Xeon D-15x8 networking variants officially launched, perfect for pfSense



  • I didn't see this posted anywhere, and there is honestly very little info about these Xeon D-15x8 chips probably because they were delayed for a while and just recently released 11/9.  It doesn't look like anything has made it to retail yet either.  The three 15x8 variants seem like they'd be ideal for pfSense.  I've been interested in pfSense for a while, but had passed it on it previously because of several factors.  The factors were the financial cost of building a system with high throughput, the lack of customization/specialized instruction sets at the HW level for a reasonable price versus Broadcom/other ARM-based specialized networking chipsets in retail routers, and the lack of a midrange balance between power/cost/performance (e.g. Xeon E5 vs Rangeley).

    The Xeon D-15x8 chips would resolve all those issues it would seem.  With a TDP of 35W for the 1518 and 1528 along with the integrated 10Gbe NIC controller in that TDP, the chip is very power-efficient.  The price point on the 4-core 1518 is very reasonable at $234.  The 6-core 1528 seems like a good balance in the middle at $389 versus the big leap to the 45W TDP $675 1548.  In addition, they have Quick Assist, AES-NI, and all the other necessary networking instruction sets eliminating the worry of deciding between the Rangeley chips with the right instruction sets and low TDP vs the higher TDP Core/Celeron/Pentium chips with better/newer core specs.  You also get the VM instruction sets and some other ones that were lacking in both the atoms and most of the mainstream Core/Celeron/Pentium chips if you're not using it purely as a router.

    The current SuperMicro 4 core D-1520 board is going for $489.99, so if the D-1518 board is around that price with the dual 10Gbe nics, that would be a significant savings over purchasing something like the a mobo/cpu/10gbe NIC combo.  This all seems quite fortuitous for pfSense, and I'm surprised there isn't much discussion on here about it.  I also wanted to make sure people looking for the best chip for pfSense could google and find it since I've been researching this for the past couple days and really only found the Xeon-D 15x8 chips today.  I thought that was worth joining for, and I look forward to others' thoughts.  Relevant links below:

    http://www.servethehome.com/eight-new-intel-xeon-d-processors-launched-16-core-chips-coming/

    http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-15x8-networking-accelerated-skus/

    http://www.servethehome.com/new-supermicro-intel-xeon-d-motherboards-even-with-12-and-16-core-chips/

    http://ark.intel.com/products/family/87041/Intel-Xeon-Processor-D-Family#@Server



  • I didn't see this posted anywhere, and there is honestly very little info about these Xeon D-15x8 chips probably because they were delayed for a while and just recently released 11/9.  It doesn't look like anything has made it to retail yet either.  The three 15x8 variants seem like they'd be ideal for pfSense.

    For sure they are looking really interesting to use for pfSense, and why you will not see at this time
    any reports over them, is only counted on the release date of them or the boards with this CPUs on it.

    Tey are pretty new, to new I think. The Intel Xeon D-15xx platform was launched at the Q2/2015 with
    three different CPUs and this newer CPU ended with a 8 likes D-15x8 are the update of this CPU family
    and this is done in Q4/2015 (now) and the first board from Supermicro as an example are announced
    for the Q1/2016 (February - April) and thats why you will not see any reports over this platforms.
    On the Supermicro website you could only open sites of some of the newer D-15x8 board, but not
    all of them! If you want to have a closer look on this here is the website from Supermicro´s D-1500
    series, the last two board are actual not able to chose (to click on them I mean) Supermicro D-1500
    (X10SDV-12C-TLN4F  & X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F - I mean)

    For sure they will have their own charm and would be perhaps also chosen by the pfSense store and ADI
    to assemble some new boards for us, pending on the circumstance that this boards a capable to support
    both new functions, AES-NI and Intel QuickAssist. Perhaps we will see some interesting new versions of
    the XG-15xx appliance in the pfSense shop. I would be glad about to see something new coming in this
    direction.

    and all the other necessary networking instruction sets eliminating the worry of deciding between the Rangeley chips with the right instruction sets and low TDP vs the higher TDP Core/Celeron/Pentium chips with better/newer core specs.

    The newer E3-1200 v5 (Skylake) will be able to support up to 64 GB DDR4-2133MHz ECC RAM and this
    is really fu..ing (sorry) fast and would be speeding up many things as I see it right. So it could be a
    really killer also.

    But anyway I really thing we would be seeing toward interesting times and some time later also reports over
    all this new CPUs and SoCs I am really interested in the Supermicro X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F as a pfSense
    firewall and the new Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 series as small VPN server or NAS.



  • The Xeon D-15xx support up to 128GB of DDR4-2133.  Also the Skylake Xeon E3s are locked to the business chipsets unlike the previous gen E3s which leaves a lot less choices for mobos since you don't have any crossover with the consumer i5/i7 mobos.  E3 also would not have Quickassist, but otherwise the IS is probably the same, and some of E3v5 L variants do seem to around the same TDP, but that would be with a separate PCH also using power so they would ultimately have a much higher TDP than the Xeon Ds.

    Since the Xeon D's have the PCH on the chip and new thermal monitoring, they are suppose to be pretty efficient.  Also, 2 10Gbe NICs in the chip will mean great power/thermal/financial savings over having a separate NIC.  My main point was that these hit the midrange so you can get a powerful yet efficient SOHO router/midlevel device.  As opposed to choosing between the Atom Rangeleys leaving you a little underpowered with the right IS, E3/Core chips that don't support quick assist, or the high-end server E5s that only support it with the separate PCIE accelerator.



  • @MOC9:

    Also the Skylake Xeon E3s are locked to the business chipsets unlike the previous gen E3s

    Source? I've seen this repeated on various forums as gospel but yet to see where it originally came from.



  • The Xeon D-15xx support up to 128GB of DDR4-2133.

    And the E3-v5 supports 64 GB ECC of this memory, enough for pfSense I mean.

    Also the Skylake Xeon E3s are locked to the business chipsets unlike the previous gen E3s which leaves a lot less choices for mobos since you don't have any crossover with the consumer i5/i7 mobos.

    I am really aware of consumer mobos, And yes the E3-v5 is only running on C232 & C236 chipsets
    that will be mostly soldered on workstation or server boards.

    E3 also would not have Quickassist, but otherwise the IS is probably the same, and some of E3v5 L variants do seem to around the same TDP, but that would be with a separate PCH also using power so they would ultimately have a much higher TDP than the Xeon Ds.

    Hey come down please, I was only telling that both platforms might be really new and also really interesting
    for pfSense, not more not less. Here is a Intel QuickAssist adapter from the ADI store that would be
    matching and fitting two things at once, a quad port NIC and a QuickAssist adapter. Link

    Since the Xeon D's have the PCH on the chip and new thermal monitoring, they are suppose to be pretty efficient.  Also, 2 10Gbe NICs in the chip will mean great power/thermal/financial savings over having a separate NIC.

    As I told above it might be an interesting platform for a really strong pfSense box.

    My main point was that these hit the midrange so you can get a powerful yet efficient SOHO router/midlevel device.

    Perhaps together with the lower end SoCs of this Xeon D-15xx platform, but the one I am interested in
    likes the X10SDV-12C-TLN4F  & X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F boards are enterprise class 10 GBit/s capable
    routers that might be running in greater or big companies as a router or firewall device.

    @Aluminum

    Source? I've seen this repeated on various forums as gospel but yet to see where it originally came from.

    I was not reading in one or more forums about this, but on several Internet portals in te german speaking
    area, many were speaking about that point and that some of the earlier E3-v5 models were running on
    some consumer boards was only luck! Here are some examples about this point;

    Vice versa it might be running well for sure! I mean that an the workstation or server boards with the
    H4 (LGA1151) Socket also Intels 6th generation of Core i/3/i5/i7 CPU are running well, but not in the other
    way, that the E3-v5 is running on the consumer boards where also Intels Core i3/i5/i7 CPU are running.



  • Every mobo manufacturer doesn't have it listed as a compatible CPU for the Z170/H170 boards.

    Reddit said this was the original source, but not sure since it is in German.
    http://www.computerbase.de/2015-10/xeon-e3-1200-v5-intel-sperrt-geheimtipp-cpus-fuer-desktop-chipsaetze
    This is the English article others have quoted.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9730/intel-launches-greenlow-c236-chipset-and-skylake-e31200-v5-xeons
    The most relevant bit of that article:

    Addition 10/21: The quote direct from Intel is that 'we do not validate or support Xeon E3 SKUs with client chipsets'. This has always been the case in the past so nothing on the official line has changed, and at this time Intel is not making any additional comment to the adjustment in compatibility.



  • Every mobo manufacturer doesn't have it listed as a compatible CPU for the Z170/H170 boards.

    As I told above, the publisher of the greatest PC magazine and also a greater administrator magazine was
    giving an update on the news about the Intel Xeon E3-v5 CPU series. And they were telling that the new
    Skylake Xeons will be only running or booting together with mainboards with a chipset of the 200 series
    likes the C232 and C236, but not with the 100 series likes you was naming (Z170/H170), vice versa
    it would be not problem to get it running.

    • C232 & C236 on workstation and server boards will support Skylake Xeon´s and Core i3/i5/i7
    • Z170 & H170 on consumer or gamer boards will support Intel Skylake Core i3/i5/i7 CPus but not the Xeon´s

    But ok, related to this thread it is a way to choose between several boards you will be able to insert the
    Xeon E3-v5 CPUs, then the Xeon D-15xx platform CPUs that came soldered on boards.



  • They might just need some bios updates for the H/Z boards to recognize them, these cpus are brand spanking new.

    A source would be an intel doc, errata or footnote, or at worst a direct comment to a vendor etc. Have not seen any of these so far which is why I ask.

    I'd expect they wouldn't work at launch on pre-launch boards, just like Ivy-E on existing X79 bios etc. I would also expect some delay for the non-launch platform.
    I'd keep an eye on asrock, they are the first to jump on cpu updates usually. Some other brands barely bother at all…

    People didn't notice anything with haswell E3s because they launched at the same time as the desktop skus, but haswell refresh and broadwell needed updates for series 8/9.



  • @Aluminum:

    They might just need some bios updates for the H/Z boards to recognize them, these cpus are brand spanking new.

    If not an official BIOS update, you may be able to cut and insert the Xeon CPU Microcode into the BIOS of the boards and then flash to get them to work.  Not a guarantee but I've done it on older boards that didn't have Xeon support and worked fine.  YMMV though.


  • Netgate

    @BlueKobold:

    For sure they will have their own charm and would be perhaps also chosen by the pfSense store and ADI
    to assemble some new boards for us, pending on the circumstance that this boards a capable to support
    both new functions, AES-NI and Intel QuickAssist. Perhaps we will see some interesting new versions of
    the XG-15xx appliance in the pfSense shop. I would be glad about to see something new coming in this
    direction.

    This https://store.pfsense.org/XG-1540/  is the early version, getting ready for this: http://www.adiengineering.com/products/bcc-ve-board/, and, quite frankly, this: http://www.silicom-usa.com/PE310G4DE488BS3_Quad_10GbE_Broadwell_DE_SoNIC_Network_Adapter_93

    If you think we've not been involved in this since nearly day 1… you're mistaken.


Log in to reply