Intel Haswell-EP Xeon E5-2695 v3
By   |  August 24, 2015

The new Xeon v3 generation has technical strengths and has an overall good to excellent performance…but will it appeal strongly enough to Xeon v2 users ? Read on…

The release of new Xeon is usually of high appeal to end-users, starting with the HPC community always on the lookout for a better performance / energy efficiency. After the E3 family, this is the E5 upgrade to version 3, the v3 referring to the Haswell-EP architecture whereas v2 meant Ivy Bridge.

In plain language, “E5 -v3” results in two benefits: more cores and threads. Our test model, the 2695, has 14 cores and can handle 28 threads, instead of respectively 12 and 24 for the previous model, at the same price. Add to this a 2.3 GHz frequency (3.3 GHz in turbo mode), a larger cache of 35 MB and support the for AVX 2.0 extensions, and you get an equation that looks hot on paper.

Like the other E5 CPU models, the 2695 uses the same internal architecture as the Core i7-5960X (high-end desktop PC), which involves changes to the LGA socket 2011-3 and has the advantage of compatibility with the new DDR4 , also a vector of increased performance equivalent TDP (about 120W).

So much for the formal presentations. How does this unit pass the test of fire? To be comparable with other test configurations we ran those first steps with LinuxBench, of which the different modules can test the different aspects of the CPU, including the synthetic performance, performance / latency memory, memory bandwidth and internal parallelization.

Overall, compared to e2697 v2 (with identical TDP), the gains are between 5% and an impressive 22%. The best results are obtained by raw performance, relatively insignificant in actual use, while not surprisingly, the speedups are more limited with regard to the tasks focusing on parallelization. Why? Because the frequency response of the 2695 decreases significantly as more cores are solicited. But nothing abnormal. It is even the reason for the MIC or GPU accelerators. But the conclusion that this finding calls is that it does not need to expect a miracle. The Xeon E5-2695 v3 is an excellent CPU, but if you already have a Xeon E5 V2 equivalent, the upgrade is not always justified.

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