With the Intel Xeon E-2100 series launch, there was a notable feeling that something was missing. The newly minted branding for Intel’s “entry” server and workstation offering had a higher-than-expected number of GPU offerings. We noted this in our Intel Xeon E-2100 Series Launch SKUs and Value Analysis piece. We also asked on the launch pre-briefing call and were told that the launch was focused on the workstation, not server CPUs. There seems to be an easy explanation: Intel is waiting for the 8-core parts to launch the server line.
Why 8-Core LGA 1151 Intel Xeon E Server SKUs
As we started going through our analysis in Looking back at Intel Xeon E3-1200 V1-V6 to the New Xeon E-2100 (a good read for anyone interested in this market), we noticed that what we are seeing may be more akin to the Intel Xeon E3-1200 V3 to V5 transition where Intel has skipped a server CPU generation.
Over the past few days, we have been confirming our suspicions. There will be 8-core Intel Xeon E “entry” level SKUs launching in the same LGA1151 platforms that launched with the Xeon E-2100 series.
This makes sense. We know that on the consumer side, an 8-core “AMD Ryzen killer” part is coming. Intel needs to move its low-end desktop line to 8 cores to match what AMD is offering. We expect that generation of desktop parts to launch by Q4 of 2018 at the latest. Intel Xeon E3-1200, E3-1500 and now E-2100 launches have all trailed their desktop counterpart launches by several months. Still, without server chips in the segment, the entire line will get distorted.
We also expect by the end of Q4 that these supported 8-core models in the entry-level Xeon line are coming. Still, it follows the standard operating procedure for Intel so if and when we see an 8 core Coffee Lake refresh chip on the desktop, we will see an update to the Intel Xeon E line accordingly.
This has now been confirmed by three industry sources although Intel did not confirm an unannounced product. For the entry-level Xeon space, this will be the most exciting launch since the 2009 Lynnfield X3400 generation. We do not expect the 8-core chips to launch in Q3, and likely it will be sometime after they launch on the desktop. The batch of Dell, HP, ASUS and other Intel Xeon E-2100 workstations should be upgradable to the new 8-core Xeon LGA1151 CPUs.