The Intel Xeon E-2288G is destined to be a highly impactful product. This processor is the first in Intel’s “Entry” line of Xeons that has eight cores. The Entry Xeon line for the past decade has focused on providing fewer but higher clock speed cores and minimal expansion capabilities. With the Intel Xeon E-2288G the line crosses into new territory competing directly with some of the lower-end Intel Xeon Silver 4208 market, yet with more performance. For edge server deployments, moving to Xeon E means short depth chassis and lower power consumption with potentially lower latency transactions. In our review, we are going to show why this CPU launch is a big deal in the market.
Key stats for the Intel Xeon E-2288G: 8 cores / 16 threads with a 3.7GHz base clock and 5.0GHz turbo boost. There is 16MB of onboard cache. The CPU features a 95W TDP. These are $539 list price parts.
Here is what the lscpu output looks like for an Intel Xeon E-2288G:
Before we get to our benchmarks, here is the key stat to keep in mind. The Intel Xeon E-2288G has a base clock of 3.7GHz for its eight cores while the Intel Xeon Silver 4208 has a maximum turbo clock of 3.2GHz. They may both be eight cores, but you will see the Xeon E is more like a Silver 4210 in our benchmarks. It is also crossing into the performance space, and beyond the AMD EPYC 7232P.
This is the first generation where core counts will reach eight in this segment. Typically the Intel Xeon E series is popular in installations for dedicated web hosting, some NAS units, and edge servers. Beyond the server use-cases that are being recognized at the end of October 2019, the chips are also designed for corporate workstations. Here, the “G” designates that the Xeon E-2288G has an integrated GPU. That means that one can use the CPUs without a PCIe GPU lowering BOM costs and system power consumption. Although the chips are based on the same lineage as the Intel Core series with features like ECC memory support and vPro, designating them as Xeon also allows Intel’s partners to differentiate pricing Xeon E systems versus Core systems for business markets and contracts.
We are primarily going to focus on the server use case here instead of the workstation side since we are waiting for the server launch to publish this review. Make no mistake, in this segment, this chip is a big deal.
Here is our basic configuration for this class of CPU:
- Motherboard: Supemicro X11SCA-F
- CPU: Intel Xeon E-2288G
- RAM: 4x 8GB DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMMs
- SSD: Intel DC S3710 400GB
- SATADOM: Supermicro 32GB SATADOM
The CPU itself supports up to 128GB of RAM, in a 4x 32GB configuration. We see these platforms using 32-64GB or less given cost sensitivities. Again, we wish that we could use ECC RDIMMs for higher memory capacity. Even the Intel Atom C3000 Series now supports ECC RDIMMs.
There are going to be folks who want to point to AMD alternatives. As of this writing, there are really no alternatives in this space because while AMD may have competitive CPU parts, vendors have a vibrant Intel Xeon E-2100/ E-2200/ Core i3 ecosystem. AMD needs to do some work here to catch up, but it is not a focus market for them. Single socket servers in this segment are a relatively low volume area.
Next, we are going to take a look at our Intel Xeon E-2288G benchmarks, we are then going to focus on power consumption then conclude with our final words on the processors.