Intel Xeon E-2136 Power Consumption
We wanted to post a few figures from our testing that show the real selling point of the chips, low power.
Idle is around 33W and maximum power consumption hits just under 102W in our test bed. The solid part about the Intel Xeon E-2136 is that it is able to power machines at under 1A in 110V or 120V racks. For the low-cost colocation world, this is a great option.
Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.6C and 72% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance.
Intel Xeon E-2136 Market Positioning
Thes chips are not released in a vacuum instead, they have competition on both the Intel and AMD sides. When you purchase a server and select a CPU, it is important to see the value of a platform versus its competitors.
Intel Xeon E-2136 v. Intel Alternatives
At under $285, the Intel Xeon E-2136 really has a single relevant competitor, the Intel Xeon E-2146G. To us, the answer is simple. Get the Intel Xeon E-2146G unless that $27 is unbearably important to you. With systems ranging from the $600 to $2000, that $27 is likely less than 5%. One gets slightly better performance from higher clocks. One also gets an iGPU. Not every server will need the iGPU, that is for sure. On the other hand, for less than 5% difference in system cost, one can deploy the iGPU as a “just in case” feature while enjoying slightly higher clock speeds as well. To us, the only reason to get an Intel Xeon E-2136 over an Intel Xeon E-2146G is for extreme cost savings. $27 on $284 may seem like a large premium, but taken in the context of a full server, it is minor. In the dedicated hosting market, it becomes a question of whether you can get another $1-2 per month for a higher spec machine with an additional capability.
The Intel Xeon D-2100 series still has some major advantages. The Intel Xeon D-2100 series can utilize higher capacity RDIMMs, has more memory bandwidth, and has 10GbE NICs built-in. It is hard to discount that value. The same comparison would likely apply to the Intel Xeon Scalable family where one gets more clock speed with the Intel Xeon E-2136 but misses on the platform benefits.
Compared to the Intel Atom C3000 series, the Intel Xeon E-2136 does not have all of the same platform features but is much faster in single-threaded workloads. The larger and more robust compute cores (as seen in our GROMACS test for example), and higher frequencies make this an option for low-cost low power 1U servers.
Let us be clear, this is a significant advancement in the segment. Six cores are a major upgrade over 6-7 generations of Intel Xeon CPUs in this segment which all were four cores. You can read STH’s Looking back at Intel Xeon E3-1200 V1-V6 to the New Xeon E-2100 for the history from 2009/2011 to 2018 in the segment. Those deploying the Intel Xeon E-2136 are going to enjoy a massive performance boost over the Intel Xeon E3-1230 V6 and earlier generations.
Intel Xeon E-2136 v. AMD EPYC
At the time of this writing, AMD EPYC does not have a real competitor to the Intel Xeon E-2136 for servers. One can use an AMD Ryzen but until we see platforms like the Tyan Tomcat EX S8015 hit the market, and from multiple vendors, AMD’s excellent compute performance with Ryzen 2 is lost by not having platforms with features like IPMI. If someone wanted to use a consumer platform without management, then Ryzen is an option, but the market for that is very small. A year and a half into the Ryzen adventure, the ecosystem is still not picking up the slack.
Since the Intel Xeon E-2136 does not have an iGPU the AMD EPYC 3001 series becomes somewhat of a competitor. We think you would choose the AMD EPYC 3001 series for the lower power and better platform features while you would choose the Intel Xeon E-2136 for availability at the time of this publication.
For many use cases, the Intel Xeon E-2136 is all that you will need. It provides high clock speeds and lots of performance that puts the entire Intel Xeon E3-1200 V6 line to shame. If you are a dedicated web host, using the Intel Xeon E-2136 is going to be a significant differentiation point over previous deployments by your competitors.
With all that is good with the Intel Xeon E-2136, the allure of the Intel Xeon E-2146G’s higher clock speeds and iGPU should be enough to lean that direction unless you cannot justify the $27 upgrade on those grounds. For most of our readers, we would steer them up one SKU in the Intel stack.