Intel Xeon D-1700/D-2700 (Ice Lake D), a promising choice for efficient home labs? (rumor)
Good news, these CPUs were launched on Feb 24 2022, details at TinkerTry here that you should read after this article, where the turned out to be true. Article as it originally appeared below.
Disclaimer - This article contains information that may not be complete or entirely accurate, but will be updated if any new, validated information comes in. Attempts to reach Intel for clarification were unsuccessful, which is normal for an un-announced product rumor. The information in this article was found from numerous public sources with no solid information on planned ship dates or pricing. Keep in mind that specs and the name of the finalized CPU are subject to change.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Intel did not have any input into the content of this article, nor did the VMUG organization or anybody else.
Table of Contents
- Xeon D-1700 or Xeon D-2700 for me?
- See also at TinkerTry
- See also
VMware's William Lam did an amazing job pulling together a 2022 list of home lab candidates for running VMware vSphere:
- Potentially interesting VMware Homelab Kits for 2022
Feb 08 2022 by William Lam
Those solutions will probably meet the needs of many virtualization enthusiasts, especially those not needing full VMware support, and/or fine with the possibility of having to change network drivers or other VIBs to get VMware to install or run smoothly.
For me personally, I have a different approach. Not better, not worse, just different, it really depends upon what your needs are. I run my home lab more like a home datacenter with a UPS to automatically and gracefully handle power outages, along with automated daily backups of my VCSA and important VMs configured from Day 0. Even better is a server that many other thousands can buy too, and get them running vSphere with a minimum of fuss. Instead of a special snowflake that only a few folks operate, a mass market commodity server that a large community of users also own and operate using the same code as you, greatly reducing risk for everybody.
After decades of running some sort of home lab in my home's basement, I know that I currently require at a minimum:
- out of band management, for light-out management without a local keyboard and mouse (aka, IPMI, iKVM, similar to IBM AMM, Dell iDRAC or HPE iLO)
- 10G networking (even most NASs now offer it)
- at least 1 3.5" drive bay for backups or other archival storage purposes
- no GPU, or at least one that doesn't burn watts when not used
I don't want a GPU as it's something I don't use, and most VMware enthusiasts don't need or use one either. They also have a tendency to burn watts even at idle, heating up whatever room they're in even more. My eyes are always on the watt burn of products I've reviewed at TinkerTry. My Connecticut power company's recent rate hikes of over 20% in already-expensive New England make me even more into efficient CPUs that are a lot more like my trusty Xeon D-1541 8 core and Xeon D-1567 12 core systems that I've been running 24x7 for 5 and 6 years in my home lab. These two workhorses are still running great: one for vSphere 7.0U3c, the other running Windows 11 with a CPU, cranking our 4K video content for the TinkerTry YouTube Channel.
That said, next generation systems feature PCIe 4.0 bus speeds for even faster NVMe storage would be much appreciated, allowing even faster VM boot times and clones. I'd also like the ability to go beyond 128GB of RAM, and so would many VMware NSX users. If similar watt usage levels and full VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide are available in this new CPU, that'd be a huge win for me personally. I'm curious what you think, please leave your comments below!
I also consider the Xeon D-1500's 7 year life cycle a win, a great attribute in multi-node cluster home labs that may need to procure an extra or replacement node as budget allows. You can still get them today, even 6 years later, although the Bundles are no longer for sale for the reasons outlined in the image at right.
I'm hoping for a 7 year lifecycle for the Xeon D-1700/D-2700 too as I'm all for keeping systems supported throughout their service life. Extra great to keep them out of landfills longer: reducing waste, and reducing their impact on the environment.
On Feb 3rd, I reached out to Intel PR and successfully confirmed contact via a reply on Feb 7th. Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts to reach the same contact about the Xeon D-1700/D-2700, I received no reply. That is why the title of this article includes "rumor," as I've been unable to establish that the information contained here is credible. Please consider this when reading further, all the information here is subject to change once the official Xeon D-1500 / Xeon D-2100 successors are announced and embargos lifted. I haven't signed any recent embargo with Intel, nor do I have any information beyond these admittedly somewhat thin, unconfirmed specifications below.
I don't usually publish anything based solely on rumors, but you'll see there are multiple sources listed below. But with TinkerTry readers waiting since 2015 for a worthy successor to the popular
Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1500 Product Family (and essentially identical Xeon D-1600), I figure my readers might be interested in whatever little information I have, especially since any progress on the release of these new Ice-Lake D processors have been so scant in the years since Patrick Kennedy published his piece at STH in June of 2019, entitled Embedded Roadmap Intel Ice Lake-D Snow Ridge-NS and Tanner Ridge:
As expected, Ice Lake-D will have PCIe Gen4 and 10nm fab process.
What we are hearing is that there may be a low core count and a high core count version of Ice Lake-D that may have different memory configurations.
From what I've recently heard, it appears Patrick may be spot-on as usual, and the product name may be something like:
- Xeon D-1700 LCC (Low Core Count)
- Xeon D-2700 HCC (High Core Count)
This would seem to indicate:
- the successor to 2015's Xeon D-1500 & 2019's Xeon D-1600 will be the Xeon D-1700 LCC
- the successor to 2018's Xeon D-2100 will be the Xeon D-2700 HCC
Given the current Xeon D CPUs are all based on 14nm fab, this is good news indeed that the upcoming CPUs will likely be 10nm, a likely harbinger of progress on the CPU processing power per watt of energy used front.
I'm not really digging the Xeon E product line, tends to lack 10G networking. Same goes for the Xeon W product line, for the same reasons. Also, consumer-focused CPUs, such as today's Core i9 and Ryzen processors don't tend to make it onto VMware's Hardware Compatibility list, thus, are unsupported for use with VMware's ESXi hypervisor. If a support issue comes up with a vSphere release, I'd have no recourse, and no ability to open a Service Request with VMware. Not being able to open a ticket on my vSphere Essentials license on behalf of my readers isn't an acceptable risk I'm willing to take.
Of most interest to me and well over a thousand Bundle owners enjoying their quiet Supermicro Superserver SYS-5028D-TN4T mini tower that runs VMware so well, right through today's VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3c. Based on the TDP figures I detail below, these same mini-tower chassis, or whatever company makes something similar down the road, should have all the cooling and power supply needed for the Xeon D-1700 LCC, even under heavy load, even if left running 24x7.
At least that's my hope, I'm trying to get my hands on early production units as time and budget allow, which is admittedly tougher than ever these days. I do have one promising lead from a company that's not Supermicro, and it's looking to be very quiet. Stay tuned!
See also Supermicro X12 line, focused on 1U solutions with noisier fans, but who knows, maybe they'll revisit the mini-tower format again one day.
I'm a bit surprised by the low 1.6GHz for both the LCC and HCC, but let's see what happens when the whole product line is announced. It's also a bummer that datacenter Xeons like these are very unlikely to feature Thunderbolt, but since I have 10G built-in already, my need for Thunderbolt devices such as pricey 10G to Thunderbolt adapters is lessened.
Xeon D-1700 or Xeon D-2700 for me?
I don't yet have any recent information or specs for the Xeon D-1700 LCC version, but from what I have read, it's the Xeon D family member of the most interest to me personally. The TDP of 65W to 118W for the HCC is too much for the typical mini-tower. Note, the Xeon D-1700 is looking to be less power hungry than any similar, upcoming AMD EPYC offerings too. Only time and hands-on testing (FLIR thermal camera views of heat soak torture tests, watt burn and noise, etc.) will tell for sure. I'm hopeful supply holds up and Intel and AMD are able to ship new single-socket efficient datacenter CPUs in large volumes this year, at price points that make sense. Fingers crossed!
On February 1, 2022 at 7:11 AM, an anonymous TinkerTry reader contacted me with links to these two Jan 31 2022 tweets by long time follower of ICX-D HCC/LCC and leaker @momomo_us:
12:39 PM · Jan 31, 2022·Twitter Web App
Intel Xeon D-2700 Series Processor
TDP 65W to 118 W
12:43 PM · Jan 31, 2022·Twitter Web App
A week later spotted this one:
Xeon D-2700 (Ice Lake-D HCC) / Xeon D-1700 (Ice Lake-D LCC)
8:21 AM · Feb 6, 2022·Twitter Web App
The HCC CPU at left has the following lettering:
INTEL CONFIDENTIAL NA QY54 1.60GHZ L119F559 (e4) M1362JR500243
The LCC CPU at right has the following lettering:
INTEL CONFIDENTIAL NA QXCV 1.60GHZ L047G699 (e4) M0MR733900884
Here's the URL referenced in the 2nd tweet above:
- Intel® Xeon® D-2700 Series Processor (Ice-Lake-D HCC)
- AI/Deep Learning Accelerate Data Analytics with Intel® AVX-512 and VNNI
- 8x 10G KR, 4x USB2.0/3.2 Gen 2×1, 2x SATAIII, 2x UART
- TDP 65W to 118 W Consumption
- Selected SKU support -40 to 85 °C Wide Temperature
PCOM-B800GT, a COM-HPC Server Type E module(200mm x 160mm) which based on Intel® Xeon® Ice-Lake-D HCC D-2700 series processors. In this architecture, it could provide up to 20 cores processors within the TDP from 65w to 118w. A selected SKU support wide-temperature range. PCOM-B800GT features eight 10GbE KR LAN interfaces,32 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes,TPM 2.0 and eight DDR4 Long-DIMM up to 1024GB in total. Portwell can provide both PCOM-B800GT module and carrier board design verification, as needed.
There is also the Portwell Partner website that is supposed to be behind the marketplace.intel.com login, but an easy Google Search for PCOM-B800GT locates the Google web cache of it, with essentially the same details as what's published on Portwell's public website featured in the above tweets.
Feb 15 2022 Update
Using VMUG Advantage EVALExperience, a sometimes-advertiser at TinkerTry via BuySellAds, continues to be a boon for VMware virtualization enthusiasts who need access to download the bits and license keys needed to keep their home lab going year after year, without having to worry about 60 day time-bombs ever again. Details at TinkerTry here and here.
Feb 24 2022 Update
With the Alder Lake GT1 arrival, running ESXi on the Intel NUC 12 Extreme has challenges. Bypassing PSODs with a hack and having no promise of 10G support baked in (at lower watts than PCIe add on card) would give me pause on relying on this for smoothly running ESXi 7 now, or ESXi 8 later. A bit too much risk for my taste, but that's just me. I think it's great William is able to help motivate vendors toward more broadly supporting ESXi through his remarkable work and persistence.
- ESXi on Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon)
Feb 24 2022 by William Lam
if you attempt to boot ESXi on an Alder Lake CPU, it will actually PSOD (Purple Screen of Death)
Before folks get too excited, I do have some slightly bad news to share if you are considering ESXi with the 10GbE option. The inbox Marvell driver for ESXi does not currently support this particular consumer 10GbE network adapter.
See also at TinkerTry
- No future for booting ESXi from USB in VMware home labs, using max endurance microSD for ESXi 7.0U3 now, SATA/SATADOM or M.2 later
Oct 26 2021
- Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T mini-tower/Wiredzone Bundles are on the VCG for ESXi 7.0 Update 3
Oct 09 2021
- Intel has started sampling next-gen Intel Xeon D processors for space and power-constrained environments, promising for home labs?
Apr 07 2021
- New 1U Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E300-9D 4 and 8 core Xeon D-2100 models bring back the E300-8D's M.2 slot and network ports
Oct 31 2018
Given the higher return rates for 1U Xeon D-1500 systems to Wiredzone these past 3 years, I still have no regrets to focusing my attention on the much more versatile mini-tower form factor Bundles, with far greater family acceptance factor and bang-for-your-buck than all similarly priced 1U variants. That's all detailed at TinkerTry.com/compare. That said, of course I've been keeping my eye out for appealing alternatives all along, seen here for example.
Realistically, I'll likely need to wait for Intel's long-awaited 10nm production finally gets going before I can possibly justify investing in new gear to keep, not just test.
- Intel Xeon D-1500 crams incredible virtualization lab specs into tiny mITX size, codename Broadwell-DE
Mar 09 2015
- Intel Xeon D-2123IT 4 Core 8 Thread Embedded CPU Review
Feb 14 2021 by John Lee at STH
The Intel Xeon D-2123IT is in the market alongside the rest of the Intel Xeon D-2100 family (until Ice Lake-D arrives). Here is what the launch family looks like from our Intel Xeon D-2100 Series Initial SKU List and Value Analysis
- Ice Lake-D Gets a Massive Memory and Core Count Upgrade
Intel 10nm comes to the microserver world
Apr 08 2021 by Aaron Klotz at Tom's Hardware
According to a tweet by leaker @momomo_us, Intel is refreshing its Xeon D lineup with the Ice Lake architecture. These parts are known as Ice Lake-D and will be replacing older Xeon D architectures with several major upgrades.
Xeon D is a branch of Xeon processors aimed towards the 'microserver' market, these chips are optimized for ultra-low power consumption while maintaining decent performance.
"Intel Xeon D-1700/D-2700 (Ice Lake D), a promising choice for efficient home labs? (leak/rumor)"https://t.co/ElNkN2wtTU— Paul Braren | TinkerTry.com 🖥️🔌☀️🍃🔋🚗 (@paulbraren) February 13, 2022
Finally a worthy successor to the Xeon D-1500 & Xeon D-2100? pic.twitter.com/U1hgAXwVhZ
Do these CPUs look promising for your VMware vSphere home lab use case?— Paul Braren | TinkerTry.com 🖥️🔌☀️🍃🔋🚗 (@paulbraren) February 13, 2022
(PCIe 4.0 / 10G networking / >128GB RAM)