7-2.1 $1219 2650L v3 12/24 65W 1.8-2.5 $1329
2630L v2 6/12 70W 2.4-2.8 $612 2630L v3 8/16 55W 1.8-2.9 $612


Test Setup

For our testing, it is worth noting that our CPU samples arrived at different times. Due to the testing setup at those times, certain benchmarks were unable to be run due to updates required. As a result, we have no power data or single GPU benchmarks for the E5-2650 v3.

Test Setup
Processor Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 (160W), 10C/20T : 3.1 GHz (3.5 GHz Turbo)
Intel Xeon E5-2650 v3 (105W), 10C/20T : 2.3 GHz (3.0 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards ASUS X99-Deluxe
ASRock X99 Extreme6
Cooling Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply OCZ 1250W Gold ZX Series
Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory Corsair DDR4-2133 C15 4x8 GB 1.2V
G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2133 C15 4x8 GB 1.2V
Memory Settings JEDEC @ 2133
Video Cards MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB (1150/1202 Boost)
Video Drivers NVIDIA Drivers 332.21
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit SP1

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with PSUs and SSDs.
Thank you to G.Skill for providing us with memory.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU and a Corsair H80i CLC.
Thank you to MSI for providing us with the NVIDIA GTX 770 Lightning GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with PSUs and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with some IO testing kit.
Thank you to Cooler Master for providing us with Nepton 140XL CLCs.

Load Delta Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system while in a single MSI GTX 770 Lightning GPU configuration with a wall meter connected to the OCZ 1250W power supply. This power supply is Gold rated, and as I am in the UK on a 230-240 V supply, leads to ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading. This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency.

We take the power delta difference between idle and load as our tested value, giving an indication of the power increase from the CPU when placed under stress.

Power Consumption Delta: Idle to AVX

The E5-2687W v3 is listed at 160W, which aside from a pair of AMD CPUs is the highest TDP for a CPU we have seen. Nevertheless, there are certain efficiencies exploited in the new platform and the v3 version of this CPU has a lower power delta than the v2 does, even with the higher TDP. Unfortunately due to limitations we were unable to measure power consumption while we had the E5-2650 v3 in for testing.


As per Intel's Xeon policy, the E5-26xx v3 processors are multiplier locked. For competitive overclockers, this is rather frustrating given that the Xeon processor line are often the better selected dies that also can pack a punch. So while multiplier overclocking is not possible, for motherboards with overclocking oriented BIOS options we can adjust the BCLK. While we never published the data at the time, the Ivy Bridge-EP processors we had in to test were good for 113 MHz (+13%), although 110 MHz had a good balance of overclock and stability.  

For this review, I put the E5-2687W v3 through its paces:

Moving up to 104 MHz is not a lot. It does afford some DRAM movement as well, but our system refused to POST at 105 MHz. This might purely be a result of the processor, so in our future Xeon reviews we will see if more movement is possible with other SKUs.

Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 and E5-2650 v3 Review CPU and Web Benchmarks
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  • personne - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    This review should be called Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 and E5-2650 v3 on Windows Review. I'd think a large number of these servers would be used for other operating systems.
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    I have some Linux benchmarks in the pipeline that I'm testing but aren't ready for prime time yet.
    I'll need to get some CPUs back in my office to test with that though, these Xeons are usually only loaner samples and it gets difficult to retest them.
  • personne - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    Thanks. I admit it really aggravates me, in 2014, to see screenshots of applications as some sort of qualifier. So I hope you can generate some really useful discrete data for a critical audience.
  • Marthisdil - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    I think a large number of these servers will be used in ESX (or other hypervisor) hosts, so these benchmarks don't really mean a ton.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    This review is all workstation loads, so it's not that helpful even if you are using Windows. I think most of the Windows Systems these very pricey Xeons end up in will be servers. IIS, database and active directory performance testing would be more appropriate.
  • elerick - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    I do find some value in the benchmarks proved by this review. For a review to include a high end workstation with DDR4 to have gaming benchmarks it proves that game engines do not take advantage of the extra bandwidth. The only factor is CPU architecture @ frequency + graphics cards.

    I would have liked to see how this CPU handles server applications and storage such as ZFS. More and more converged infrastructure is becoming hardware vendor agnostic ESXi 6 has some pretty cool features that make sense with Super Micro hardware taking advantage of the latest CPU
  • iwod - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    I think next year Xeon will be much more interesting with 14nm. I am hoping to see an increase from 12 to 16, and 18 to 24/32 Core. Along with much cheaper DDR4.
  • Jon Tseng - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    Hey Ian any more thoughts on power consumption vs. Ivy Bridge in day-to-day use, not just load.

    To me the obvious advantage of Grantley on paper is bringing all that Haswell power-gating/idle goodness to the server environment. The technology which lets Haswell spin out battery life in a laptop should also deliver energy and cost savings in a DC - which matters given power consumption (this is assuming your DC has decent periods of under-utilization - i.e. not an HPC plant!).

    Curious if any thoughts/data on this... J
  • isa - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    I feel personally threatened by the "idea-limited" constraint. I resemble that remark. But I compensate with kool LEDs on my PC.
  • Carl Bicknell - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    One thing that really needs spelling out is the clock speed under full load on all cores. That's much more informative than giving the default or the range.

    For the 2687W it's 3.2GHz default, and 3.4Ghz with turbo on all cores. That's pretty disappointing Intel.

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