Intel today announced a new lineup of Xeon processors for entry-level servers and workstations. The new Xeon E-2100 chips supplant the previous generation Xeon E3 processor family and are based on Intel's Coffee Lake-S architecture. They feature up to 6 cores and 12 threads of compute muscle, along with faster clockspeeds and a few other upgrades.
"With today’s workloads, aging workstations impede productivity, collaboration and creativity. The release of the Intel Xeon E processor is intended to deliver the essential performance and visuals for entry workstations, as well as optimizing the innovative form factors, designs and diverse requirements of our customers," said - Jennifer Huffstetler, vice president and general manager, data center product management, Intel Corporation.
Intel is targeting a broad set of workstation applications with the new Xeon E-2100 series. Compared with its predecessor, the newest Xeon chips offer two additional cores and higher single-core turbo frequencies. They also sport faster DRAM speeds with ECC (error correcting code) support (up to 64GB DDR4 ECC 2666MHz), enhanced I/O, and advanced security and reliability features.
There are 10 new Xeon E-2100 processors in all, split evenly between 4-core and 6-core SKUs. All but three of them support Hyper Threading, and seven of the SKUs also have onboard graphics (Intel UHD P630). The burliest of the bunch is the Xeon E-2186G. It's a 6-core/12-thread part with a 3.8GHz base clock, 4.7GHz turbo clock, 12MB of L3 cache, integrated graphics, and a 95W TDP.
What is all boils down to is up to a 1.36x performance improvement in compute intensive applications compared to the previous generation, along with up to a 1.45x performance bump in financial services applications, and up to a 1.45x performance gain in 3D modeling and animation applications, according to Intel.
Intel's new chips support up to 30 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, along with Intel Optane memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps), Thunderbolt 3.0, and 1 Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless-AC.
The processors with onboard graphics support up to three display outputs and 4K Ultra HD graphics. More importantly, they offer faster decoding and encoding performance. Intel offered up an example of its previous generation Xeon E3-1275 processor taking 6 minutes, 8 seconds to turn six 4K video clips into a single 4K VR video, versus its new Xeon E-2176G taking 4 minutes, 39 seconds to accomplish the same task.
Pricing for the Xeon E-2100 family ranges from $193 (Xeon E-2124) to $450 (Xeon E-2186G). Intel says its OEM partners will begin shipping systems with Xeon E-2100 processors inside starting today.