late, expensive, slow
Their only hope (which is something Intel has used a lot) is to use their muscle in the channel to "encourage" their partners to push their product
After countless delays, Intel's long awaited Sapphire Rapids Xeon Scalable processors are finally here, but who are they for? Intel's 4th-gen Xeons are launching into arguably the most competitive CPU market in at least the past two decades. AMD is no longer the only threat. Ampere has steadily gained share among cloud, …
By the way, I was right, of course.
HP's Synergy blade platform was rumoured to get EPYC options for Gen11, but now that's dead in the water, Intel-only, no doubt because Intel is struggling, they passed a large bag of cash (no doubt paid for through all the salary cuts) to HPE to keep people locked-in to Intel on their blade platform.
1) If I bought one of these chips in a cheap, used server would I still be able to unlock extra features?
2) If so would that price have changed?
3) If the chips are no-longer supported directly by Intel would they provide the license to unlock this publicly? (like HP have done with old SAS raid arrays)
4) If not, can I turn off the features and get a refund?
5) Can a feature once unlocked be re-locked if required to say move the license onto a newer CPU down the line or is it locked to that chip?
I could go on...
As an alternative...
Considering the noted statement that most of these features are useless unless using software specifically to take advantage of the features, could Intel not partner up with the software providers so that the software companies are the ones to pony-up, hold licences etc for these features since it otherwise sounds like those companies are after a free lunch on someone else's expenses (also known as moving a CAPEX to an OPEX for accounting fun)? Sounds like Intel are potentially missing a trick and getting closer to those utilising these features.
I think the knock on effect here will be that people simply won't buy the software that requires an additional license to be able to use it.
I wouldn't in general practice.
I think the minority of people that utilise the features that have large budgets probably won't care nor will they actually notice because it will be a checkbox during the server config that only the engineer speccing up the server will see.
It's just a way for Intel to steal a few extra hundred dollars from a project budget at the expense of the engineers.
As far as your average business is concerned, the budget they might set out for a server is, say, £30,000...which includes the labour to set it up as well as the hardware etc.
If Intel charges to unlock features, the budget will still be £30,000...it's just that the few hundred required for a license will come out of the "labour" and not be added on top. This erosion of engineer profits has been happening for a long time now.
The only way to stop this sort of practice is for engineers to stop recommending Intel products and avoid them everywhere possible.
It used to be the case that Intel, Dell, Microsoft et al would offer commission to engineers that recommended their products...somewhere along the line they decided they didn't want to look after the techies that looked after them and dropped commissions. Now it seems they want to go a step further and start taking money off engineers for recommending their kit.
I moved to AMD servers a while ago, and I will stick there for the foreseeable future. Until we get wider availability and better pricing of ARM based kit.
Before any permies step in and say "Won't affect my salary, they can't cut my pay!"...well, your annual payrise comes out of the annual tech budget. Your payrise will often be considered as part of the remaining budget after kit, purchases etc. You may not notice it immediately, but it will reduce your payrises over time and steal from you in the long run.
1) Yes, the question is if the original owner already paid will the licence transfer, or is the the beginning of Intel trying to make people play twice for hardware on the used market.
3) No bets on that, a very good point I hadn't though of yet.
4) Not bloody likely mate
5) No information on license transferability in what I read, I can see why the people that will actually but these parts would want it, and they should start beating up their account managers for that and license management tools if they want to see them. Otherwise they will see pennies on the dollar when they sell the hardware in a few years. I imagine this would be important for both cloud operators as well as their clients, both of which will want to maximize their use of the licenses they purchased.
Going with the assumption that Intel will try and wring as much money from their customers as possible, my guesses to the answers are:
2) probably higher
3) hahah nope.
5) nope, buy another one each time
Although, with 3, it's not impossible that in future someone will reverse-engineer the licensing making it possible to fully unlock chips. I'd assume Intel have done a pretty good job of locking it down, but who knows what reverse-engineering tools will be available in twenty years time?
Chiplets compromise latency to gain well proven advantages in ~everything else.
SR is half assed chiplets, w/ a slight latency advantage, & disadvantages in ~all else.
AMD 8 core chiplets are in fact 2x 4 core chiplets - making the simple elegance of AMD's architecture even more contrasting.
An interesting crossover point is the core limits of 2 socket genoa - 2 socket x96 = 192 core Genoa's vs ~4 socket x56 core SA. I very much doubt the intel option has better latency.
They say that in this market, folks dont buy chips, they buy roadmaps, & Intel could hardly have done worse in this regard for many years.
As the author says - AMD has now become the default choice in servers. As AMD inevitably resolves its supply shortages, it will be an interesting market.
Various genome projects in UK HEI's will be making use of them, because they're already bound to the ecosystem, and do not have the time to waste retooling to Zen, no matter the performance gains. Having had this discussion with one of the heads of technical for one said institution last year, they have no plan this decade to move away from Intel.
Looks like Intel has embraced CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computers). While I'm sure it keeps the VLSI engineers employed to design all these custom ASICs, I'd like to remind Intel that the last company to embrace CISC was Digital Equipment Company of Maynard Massachusetts. It did not end well for them! Beware, Intel! Your new server chips might be renamed "Itanium" or better yet, "Itanic".
The same DEC that had it’s
- Alpha Programme shut down by Compaq/HP favouring Intel JV with Itanium
- Intel getting StrongARM/XScale and flogging it for a pittance to Marvell completely missing the mobile smartphone revolution as Atom for mobile was power hungry shite.
… both of those catastrophic strategy error turned out well and Samsung, NVidia, Qualcomm, Apple, TSMC were huge benefactors.
It'll probably be able to run Crysis with software rendering (see the various demos of this on Threadripper).
As for Windows 12, its physical address space limits may be a little snug and you'll need a dual-socket system if you're going to have any cores left over for doing actual work ;)
Looks like we're heading for loot crates on servers soon.
Can't wait for my performance as a techie to measured by my battle pass progress.
Level 19 Server - 15680XP
Utilise 40% CPU for at least 30 minutes for 5 days - 3000XP
Achieve a mild overclock over 2% and keep it stable for an hour - 5000XP
Convince your boss to add more RAM - 10000XP
Level 20: Unlocks 16MB of cache.
Level 21: Custom skin for your CPU for the monitoring dashboard (random choice of 5).
Level 22: 10x Cryptographic acceleration tokens.
Level 23: Silver Tier Loot Box x2 (random chance of any mid tier items).
Level 24: 1x Loot Box key.
Are there any other industries where you buy a whole item but you have to pay extra to use bits of it.
Welcome to your brand new fridge/freezer. If you would like the temperature to go below 2 degrees C please pay £350 to unlock our freeze+ package
Contents 350ml orange juice. If you would like to drink more than the first 250ml please pay 75p to unlock the full volume
Though what BMW are doing with their vehicles sounds a bit like this. Then again, most modern cars are essentially computers on wheels so maybe it's not different.
Quote: "... Intel's long awaited Sapphire Rapids Xeon Scalable processors..."
But it's curious that neither Intel nor the writer of the El Reg piece.....neither mention which fab is creating these devices.
Does the silicon come from an Intel fab........or is TSMC helping out?
I think we should be told!