Besides Xeon processors that are officially mentioned on its website and price list, Intel has tens of ‘off roadmap’ server CPUs only available to select customers that have special requests. Recently journalists from ComputerBase discovered that Intel has Xeon Platinum 8284, the company’s fastest 28-core chip for multi-socket servers. The CPU runs 300 MHz faster than the ‘official’ Xeon Platinum 8280, but costs considerably more.

Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8284 packs 28 cores with Hyper-Threading that run at 3.0-4.0 GHz, feature a 38.5 MB cache, a six-channel memory controller supporting up to 1 TB of DDR4-2933 with ECC, 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and other capabilities found in codenamed Cascade Lake CPUs. Since the chip runs at 300 MHz higher base frequency when compared to the Xeon Platinum 8280, it has a 240 W TDP, up from 205 W. Meanwhile, Tcase of the CPU (the maximum allowed temperature on the IHS of the processor) was reduced to 65°C (down from 84°C), so the CPU requires a very sophisticated cooling system that can take away 240 W at the aforementioned temperature.

Being Intel’s fastest 28-core CPU for multi-socket servers, the Xeon Platinum 8284 processor costs $15,460 (recommended customer price for 1k unit order, RCP), whereas the Xeon Platinum 8280 that runs at a 300 MHz lower frequency, costs $10,009 for 1ku.

Intel Second Generation Xeon Scalable Family
(Cascade Lake)
  Cores Base
Freq
Turbo
Freq
L3
Cache
TDP
(W)
Optane Price
(1ku)
Xeon Platinum 8200
8284   28 3.0 4.0 38.50 240 Yes $15460
8280 L 28 2.7 4.0 38.50 205 Yes $17906
8280 M 28 2.7 4.0 38.50 205 Yes $13012
8280   28 2.7 4.0 38.50 205 Yes $10009
8276 L 28 2.2 4.0 38.50 165 Yes $16616
8276 M 28 2.2 4.0 28.50 165 Yes $11722
8276   28 2.2 4.0 38.50 165 Yes $8719
8270   26 2.7 4.0 25.75 205 Yes $7405
8268   24 2.9 3.9 35.75 205 Yes $6302
8260 L 24 2.4 3.9 25.75 165 Yes $12599
8260 M 24 2.4 3.9 25.75 165 Yes $7705
8260   24 2.4 3.9 25.75 165 Yes $4702
8260 Y 24 2.4 3.9 35.75 165 Yes $5320
8256   4 3.8 3.9 16.50 105 Yes $7007
8253 L 16 2.2 3.0 35.75 165 Yes ?
8253 M 16 2.2 3.0 35.75 165 Yes ?
8253   16 2.2 3.0 35.75 165 Yes $3115

The Xeon Platinum 8284 is not mentioned in Intel’s pricelist, and not under Cascade Lake on Intel's ARK database, but it is searchable if you know the exact number. This typically means that the CPU is only available to select customers or even a customer. That said, it is possible that apart from higher clocks, this 'semi-custom' off-roadmap processor may come with features that go beyond that and this might explain the huge price difference when compared to the model 8280.

Related Reading

Source: Intel’s ARK (via ComputerBase)

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  • twotwotwo - Friday, July 19, 2019 - link

    Curious about the 24C range, since 6C=>8C chiplets is like a >50% price jump (b/c yields I guess). Also, of course, about AMD's pricing and Intel's (pricing/product) response. Reply
  • chada - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    cores, cost, threads. Pick 1 or 2 depending on your needs. Reply
  • mmrezaie - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    I always wonder why Intel has so many SKUs. I don't think anyone wants this many choices since they are hardly different. I like to see choices but in such a small increments, nah? Is this marketing? Production forces them to it e.g. silicon variation? Reply
  • TheWereCat - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    Its just a ton of different bins mostly Reply
  • edzieba - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    These are Intel's equivalent to AMD's 'semi custom' service, were Intel will produce an SKU to the request of a specific vendor for a specific product. It's why the 'list price' is a bit of a misnomer, as they're not listed and that price doesn't really reflect what the companies buying these variants are paying. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    I am curious what L M and Y mean with same specs Reply
  • SarahKerrigan - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    M: Supports 2TB RAM
    L: Supports 4.5TB RAM
    S: Speed Select
    Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    Thanks so this shows one of reasons why there is so many different products. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    Yes, except that at least two of those are likely to be artificial limitations for product segmentation (read: extracting the most profit from those who will pay for it).

    Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it's definitely a thing, and annoying if you want those features.
    Reply
  • edzieba - Friday, July 19, 2019 - link

    No segmentation, die harvesting. When you have a very large die, you have lots of individual component parts you can fuse off if they have a defect. Cores, PCIe interfaces, memory interfaces, etc. If you did not harvest these dies and only sold 'perfect' dies as a single SKU line, then you would have a very small volume of parts and high prices for those parts. By finely binning dies into a large number of SKUs based on yield, then you have many more sellable dies and customers can buy ones that lack features they do not use to reduce outlay. Reply

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