INTEL HAS TAKEN the covers off a fresh Xeon E range of processors aimed squarely at entry-level workstations designed for video rendering and virtual reality (VR) workloads.
Touting up to 24 per cent performance hikes in multiple CPU intensive workstation tasks over the previous 2017 Xeon E chips, the new processors come sporting up to six cores and 12 threads.
Top of the line is the Xeon E-2186G processor, with the aforementioned core and thread configuration, which runs up to 4.7GHz off the back of a 95W thermal design power. 12MB of SmartCache, support for DDR4-2666 and onboard Intel UHD 630 graphics give the chip the chops it needs for workstation work.
On the lower-end, the Xeon E-2124 comes with four cores and an equal number of threads, with it cranking up to 4.3GHz. While it has only 8MB of SmartCache, it has a thermal design power of 71W so is more suitable for mobile workstations.
The Xeon E range is pretty comprehensive with 10 processors mixing and matching the number of cores and threads, with variations in base and turbo boost clockspeeds. This should mean workstation makers, notably from the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo, should have a good range of silicon slices to pick for when it comes to making new biz-centric machines.
One thing worth noting is that these Xeon E processors can be slotted into rather compact PC cases and mini machines, which should yield workstation devices that offer more than enough power for most office and professional computing work without needing a massive box for some clumsy sales guy to trip over when he pops round to boast about smashing results.
With support for Thunderbolt 3 connections, up to 30 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, and the inclusion of Intel's Hyper-Threading tech, the Xeon E chips look to be fairly flexible with the workloads they can handle. For example, plug a mobile workstation into an external graphics card enclosure via Thunderbolt 3 and you can have a machine that gets a boost of GPU power for working within VR apps or doing some gaming on the sly.
With prices starting at $193 and going up to $450, the Xeon E chips are arguably priced competitively.
But AMD's Ryzen 2 processors are also priced pretty keenly and while they might not be competitive in some performance metrics, Team Red's chips are pretty good at crunching through multi-threaded tasks. µ
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