Power Optimizations

It is well known that the Haswell has been optimized for low idle power. Servers run at idle a lot less than mobile devices and thus more power management capabilities were needed. 

In Haswell EP, Intel introduces per core p-states (PCPS). PCPS is not necessarily a blessing, as a wrongly chosen p-state can result in higher response times. However, Intel is convinced PCPS will save power or will at least shift the power to where it is needed: to other cores or to the uncore (rings). 

Floating Point intensive code is known to cause power peaks. AVX has doubled the theoretical FLOPS, and the FMA (Fused Multiply Add) of AVX 2.0 promises to double it again. 

To cope with the huge difference between the power consumption of Integer and AVX code, Intel is introducing new base and Turbo Boost frequencies for all their SKUs; these are called AVX base/Turbo. For example, the E5-2693 v3 will start from a base frequency of 2.3GHz and turbo up to 3.3GHz when running non-AVX code. When it encounters AVX code however, it will not able to boost its clock to more than 3GHz during a 1 ms window of time. If the CPU comes close to thermal and TDP limits, clock speed will drop down to 1.9GHz, the "AVX base clock".

Here, Intel illustrates how this will work for their top SKU, the Xeon E5-2699 v3. Notice the lower base clock for AVX code (1.9 vs 2.3).

The Magic Inside the Uncore DDR4


View All Comments

  • coburn_c - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    MY God - It's full of transistors! Reply
  • Samus - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I wish there were socket 1150 Xeon's in this class. If I could replace my quad core with an Octacore... Reply
  • wireframed - Saturday, September 20, 2014 - link

    If you can afford an 8-core CPU, I'm sure you can afford a S2011 board - it's like 15% of the price of the CPU, so the cost relative to the rest of the platform is negligible. :)
    Also, s1150 is dual-channel only. With that many cores, you'll want more bandwidth.
  • peevee - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    For many, if not most workloads it will be faster to run 4 fast (4GHz) cores on 4 fast memory channels (DDR4-2400+) than 8 slow (2-3GHz) cores on 2 memory channels. Of course, if your workload consists of a lot of trigonometry (sine/cosine etc), or thread worksets completely fit into 2nd level cache (only 256k!), you may benefit from 8/2 config. But if you have one of those, I am eager to hear what it is. Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    The 18 core SKU is great news for those trying to increase data center density. It should allow VM hosts with 512Gb+ of memory to operate efficiently even under demanding workloads. Given the new DDR4 memory bandwidth gains I wonder if the 18 core dual socket SKUs will make quad socket servers a niche product? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    In fairness, quad socket was already a niche market.

    That and there will be quad socket version of these chips: E5-4600v3's.
  • wallysb01 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    My lord. My thought is that this really shows that v3 isn’t the slouch many thought it would be. An added 2 cores over v2 in the same price range and turbo boosting that appears to functioning a little better, plus the clock for clock improvements and move to DDR4 make for a nice step up when all combined.

    I’m surprised Intel went with an 18 core monster, but holy S&%T, if they can squeeze it in and make it function, why not.
  • Samus - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I feel for AMD, this just shows how far ahead Intel is :\ Reply
  • Thermogenic - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Intel isn't just ahead - they've already won. Reply
  • olderkid - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    AMD saw Intel behind them and they wondered how Intel fell so far back. But really Intel was just lapping them. Reply

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