Intel recently launched its Ivy Bridge line of consumer CPUs. As we have seen for the past few generations, Intel generally takes its desktop CPUs, adds ECC support and ensures that all features such as VT-d are enabled, and then launches its Xeon shortly after the desktop part launch. The UP Intel Xeon E3 series, a marketing moniker launched last year with Intel’s Sandy Bridge Xeon E3-1200 series CPUs, is getting a V2 treatment with Ivy Bridge’s launch. For those that are familiar with the desktop Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs, the Xeon variants will look very familiar. Intel has made some microcode improvements with this generation, but the big difference is the introduction of the tri-gate 22nm lithography in the Xeon line which we have already seen provides clock-for-clock better power consumption figures versus Sandy Bridge. Here is a quick shot of the overall lineup for the Ivy Bridge Intel Xeon E3 series.
As one can quickly tell, the UP Xeon TDP is taking a very nice step downward. Frankly, I was surprised that the TDP remained as high as it did for the ‘0’ parts where there is no GPU onboard. From a CPU core speed perspective, the performance was not a significant increase over Sandy Bridge, but Ivy Bridge did see a significant jump in GPU performance. With the die shrink, Intel was able to dedicated more die space to the GPU. As a result, I expected to see the GPU disabled ‘0’ variants of the Xeon E3-1200 series show lower TDP’s than they do. For reference, here is the 2011 Sandy Bridge Xeon E3-1200 series lineup:
As one can see, Intel is essentially adding one 100MHz speed step to both the base and turbo frequencies while at the same time lowering the TDP. One can also see that Intel appears to have done away with the Intel Xeon E3-1235 and added the Xeon E3-1290 V2 at the top end. In the previous generation, pricing between the different part numbers prior to the E3-1280 was fairly close, so the Xeon E3-1270 and Xeon E3-1230 were both very popular chips. I will probably do the same thing I did last year and benchmark each of these CPUs when they launch shortly. Stay tuned!