When Intel launches a new family of processors, there is always a lot of attention paid to increases in core counts, gains in clocks speeds, and other CPU fundamentals. Those advances are, of course, extremely important to application owners and data center operators, but they are never the full story.
With every rollout of a new CPU platform there is always a rich backstory filled with new features that will make a big difference in application performance, data center efficiency, security, and more—although they may not grab the big headlines. That’s the case with the launch of the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families.
Along with the big performance of gains people have come to expect, the new server platform offers many innovations at the microarchitecture level that will drive notable advances in scientific and enterprise computing. Let’s look at a couple of these unsung heroes.
Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0
The new platform incorporates Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 (Intel® AVX2), which continues the evolution of the Intel AVX feature. Many high-performance computing (HPC) users are familiar with Intel AVX 1.0, which increased floating point packet processing from 128 bit to 256 bit. Now Intel AVX2 doubles integer packet processing, from 128 bit to 256 bit. That essentially doubles your integer processing ability on the same clock speeds.
This advance will drive new workload performance gains, particularly for the demanding HPC applications used in life sciences, physics, engineering, genomic research, data mining, and other types of compute-hungry scientific and industrial work. In our testing, we have seen up to a 1.9x increase in performance with Intel AVX2.,
Cache QoS Monitoring
In another important enhancement in the Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families, the platform adds a Cache QoS Monitoring feature that can potentially drive significant performance improvements in virtualized and cloud environments.
Cache QoS Monitoring provides virtualization telemetry data that enables system administrators to identify individual virtual machines (VMs) that appear to be using more than their fair share of resources. These so-called “noisy neighbors” can degrade the performance of other VMs running in the same system.
With Cache QoS Monitoring, system administrators get the information they need to better balance workloads and to ensure that all applications have access to an optimal amount of resources for the work they do. The telemetry data gathered at the cache level can be fed up the stack to Intel® Service Assurance Administrator (Intel® SAA) or other tools for monitoring multitenant environments.
And many other features…
These are just a couple of the many significant enhancements in the new Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families. While they many not grab the big headlines, features like these can have a big impact on the way work gets done in your data center.
For a closer look at the advances in the new platform, and to explore the associated metrics, visit our http://transformingbusiness.intel.com.
 Source as of August 2014 TR#3034 on Linpack*. Baseline configuration: Intel® Server Board S2600CP with two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2697 v2, Intel® HT Technology disabled, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology enabled, 8x8GB DDR3-1866, RHEL* 6.3, Intel® MKL 11.0.5, score: 528 GFlops. New configuration: Intel® Server System R2208WTTYS with two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2699 v3, Intel® HT Technology disabled, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology enabled, 8x16GB DDR4-2133, RHEL* 6.4, Intel® MKL 11.1.1, score: 1,012 GFlops.
 Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.