There are some CPU reviews we do that show off an amazing performance. The Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R is not one of them. Instead, this is a SKU that is part of the Big 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Refresh but could have been launched with the original SKUs. This is a low-power and low-cost SKU that has two primary purposes. First, it is designed to “light the platform” SKU. This enables servers that either simply need to exist to provide basic services or potentially to attach hard drives to the network in a server. Here CPU performance is not overly important. Second, they are designed so that large OEMs have inexpensive parts to put in servers and call them “complete systems” instead of barebones units. Still, in our review, we are going to take a look at what this processor offers.
Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R Overview
Key stats for the Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R: 8 cores / 8 threads with a 1.9GHz base clock and no turbo boost. There is 11MB of onboard cache. The CPU features an 85W TDP. These are $306 list price parts. Here is the ARK page with the feature set.
Here is the lscpu output for the Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R:
We took a fairly comprehensive overview of this segment in our piece: A Look at 7 Years of Advancement Leading to the Xeon Bronze 3204. Although this is being labeled a “refresh” part, and offers around 33% more compute than the Bronze 3204, it could just as easily have been a 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Launch part. Effectively, it adds the same Bronze 3104 to Bronze 3204 update to the 8-core Intel Xeon Bronze 3106. We get the updated feature set of the Bronze 3204 which includes the 200MHz clock speed bump as well as Intel DL Boost (VNNI.) We still have one and two-socket only support. We still do not get turbo boost nor Hyper-Threading.
This is the SKU equivalent to a relic of a past age pre-AMD EPYC 7002 series “Rome” competition. That is primarily because AMD is only tangentially competing in this space. We are going to discuss this competitive dynamic in our market analysis section on the final page.
Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R Test Configuration
For our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable CPU single-socket reviews, we are using the following configuration:
- System: HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10
- CPU: Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R
- RAM: 6x 32GB DDR4-2133 ECC RDIMMs
- Storage: 1x Intel DC S3700 400GB
- PCIe Networking: Mellanox ConnectX-3 HPE FlexLOM dual-port 40GbE
We covered the test system in more detail in our article A New STH 1P 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Test Platform including the process we went through to select the heatsinks and fans.
One will notice that we are using the high-performance heatsink here with the high-performance fans. That is to ensure that even though we are using a 1U server, we have enough cooling capacity for our testing. If you purchase a new ProLiant DL360 Gen10 you will likely get a standard heatsink which is more than ample to cool a low-power part like this. You can see the difference between the high-performance and standard HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 heatsinks here:
Next, we are going to take a look at our Intel Xeon Bronze 3206R benchmarks. We are then going to conclude with our market comparison and final words on the processors.
For future articles, can you please include benchmark results from other CPUs that ServeTheHome users might use? Perhaps one or 2 each from Xeon D/E, Atom 3xxx, and Epyc 3xxx.
At this price point, the Xeon 3206r is a good base for a home virtualization server so it would be nice to be able to directly compare to other similarly priced CPUs. Thanks!
John, thanks for this review. I have a file server that needs an overhaul, and I do not want to spend more on it than I have to. This CPU or the 4208 look good. Intel’s product stack is mind numbingly complex and talking to a sales rep about Intel always leaves me feeling like I’m being taken advantage of. It is nice to see some 3rd party coverage of the more pedestrian chips.
Should’ve compared it to a ryzen then. Sure, no registered ddr, but all the rest is still in place. 24 available pcie Lanes, base price of around $100, boost clock of twice the bronze CPU.. not to mention power envelope of 35W or less.
ProDigit – I think those are completely different markets which is why we are not comparing them.
It turns out, the Bronze series has a few specific niches which are what we are focused on.
If this CPU is advertised under “cost saving” category, I think it can’t compete with Ryzen CPUs if one really needs to shave BOM cost.