September 26, 2023

Intel’s 56-Core Rig Consumes Power Equivalent to a Tumble Dryer’s.

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Details have emerged about the recent world record achieved by Elmor, a professional overclocker, using Intel’s fastest single-socket processor, the Xeon W9-3495X, running on Maxon’s popular 3D renderer, Cinebench R23, a staple across many workstation PCs. It was cooled down to -92.8 degrees Celsius (-135 degrees Fahrenheit) and boosted to 5.5GHz – across all 56 cores – using liquid nitrogen; a significant increase as its base frequency is 1.7GHz (with the CPU consuming 350W) and a max turbo frequency of 4.8GHz (consuming 420W doing so).At its peak, the entire workstation drew almost 1.9kW (which is about what a tumble dryer or a hairdryer pulls in) and required a pair of 1.6kW PSUs to feed it; we neither know how much power the CPU drew on its own nor what the components were (which would have allowed us to make a reasonable calculation).It did hit more than 132,000 points, which was the world record. That exercise, though, as I highlighted in a separate article, is great for the headlines but it doesn’t say much about real life performance especially as it doesn’t provide a clear indication of what the performance of future CPU families will be.Raw clock speeds tend to be an expensive way – in terms of resources – to reach a certain performance level which explains why even Intel is now resorting to so-called Performance and Efficient cores in its mainstream processors, something that Arm introduced 12 years ago with the big.LITTLE paradigm. 

Extreme cooling is here to stay

As for cooling with liquid nitrogen, while there’s no way this will become mainstream amongst consumers, there’s a huge market for cooling systems and coolants in the data center where hyperscalers spend millions of dollars to move extra heat outside of servers and other infrastructure.Beyond the usual water cooling solutions popular with gamers and traditional overclockers, companies like Microsoft, Intel and Google are betting big on something called liquid immersion cooling where the server hardware is literally submerged in tanks of non-conductive fluid, in a similar way to how an oil heater works.Smartphone vendors have also found innovative ways to dissipate heat in an economical and efficient way (remember that they can’t afford fans). Solutions like vapor cooling systems cannot unfortunately be scaled out for systems that require more heat to be evacuated.Via Tomshardware and HardwareLuxx 

Intel’s record-winning 56-core rig sucks as much power as a tumble dryer

Intel’s new 56-core CPU sets a record, but draws a lot of electricity

Intel has set a new record with their 56-core CPU, the Xeon Platinum 9200, but it comes with a significant drawback. The processor requires a tremendous amount of power to operate, consuming up to 685 watts of electricity. This is equivalent to the power consumption of a tumble dryer or a high-end gaming PC.

What are the implications of such high power consumption?

The high power consumption of the Xeon Platinum 9200 has raised concerns about energy efficiency and environmental impact. The increased electricity usage can significantly contribute to higher energy costs, which can be a concern for large data centers and companies that rely on high-performance computing. Additionally, the higher power usage can put a considerable strain on the power grid and increase carbon emissions, which can have long-term environmental impacts.

Is there any way to reduce the power consumption of the CPU?

There are potential ways to reduce the power consumption of the Xeon Platinum 9200, such as optimizing the workload, decreasing the clock speed, or implementing more energy-efficient cooling solutions. However, these solutions may come at the cost of reduced performance or increased expense.

What other advancements has Intel made in the field of high-performance computing?

Intel has made significant advancements in the field of high-performance computing, including the development of new processor architectures such as the Xeon Phi and the Xeon Scalable processors. These advancements have enabled more powerful and efficient computing systems for a variety of applications, from data analysis to scientific simulations. Intel continues to invest in research and development to push the boundaries of high-performance computing and meet the evolving needs of data-driven industries.

In conclusion, Intel’s record-winning 56-core rig is an impressive achievement in the field of high-performance computing, but its high power consumption highlights the importance of energy efficiency and environmental impact in technology development. Organizations utilizing this technology should consider the potential costs and implications of its power usage and explore ways to optimize its performance while minimizing its environmental impact.
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