Intel Xeon E-2144G Benchmarks and Review

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Intel Xeon E-2144G 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 32W and maximum power consumption hits just under 102W in our test bed. Although the increase in TDP does not translate directly to increased power consumption, the Intel Xeon E-2144G we can recommend for extremely power constrained environments like 1A in 110V or 120V rack deployments. For the low-cost colocation world, this is a viable option.

Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.7C and 72% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance. We double-checked on our 120V racks and were able to get power consumption over that common 1A threshold.

Intel Xeon E-2144G 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-2144G v. Intel Alternatives

Comparing generation on generation, the Intel Xeon E-2144G is a major improvement over the Intel Xeon E3-1280 V6 and E3-1285 V6. The chips use less power and bring more performance to a lower price point.

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-2144G but misses on the platform benefits. There is a huge delta in what you can do from a platform perspective on these other platforms.

Compared to the Intel Atom C3000 series, the Intel Xeon E-2144G 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.

The decision tree branch that will lead you to the Intel Xeon E-2144G over Atom and Intel Xeon D siblings is the Intel iGPU. The iGPU is not the focus of our CPU benchmark suite, but it includes transcoding hardware support that may be of interest to some deployments with supporting software. One can use BMC graphics for day-to-day management and offload transcoding to dedicated hardware logic not present in mainstream Intel Xeon CPUs outside of the Xeon E-2100 line. If your application can utilize video features or even transcoding offload for Quick Sync video, then the Intel Xeon E-2144G is the option to choose.

Intel Xeon E 2100 Launch SKU Price Comparison
Intel Xeon E 2100 Launch SKU Price Comparison

One other important comparison needs to be made, within the same generation.

Intel Xeon E 2100 Launch SKUs Adj T B Price
Intel Xeon E 2100 Launch SKUs Adj T B Price

Our pick in this lineup is the Intel Xeon E-2146G. The Intel Xeon E-2146G has all of the same features as the Xeon E-2144G except it has two additional cores. That 50% core count increase comes with only a ~$40 premium or about 15% on just the CPU. In the context of a server, that $40 is minuscule.

Given the enormous value that the Intel Xeon E-2146G represents compared to the Xeon E-2144G, we have a very hard time recommending the Intel Xeon E-2144G to our readers. Our advice, if you are reading this review, make the smart decision and get the Intel Xeon E-2146G instead. You will be more competitive in the dedicated hosting landscape or just simply have more cores available for other servers.

The only reason we may see purchasing the Intel Xeon E-2144G over the Intel Xeon E-2146G is if you are so power constrained that you simply cannot afford a handful of additional watts in your deployment. Otherwise, you can essentially get the CPU performance in two Intel Xeon E-2146G servers as you can in three Intel Xeon E-2144G servers, making the TCO calculation not even close.

Intel Xeon E-2144G v. AMD EPYC

At the time of this writing, AMD EPYC does not have a real competitor to the Intel Xeon E-2144G 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. Almost two years into the Ryzen adventure, the ecosystem is still not picking up the slack.

Final Words

If you read our Looking back at Intel Xeon E3-1200 V1-V6 to the New Xeon E-2100 article, you will see that we would have taken the performance gains that the Intel Xeon E-2144G heralded over the Intel Xeon E3-1245 V6 generation for the past ten years. Intel is delivering incremental quad-core performance which is excellent.

At the same time, it is very hard to recommend the Intel Xeon E-2144G when the Intel Xeon E-2146G is $40 more for 50% more cores at similar clock speeds. There is a power consumption blip for the six core parts, but from a system perspective, the consolidation benefits are easy to see. Further, if you have even a lower-end $1000 server the $40 upgrade is only 4% of the server price. There are few areas where we can tell our readers an opportunity exists for 4% additional cost to get 50% additional performance. This is one of those times. The Intel Xeon E-2144G is the CPU we would have been happy with at this price two years ago, but now, get the six core parts.

1 COMMENT

  1. Yes, I’d love to use AMD Ryzen for some of our solutions – but as you say the lack of OOB management options makes it a difficult choice. Worried that the Tyan Tomcat EX S8015 is never going to make it to market – how long ago was that announced?! Especially when Intel has so many ongoing security issues with the parallelism of the out of order instructions etc. Moving up to Epyc doesn’t make sense for our SME marketplace.

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