Intel Kaby Lake Xeon E3-1200 Family Takes Flight

Intel Xeon E3-1200 v6

Whenever Intel releases a new processor architecture, it typically focuses first on consumers and then rolls out Xeon counterparts that are suitable for entry-level workstations. So it goes with Kaby Lake. Having launched its first batch of desktop Kaby Lake chips for consumers just two months ago, Intel today announced its new Xeon E3-1200 V6 family based on the same architecture.

To kick things off, it's launching eight Xeon E3-1200 V6 processors ranging in base clockspeed from 3GHz to 3.9GHz, all of which are quad-core processors. Six of them support Hyper Threading. Perhaps more importantly, these are mostly affordable chips—pricing starts at $193, and while the top-end part runs $612, the next one down on the totem pole is around half the price at $339.

Let's have a look:

Threads Base
L3 Cache
E3-1280 v6
4 8 3.9GHz 4.2GHz 8MB 72W $612
E3-1275 v6 4 8 3.8GHz 4.2GHz 8MB 73W $339
E3-1270 v6 4 8 3.8GHz 4.2GHz 8MB 72W $328
E3-1245 v6
4 8 3.7GHz 4.1GHz 8MB 73W $284
E3-1240 v6 4 8 3.7GHz 4.1GHz 8MB 72W $272
E3-1230 v6 4 8 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 8MB 72W $250
E3-1225 v6 4 4 3.3GHz 3.7GHz 8MB 73W $213
E3-1220 v6 4 4 3.0GHz 3.5GHz 8MB 72W $193

Three of these chips have integrated P360 graphics clocked at 1,150MHz (E3-1275 v6, E3-1245 v6, and E3-1225 v6). They are all designed for entry-level servers and workstations where professionals can jump into CAD and VR creation without spending a fortune.

Intel's newest Xeon processors are built on a 14nm manufacturing process and offer up to 56 percent better performance compared to the Xeon E3-1200 v2 product family that is in widespread use today. In addition to fast clockspeeds and in some cases integrated graphics, the E3-1200 v6 family offers enhanced memory speeds, with configurations of ECC memory up to 64GB at 2,400MHz.

Some other highlights:
  • Entry Professional virtual reality (VR) visualization by supporting the latest VR headset manufacturer processor requirements
  • New High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) 10-bit hardware acceleration for enhanced 4K decoding and encoding
  • Intel Optane memory support for use with with slower media used in traditional HDD or SATA SSD, giving you amazing performance and responsiveness in large capacities
  • Hardware-enhanced security and reliability features, provide authentication and protection for identity, content and code

Oculus Rift

Intel is really pushing the VR angle with these new chips. Every new Xeon processor outlined above meets the requirements for today's VR headsets, including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. That's important if developers are going to embrace these new Xeon parts to build and test VR experiences.

"Virtual reality is one of the most exciting and revolutionary capabilities to impact professional workstation customers in recent years. One example is how professional designers can draft their CAD drawings and quickly visualize in full 3D/VR with compatible hardware and software specifications that support a VR headset. The ability to view your design in VR delivers huge savings in design time, production, testing and development and can provide an amazing immersive experience," Intel says.

Intel has already begun shipping its Xeon E3-1200 v6 product family, with Lenovo having yesterday announced new ThinkStation P320 workstations supporting the new chips.