We got a clarification confirmed from multiple sources today at Computex 2019. When we covered the Intel Xeon E-2200 Refresh 8-Core SKUs Available yesterday, it was assumed that this was a big launch. It turns out, it was less than expected. There is a big catch. The launch we covered was specifically for the workstation market, not the server market. Instead, Intel is going to re-launch the SKUs for servers at a later date.
Intel’s New Trend of Launching the Same Entry Xeons Twice
In 2018, we saw what may have been the absolute strangest launch patterns from Intel we have ever seen.
In mid-July 2018, we had the Intel Xeon E-2100 Launch on STH. The company released new SKUs including, for the first time in the segment 6 core / 12 thread and 6 core / 6 thread parts. That was a massive 50% generational core count bump which led us to do a retrospective on the segment spanning seven generations in Looking back at Intel Xeon E3-1200 V1-V6 to the New Xeon E-2100.
Our readers soon noticed that although we started reviewing platforms, the chips themselves had not made it to the server market and into the channel. Traditionally, Intel launched the Intel Xeon E3-1200 series, and save mobile and E3-1500 parts, the chips had a lunch date.
Four months later in mid-November 2018, we had the Intel Xeon E-2100 Server Re-Launch. This was, quite bizarre to say the least. Here, the same Intel Xeon E-2100 series SKUs were “launched” again in servers. These were not different parts, they were just different use cases.
For some context, the entry-level Intel Xeon line is a derivative of the Intel Core CPUs. Most of the differentiation comes from ECC UDIMM support as well as some different clock speeds. In this market the pattern has been Core CPUs launch in the consumer market, then there is a delay, then the Xeon CPUs launch. The Xeon launches have been for the entire line.
This week at Computex 2019 we had the Intel Xeon E-2200 Refresh 8-Core SKUs launch which happened several months after Intel launched the 8-core consumer parts. What is quite amazing is that these chips were not launched for servers. Instead, this was the workstation launch. We will see the server launch in August 2019. For those thinking that they can simply use the 8-core parts in their existing Xeon E-2100 platforms, that is largely correct except for one point. Many motherboard vendors will not be releasing BIOS updates to allow you to take now current generation and available Intel Xeon E-2200 CPUs and put them into their servers for several months.
STH is the #1 review site in this segment by a wide margin. You can see a list of our coverage in Intel Xeon E-2100 and Xeon E-2200 Coverage from STH Your Guide. There you will see the 16+ product reviews and 14+ pieces of editorial/ product launch coverage that STH has already published in this segment.
Our take on the double-launches: it is unnecessary and capricious. It creates customer confusion in the market as to why they can configure the new chips in some platforms but not others.
Please Intel, stop this practice going forward.