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Does Xeon Phi coprossesors works with i7 CPUs ?

It's advertised for use with Xeons, but for my app (WRF), i7-3930k performs better and is 3 times cheaper than high grade xeons. So I wonder if I could use Xeon Phi with an i7 cpu ?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There is not a lot of easily discoverable technical information available for the Phi yet. (The scant Intel pile, including the Software Developer/User guides). All the press suggests that the Phi is meant to run along-side newer generation Xeons (E5-2600 and 4600 lines specifically), but isn't telling us what the architectural reason for this is.

Intel's own doc further support this:

The Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor ... can be added to a supported Intel Xeon processor-based server.

Clearly, Intel wants these things to be used with their Enterprise CPUs. It may be possible to use them with their I-line, but that is not supported (or specifically excluded) by the documentation I can dredge up. They haven't been out long enough, and in enough quantities for people to get a feel for what they're actually capable of.

I'd stick with Xeons for now, even though they don't work as well for you.

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I have recently built a new machine that is home to a Xeon Phi SC3120A. It is based on the X99 chipset with a 5820K for system CPU. I can confirm that the hardware is installed and acknowledged by Windows 7 Pro. I have installed drivers from the Lenovo site which has categorised it as a network adapter functioning correctly.

I am not the end user for this device and have no applications to test it with. I will be handing it over this week to the client and have my fingers crossed everything will work smoothly.

I believe that the Phi is a seperate entity in the machine and that drivers are confirming that they can both send and receive data from it.

The only major issue I had was finding a compatible main board. Your mainboard must support "above 4G decoding". This feature is normally reserved for server and workstation boards. I'm using the Asus Rampage V Extreme which is comparatively cheaper than the aforementioned board types.

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