Looking back at Intel Xeon E3-1200 V1-V6 to the New Xeon E-2100

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Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5: Skylake DDR4 and 64GB

In Q4 2015 we covered The Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 Skylake server launch and Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 Greenlow Platform launched (Skylake Xeon E3). Skylake was great and this was about a year and a half before Skylake would invade the mainstream server market. Here is the SKU table:

Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 Lineup
Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 Line-up

Skylake was a big deal because we finally got a few new technologies. The Xeon E3 market was upgraded with DDR4 and 64GB of RAM. The Xeon E3-1200 V2 and V3 series both maxed out at DDR3 1600 so moving to DDR4-1866/2133 was a major bandwidth upgrade for the first time in years for the segment. Finally hitting the 64GB limit was refreshing since the Xeon D-1500 series hit 128GB several quarters earlier.

Key stats we are tracking as well: this is another 11 SKU launch with three low power SKUs and four iGPU parts.

Intel Xeon E3 V5 Imperialism with Iris Pro

In 2016 Intel actually added another Xeon E3 chip series, the Intel Xeon E3-1500 V5. These CPUs were focused on video transcoding and virtualization. They eventually found their way into high-end mobile workstation laptops. All of these SKUs have the upgraded Iris Pro graphics engine like Intel had with the

Intel Xeon E3-1500 V5 Series
Intel Xeon E3-1500 V5 Series

As an aside, my laptop actually uses a Xeon E3-1500 V5 CPU and we reviewed a few edge compute platforms including Intel Xeon E3-1585 V5 Linux CPU Benchmarks. There is no way that in the original Xeon E3-1200 charter Intel was selling the chips as laptop parts. With the Intel Xeon E-2100 line, the notebook Xeon E-2100M parts launched first.

Intel Xeon E3-1200 V6, the Final Chapter

Fast forward to 2017. Skylake was about to launch and the Kaby Lake Xeon E3 line was one step ahead. You can read about it here: Intel Xeon E3-1200 V6 Series Released – Incremental Improvement.

Intel Xeon E3 1200 V6 Value Comparison
Intel Xeon E3 1200 V6 Value Comparison

There were only eight mainstream SKUs launched and three had HD graphics. At STH, we actually covered all of these SKUs, for example, Intel Xeon E3-1230 V6 Linux Benchmarks and Review.

For those wondering, we did see an Intel Xeon E3-1500M V6 family, but those were largely relegated to mobile workstations.

Intel Xeon E-2100 Starts Anew

At this point, and looking back to the Sandy Bridge E3-1200 generation, Intel produced lines derived from consumer GPU die parts with four cores and eight threads maximum between Q2 2011 and Q3 2018. For the first time with the Intel Xeon E-2100 series, we will see 6 core/ 12 thread models (and we expect 8 core / 16 thread models in the same platforms.)

Intel Xeon E 2100 SKUs And Value Analysis
Intel Xeon E 2100 SKUs And Value Analysis

Another big difference in this generation is that we only have three SKUs without iGPUs at launch. Intel is positioning the new Intel Xeon E-2100 line as a workstation platform first. Low-end dedicated servers and embedded products are now the domain of the Atom C3000, Xeon D-1500, and Xeon D-2100 series. This makes sense. Virtualization and cloud virtualization has obviated the need for many of this class of server. At the same time, major workstation OEMs can use the “Xeon” brand and sell corporate workstations that are on an easily differentiable platform for discounting purposes.

There are server platforms that will be available with the new CPUs. There are a few use cases, for example running a Minecraft server, where the Xeon E-2100 series is still going to be a great fit with its high clock speeds thanks to Coffee Lake. If you want to see how the cloud is impacting chips, the Intel Xeon E3-1200 line and transition to the E-2100 line is a great example.

Check out our great Intel Xeon E-2100 Launch Coverage Central to learn more about the newest chip on the block.

If you want a quick comparison of this segment of CPUs dating back to Lynnfield, here is a good ARK comparison.

10 COMMENTS

  1. If Xeon E is not meant for server anymore, it should have a name other than Xeon.

    Being a high-end workstation processor, it lacks PCIe lanes, lacks ram capacity and severely lacks in its iGPU capabilities. For cache we still get 2MB per core as always.

    I really do not see how this new E line is a major change from what we have been offered the past 5-6 years.

  2. Patrick, you mention: “There were also 4.0GHz turbo clocks for the first time. ” — for Haswell, but in the table above for Ivy Bridge you list at least two CPUs with >= 4.0 GHz. So either of those two is buggy.

  3. Marcelo B: Xeon E is limited in several ways, but on the other hand as a software engineer I can see its usage for simple edit/compile/link workflow. It’s top-class 4.7GHz perf is hopefully something which is unique. Can I have 4.7GHz in Xeon W line? No, this ends on 4.5GHz. Also look at pricing and cache sizes! Xeon-W is completely non-competitive with Xeon E (if yo do not require more than 64GB RAM and more PCIe lines). Can I have 4.7GHz in Xeon SP line? Bronze/Silver out of question completely, only gold remains with 6144/6146 but reaching only 4.2GHz! Also look at the pricing!
    So Xeon E certainly do have its own value for some specific target audience. Do not get me wrong, I would fight for Ryzen, but since Ryzen is not in major OEM workstations nor board provided by trustful maker which knows how to make ECC support (Supermicro/Tyan), then I’m again in Xeon E domain. Yes, the big temptation is for example asrock with their taichi board (for ryzen) but those silly rgb leds and gaming nature usually throw me off. I’d like to have engineering board like x11sca-f or similar, in fact I would much prefer if such board would have 2-3 DPs instead of DVI/HDMI, but well, man can’t have everything right?

  4. Frede: no, Xeon E does not provide any RAS feature except perhaps simple ECC, concretely SECDED (single error corrected, double error detected).

  5. “Minecraft server”

    And that pretty much sums up the possible use cases for these new ‘xeons’. I’m guessing they would make decent smb servers for those running maybe 2 (single Win Serv license) VMs and Windows Storage Spaces for an AiO server… But you’re still going to run into the same issues the E3s have: no room to breath, now or later.

  6. Micah: IMHO Xeon E is not well suited for *general* server deployment. Even Intel knows that hence stressing its workstation usage again. For server you need Xeon D or SP, or well even better AMD EPYC of course. 🙂 On the other hand you can still find some server niche where you need highest single-thread perf. available and yet your problem is smaller than 64GB RAM, then Xeon E is probably best choice. But that would be really some niche…

  7. “… then Xeon E is probably best choice. But that would be really some niche…”.

    That niche is called, “Home”.

  8. I still have some homelab Sandy Bridge E3-12x0s and they all run 32GB ECC in UDIMMs, 4x8GB. Great read!

  9. I have a Dell R710 in a small office – 4 users – on windows sbs2011.
    They run some accounting and payroll software (on mssql) which is badly coded and needs super fast single core performance.
    Xeon E will be a perfect fit there but the only ready product is dell precision 3930 and they are selling it only with Windows 10.
    In fact, I don’t know if windows server 2016 will work without problems.
    Does anyone know if a server with Xeon E is prepared for launch?

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