Intel has once again decided to change the numbering scheme for its new Xeon-based processors. If you're familiar with Intel's Core i3, i5, i7 processor lines, you'll recognize that the company uses similar numbering for the Xeon server processors.Figure A is an example of Xeon processor numbering. Below the image, I explain the various elements in the numbering scheme. Figure A
- Intel Xeon Processor E3. Single processor systems.
- Intel Xeon Processor E5. A placeholder for an upcoming product line.
- Intel Xeon Processor E7. Multi-processor systems.
- 03. 1733 MHz frequency/2400 MHz bus.
- 07. 1867 MHz frequency/2400 MHz bus.
- 20. 2000 MHz frequency/2900 MHz bus.
- 30. 2133 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
- 37. 2667 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
- 50. 2000 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
- 60. 2267 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
- 67. 2133 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
- 70. 2400 MHz frequency/3200 MHz bus.
I really miss the good old days when the processor's numbering scheme included the speed as a part of the model number. However, when the megahertz and the gigahertz began to take on less meaning, this scheme started to make less sense, as some processors with lower clock speeds handily outperformed their seemingly faster brethren.
I wish Intel would consider including the core count somewhere in the new numbering scheme, especially as processor core counts continue to increase. Further, given that there are only a limited number of speeds at which processors actually operate, it seems like the product SKU could have been a bit more meaningful.
That said, as for Intel's new scheme, if they're consistent with all of the fields, there's hope yet. It's not perfect, but it does help, although I suspect that most admins will continue to actually research processor specs before making significant purchases.
Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at email@example.com.