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:
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
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.
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.)
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.