Intel Xeon D-1500 full specs for new 8/12/16 core models now available at Supermicro, good fit for home labs?

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 17 2016 (updated on Feb 22 2016) in
  • Virtualization
  • ESXi
  • Windows
  • Productivity
  • Efficiency
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • CPU
  • Hats off to Patrick Kennedy, for not only having the very latest gear straight from Intel, and for getting such comprehensive benchmarks out so quickly, with many more such tests to come. As always, great information over at his STH (ServeTheHome):

    • Intel Xeon D 12 and 16 core parts launched – first benchmarks!

      First Intel Xeon D-1587 Benchmarks
      We will be publishing our first piece shortly with full benchmarks, system reviews and other content we have had queued for this launch. The Intel Xeon D-1587 is our new favorite low power server chip, by a large margin. For those ready to salivate, here is a test system we have in the Sunnyvale, California data center. With a Supermicro X10SDV-7TP8F onboard, this platform is an absolute low power monster.
      Feb 16 2016 by Patrick Kennedy at STH

    Back here at TinkerTry, tinkering with the first-in-world Xeon D-1541 continues, and I'm doing my first of 5 Xeon D demonstration presentations tonight actually.


    Let's have a quick look at the pertinent new models together, as far as what I see already documented at Supermicro. I'm focused on the mini-tower designs, that form factor most suited to home lab use, a quieter design with much more room for drives. So far, what's currently shipping is Supermicro's package of their first and only SuperServer mini-tower featuring the Xeon D-1540 chipset, which uses the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard. It probably should have been called X10SDV-8C+-TLN4, read onward to see why. I've been using this motherboard 24x7 for 7 months now, tucked by Supermicro inside their CSE-721TQ-250B chassis and its included 250 watt power supply. That supply only gets up to about 50% load, even under the worst abuse I can disk out, even when used with an added GPU in my SuperServer Workstation.

    Home Lab Now

    Shipments of this little beast began in June, 2015:

    • Intel Xeon D-1540
      8 cores, 16 threads, 12 MB of cache, 2.0/2.6 GHz, 45W
      X10SDV-TLN4F Mini-ITX motherboard with CPU fan

    The new slight speed boost (<5%) replacement model is estimated to begin shipping this month:

    • Intel Xeon D-1541
      8 cores, 16 threads, 12 MB of cache, 2.1/2.7 GHz, 45W
      X10SDV-TLN4F Mini-ITX motherboard with CPU fan

    For much more about the Xeon D-1541 testing underway at TinkerTry:

    New Supermicro SKUs now detailed

    That's the simple part. Now, what about if you want a little mini-tower beast that's even beastlier? At this moment, all I see on Supermicro's Xeon D site are the following 12 and 16 core motherboards:

    • Intel Xeon D-1557
      12 cores, 24 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.5 GHz/?.? GHz, 45W
      X10SDV-12C-TLN4F Mini-ITX motherboard without CPU fan, for 1U

    • Intel Xeon D-1587 - 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.7 GHz/?.? GHz, 65W
      X10SDV-16C-TLN4F Mini-ITX motherboard without CPU fan, for 1U

    • Intel Xeon D-1587 - 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.7 GHz/?.? GHz, 65W
      X10SDV-7TP8F Flex ATX motherboard with 2 PCI, without CPU fan, for 1U w/ SFPs

    • Intel Xeon D-1587 - 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 65W
      X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F motherboard with CPU fan

    Home Lab Future

    So there you have it, only that last one listed doesn't have those 1U SC504-203B / SC505-203B chassis notes in there:

    To support the new generation Intel® Xeon® processor-based motherboards, Revision N chassis is recommended. Please talk to your sales representative for details.

    What does this all mean for the home server / home virtualization enthusiast? Well, assuming the website info is correct and complete, there does seem to be hope that the X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F will be compatible with the same mini-tower CSE-721TQ-250B that the Xeon D-1540 launched with. Do I say that just because the X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F doesn't specify 1U chassis? Nope, I also say that because it comes with a heat sink that has a CPU fan already attached, whereas the 1U designs expect a flow-thru design. Stay tuned for more FLIR One thermal video tinkering I'm doing with CPU fans and M.2 NVMe.

    It could also be interesting to see if that new two-PCI slot Flex ATX version could be packaged into a wider mini-tower Supermicro chassis someday, but I wouldn't hold my breath, given that's not a common mini-tower chassis size, there's no CPU fan on that motherboard.

    I personally prefer RJ45 10 cabling for my small home lab 10GbE anyway. Without a pricey 10GbE switch, at least I can simply direct attach two together, using just CAT6a or CAT7 cabling, and get those rip-roaring speeds even without jumbo frames, see Copying about 50GB from a Samsung 950 PRO NVMe SSD back to itself is slower than copying to another 950 PRO over 10GbE.


    I'm not entirely sure whether most folks would want to lose some GHz to be able to juggle a even more VMs on their own threads, especially if it comes at high price premium, along with the cost of up to 20 extra watts. That said, Patrick's initial benchmark results do look quite favorable, so we'll have to wait and see how this all shakes out.

    Also interesting that compatibility with 2400MHz ECC DDR4 has arrived across all of these wave-two Xeon Ds from 8 to 16 cores. Oddly, 2400 isn't listed on any of the Supermicro motherboard spec pages, but it is buried in the last page fine print on this Intel Product Brief - Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1500 Product Family:

    (2x8GB DDR4-2400 RDIMM ECC), 2

    This bump from 2133 to 2400 would be the fastest Xeon memory. Yes, not just Xeon D-1500, but the entire Xeon family! I don't currently have such RAM to test whether the pre-release BIOS 1.0c in my Xeon D-1541 loaner would recognize it at full speed. I'm working on that, and hope to update the orders page as soon as possible.

    Keep in mind that we don't yet know what these various motherboards will cost yet. None of these new 12 and 16 core models are even on the Intel ARK quite yet:

    Intel ARK (Xeon D-1500 CPU specs)

    and here's the comparison page, Xeon D-1540 versus Xeon D-1541:

    See also the photo gallery below, click one, then right/left arrow your way through. We'll have to wait and see to be sure, and if I learn more details, I'll let you know, of course.

    Intel Xeon D-1557 - X10SDV-12C-TLN4F --- 12 cores, 24 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.5 GHz/?.?? GHz, 45W.
    Intel Xeon D-1587 - X10SDV-16C-TLN4F --- 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.7 GHz/?.?? GHz, 65W.
    Intel Xeon D-1587 - X10SDV-7TP8F -------- 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.7 GHz/?.?? GHz, 65W.
    Intel Xeon D-1587 - X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F - 16 cores, 32 threads, 24 MB of cache, 1.7 GHz/?.?? GHz, 65W.

    Feb 18 2016 Update

    Later on, in the same article, Patrick goes on to say, "What you are about to see is nothing short of a complete low-end SoC revolution...The Intel Xeon D-1587 performs well when one can load all cores, and assuming one does not need more than 128GB of RAM. The Xeon D-1587 is going to be priced high because Intel is going to want to protect the Xeon E5 line."

    Feb 19 2016 Update

    See also at TinkerTry

    See also Source

    Disclosure, LLC is an independent site, has no sponsored posts, and all ads are run through 3rd party BuySellAds. All equipment and software is purchased for long-term productive use, and any rare exceptions are noted.

    TinkerTry's relationship with Wiredzone is similar to the Amazon Associates program, where a very modest commission is earned from each referral sale from TinkerTry's SuperServer order page. I chose this trusted authorized reseller for its low cost and customer service, and a mutual desire to help folks worldwide, including a new way to reduce EU shipping costs. Why? Such commissions help reduce TinkerTry's reliance on advertisers, while building a community around the Xeon D-1500 chipset that strikes a great balance between efficiency and capability.

    I personally traveled to Wiredzone near Miami FL to see the assembly room first-hand, and to Supermicro HQ in San Jose CA to share ideas and give direct product feedback.

    I'm a full time IT Pro for the past 23 years. I've worked with IBM, HP, Dell, and Lenovo servers for hands-on implementation work across the US. Working from home lately, I'm quite enjoying finally owning a lower-cost Supermicro solution that I can recommend to IT Pro colleagues, knowing it will "just work." That's right, no tinkering required.