Within the two months since Intel unveiled Broadwell-E, I have been going from side to side with my choice to put money into one. We won the 10-core Core i7-6950X for assessment and whilst it was once a good looking chip in the case of efficiency, it got here at a severely unsightly value. At $1,650 we advise taking a troublesome move at the 6950X.

Frankly, the older 8-core 5960X was once tough to justify at $1,050, so the moderately up to date 6900K for $1,100 does not precisely have us whipping our wallets out. Spending over $600 at the 6-core 6850K is not too interesting both… So, what is an fanatic to do in the event that they require greater than the 4 cores in Intel’s mainstream desktop Core i7 processors?

One answer can be construction our beastly 16-core/32-thread Xeon E5-2670 workstation featured again in April. For less than $1,000 we picked up core parts together with two 8-core E5-2670 processors, a brand new dual-socket LGA2011 motherboard and 64GB of DDR3 reminiscence. Throw in a case, energy provide, graphics card and a few garage and you’ve got a severely succesful system for the cost of a Core i7-5960X.

With regards to efficiency, our inexpensive Xeon construct in point of fact caught it to the 5960X by way of a relatively huge margin in multiple take a look at. When the uber pricey 6950X seemed, we made certain to pit it towards the dual-CPU machine and to our wonder the Xeons stood robust, even popping out on most sensible in a couple of exams.

One answer can be construction our beastly 16-core/32-thread Xeon E5-2670 workstation featured again in April.

It was once fascinating to search out that during lots of the utility and encoding exams, this older Sandy Bridge-EP construct was once ready to place up an actual battle. With regards to efficiency vs. value it has a tendency to come back out smartly on most sensible with the one blemish being its energy intake. The twin-Xeon machine pulled 300 watts in our Hybrid x265 take a look at whilst the Core i7-6950X setup wanted best part that quantity.

After all we had been evaluating two 8-core processors to a unmarried 10-core chip, however the principle factor was once the four-generation-old Sandy Bridge structure.

This put us at the hunt for inexpensive Xeon processors in keeping with the Haswell-EP or most likely even Broadwell-EP architectures — it no doubt appeared mere wishful pondering that we’d come throughout a moderately affordable Broadwell-EP Xeon.

Our seek put us at the path of Intel’s Xeon E5 2630 v4, a 10-core Broadwell-EP section that runs at a base clock of two.2GHz however can spice up as much as 3.1GHz relying at the workload.

Most often, you would spend one thing like $700 for this processor — considerably greater than the $70 we paid for every of our E5-2670 v1 processors — on the other hand, it is conceivable to buy the E5-2630 v4 for as low as $200 on eBay. The one catch is that they’re engineering samples (ES), no longer retail chips.

The examples we’ve got come throughout are primarily based on liberate stepping (SR2R7), so motherboard compatibility may not be a topic, offering the BIOS has been up to date to beef up Broadwell-EP processors.

As soon as upon a time it was once uncommon to search out Intel engineering samples, however these days they seem on-line in large volumes. Taking a look best on eBay for example, hundreds of those E5-2630 v4 ES chips had been bought with numerous extra nonetheless in inventory.

Most often, we propose averting ES chips when conceivable, however $200 for a 10-core/20-thread Broadwell-EP processor in point of fact is just too exhausting to refuse. With such a lot of of you asking what those chips carry out like during the last few weeks, we’ve got made up our minds to determine.

The Construct

The former construct the use of the Xeon E5-2670 v1 processors was once put in combination on a gorgeous tight price range and so we went with probably the most inexpensive Twin Socket R (LGA2011) motherboards shall we to find.

Since we’re spending greater than two times as a lot at the processors this time ($400), we made up our minds to move with a extra succesful motherboard. Having been so inspired with the former Asrock Rack motherboard, we picked up the EP2C612D16-2L2T on Newegg for $580 (which is now $100 inexpensive should you wanted additional temptation).

It is a Twin Socket LGA2011 R3 motherboard that clings to the SSI EEB shape issue, measuring 12” x 13” (30.5 cm x 33 cm). Introduced long ago in September 2014, the EP2C612D16-2L2T received Broadwell-EP beef up in March by the use of BIOS model 2.10.

On the center of the EP2C612D16-2L2T we discover the Intel C612 chipset, a 7w section that was once constructed the use of the 32nm procedure and provides Gen 2 PCIe beef up for as much as 8-lanes, six USB 3.0 ports in addition to 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports.

Asrock Rack has expanded SATA beef up to a dozen ports with the inclusion of a unmarried Marvell 9172 6Gb/s controller. For the reason that this can be a two-year previous motherboard, you will not to find fancy garage choices reminiscent of M.2. Top pace SSDs will wish to be built-in the use of PCI Categorical adapter playing cards.

There are a complete of 16 DIMM slots with beef up for NVDIMM (Non-Unstable Twin In-line Reminiscence Module). Each and every processor is hooked up to eight DIMMs and naturally quad-channel reminiscence beef up exists. Each RDIMM and LRDIMM modules are supported at speeds of DDR4 2133/1866 and 1600.

Onboard we discover 3 PCIe 3.0 x16 growth slots along side an extra 3 PCIe 3.0 x8 slots. That implies there are 72 PCIe 3.0 lanes on faucet — spectacular stuff.

Some of the key highlights of the EP2C612D16-2L2T is community beef up. Out of the field you get a couple of 10G community connections courtesy of the Intel X540 controller. As well as there are a couple of Intel i210 controllers for a couple of Gigabit Ethernet connections. In any case, there may be a unmarried devoted IPMI LAN port.

The ECC reminiscence this board can beef up is in most cases supposed for servers, the place any knowledge corruption is unacceptable. Since this is not in point of fact a priority for many of our readers, we went with usual UDIMM modules from G.Ability, relatively than equip the board with ECC reminiscence.

Preferably we would have liked to populate each DIMM slot with DDR4-2133 reminiscence so we reached out to our just right pals over at G.Ability. Satisfied to oblige, they served up 16 4GB sticks of Ripjaws V DDR4-2133 reminiscence for a complete capability of 64GB, which is able to permit each Xeon E5-2630 v4 chips to revel in quad-channel reminiscence beef up.

G.Ability sells this reminiscence in 16GB quad-channel reminiscence kits for simply $74 every, taking the entire price for this construct to simply shy of $300. For the ones questioning, the reminiscence operates at CL 15-15-15-35 timings the use of 1.2 volts. The modules are to be had with both purple or black warmth spreaders and we went with purple.

As with our earlier dual-Xeon construct, we supplied the processors with Noctua NH-U12DX i4 coolers. Noctua’s DX line have develop into a well-liked selection in top efficiency quiet cooling answers for Intel Xeon CPUs. The most recent i4 revision helps the LGA2011 platform (each Sq. ILM and Slender ILM) and springs with a 120mm NF-F12 ‘Targeted Waft’ fan.

Because of its narrow design with a fin intensity of 45mm, the NH-U12DX i4 guarantees simple get entry to to the RAM slots. When put in parallel to the slots, it’s going to no longer overhang the reminiscence even with two enthusiasts put in. For the ones involved in house, the NH-D9DX i4 is an much more compact choice. At $60, each the NH-U12DX i4 and NH-D9DX i4 are smartly priced and are available subsidized by way of a six-year producer’s guaranty.

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