Help Me Choose: Intel® Xeon® Processor

 
Servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1200 product family are designed to give you smart control of the things that matter to your business — increased sales, improved margins and reduced risk. Using a desktop PC as a server may seem like an attractive option, but upgrading to Intel® Xeon®-based servers can provide the reliability you require today, with the room you need for growth tomorrow.

Packed with Intel’s newest technology, the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1200 product family features intelligent performance that adapts to your needs, allowing you to get more done in less time. With built-in 24x7 dependability and advanced security features, you can avoid costly business interruptions and potentially catastrophic security breaches.

Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1200 product family offers a wide range of options with varying clock speeds, core counts, cache sizes and technologies such as Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology to allow you to choose the processor that’s right for your business needs.
The processor has an enormous impact on your server’s ability to support business applications and respond to external customers. Processors are continually changing and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your business. It is important to balance your expected performance needs with cost and this guide will help you understand the various processor options available.

These are the main attributes to consider when selecting a processor:

Clock speed: The speed of the internal cores. Simply put, servers with higher clock speeds deliver better performance. For a server, this may translate into the ability to support more simultaneous Outlook® accounts, handle more web requests during peak demand periods such as promotions, or perform faster queries on your customer database. Purchasing a higher frequency processor can improve your current system performance while also helping ensure your server is able to handle the increasing demands of tomorrow.

Thread count: The number of logical processors within the processor package. Thread count is linked to core count and increased with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT Technology) support. With Intel HT Technology, processors have twice the number of logical processors. For example, a quad core processor with Intel HT Technology has eight threads instead of four. Multiple threads enable better multitasking on servers running multiple applications. For example, virus scans may run on one core while data backup is handled by another core. Because many servers run multiple applications, Intel® Xeon® quad core processors with Intel HT Technology are recommended for best performance in real-world environments.

Cache size: The size of high-speed memory located on the processor. Larger cache size reduces the number of times the processor needs to retrieve data from system memory. For most applications, this improves system responsiveness and provides a superior user experience. Typically, processors with higher core counts and frequency have larger cache sizes to provide optimal performance.


Which processor is right for me?

The following table provides high-level guidelines for selecting the best processor based on your business applications.

Choose

If you need a server that ...

Why

 

Intel Xeon Processor

  • Supports five or more client systems
  • Runs multiple high-bandwidth applications such as Outlook®, web server and storage backup simultaneously with background tasks such as virus scans and system backup
  • Handles a moderate to high volume of web traffic or ecommerce transactions typical of a web-based company
  • Must handle spikes of high-volume web traffic for promotions or other events
  • Offers maximum investment protection against next-generation multithreaded applications and operating systems
  • Intel’s highest performance line of processors deliver an outstanding experience for several simultaneous users
  • Four processing cores help run multiple applications simultaneously
  • Large cache improves system responsiveness for multiple users
  • Intel Xeon processors are validated with server-class operating systems, peripherals and adapters

Intel Pentium® Processor

or

Intel Celeron® Processor

  • Supports 1 to 5 client systems
  • Handles a low volume of web traffic
  • Runs a few applications simultaneously
  • Has limited headroom for growth
  • Low-cost processor with the fewest cores and smaller cache sizes

Features Benefits              
Intel Microarchitecture   

 

 

Four instructions per clock cycle delivering outstanding performance per core 
  • Intel silicon technology (32nm Hi-k process technology)
  • Large on-die cache (up to 8MB L3)
  • Reduced transistor gate leakage
Support for ECC Memory               Data integrity and system reliability through automatic data correction
  • Detects and corrects up to 99.988 percent of all memory errors     
Intel Advanced Encryption Standards — New Instructions*       Improve data security without slowing response times 
  • Accelerates data encryption/decryption by up to 58 percent versus previous-generation servers*
Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0               Higher performance when you need it most
  • Accelerates processor performance for peak loads
  • Quick transitions to and from processor sleep states
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT)               Fast performance for many demanding business applications
  • Thread-level parallelism uses processing resources efficiently
  • Benefits most multithreaded and concurrently running applications
High Speed SATA 6G Fast data access, system startups and application load times
  • Support for high-speed solid-state drives (SSDs) due to faster hard disk drive (HDD) cache transfers
Low-Power Processor Options Match performance versus energy efficiency to maximize total value
  • Low-power 20W and 45W processor SKUs available
  • Ideal for small form factor or energy-constrained platform designs
PCI Express* 2.0 Ports Extra capacity and flexibility for storage and networking connections
  • Additional 4 PCI Express* 2.0 ports (versus desktop)
Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (input/output) (Intel VT-d)  Enables fast network/storage communications in a virtualized environment
  • Comprehensive hardware assists for I/O-device virtualization
  • Near-native I/O performance with improved security and reliability
Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX) Fast performance for many scientific and analytic applications
  • Up to 46 percent performance boost on floating-point intensive workloads
 * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Intel® Processor Name

Intel® Xeon® Processor X3480

Intel® Xeon® Processor E31280

Number of cores/threads

4/8

4/8

Processor speed

3.07GHz

3.50GHz

Direct media interface

2.5 GT/s

Unknown

Processor third-level cache

Unified 8MB L3

Unified 8MB L3

Platform manufacturer

Intel Corporation

Intel Corporation

Chipset

Intel 3420 chipset

Intel® ID0108 Rev. 09 (SB ID1C54)

Chipset Intel INF file

Unknown

Unknown

Platform BIOS

American Megatrends S3420GP.86B.01.00.0046.092920101143

American Megatrends S1200BT.86B.01.00.0012.112120101637

System memory

4GB (2x2GB) OCZ3SR1333LV4GK PC3-10666 9-9-9-24 1333MHz

4GB (2x2GB) 1067MHz

Hard disk (OS)

ST31000528AS ATA Device 1 TB HDD

ST3160815AS ATA Device 160GB HDD

Hard disk driver

Microsoft® 6.1.7600.16385

Microsoft 6.1.7600.16385

Hard disk

Intel SSDSA2SH032G1GN 32GB SSD

Intel SSDSA2SH032G1GN 32GB SSD

Video card

ATI Radeon™ HD5570

Standard VGA Graphics Adapter

Video driver

ATI 8.791.0.0

Microsoft 6.1.7600.16385

Graphics resolution

1920 x 1080, 32-bit color

1024 x 768 resolution, 32-bit color

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional N 64 bit, on NTFS

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional N 64 bit, on NTFS

Microsoft DirectX* version

Microsoft DirectX® 11

Microsoft DirectX 11

Power management mode

High performance

High performance

Average Time to Encrypt Volume

897 seconds (based on mean of 3 runs)

564.67 seconds (based on mean of 3 runs)

This chart helps you compare different models available as part of the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1200 product family.


Processor Number

Speed

Cores / Threads

L3 Cache

Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

Power

SPECint_rate_base2006 Performance

Intel Xeon Processor E3-1280

3.50GHz

4/8

8MB

Yes

Yes 

95W

157

Intel Xeon Processor E3-1270

3.40GHz

4/8

8MB

Yes

Yes

80W

154

Intel Xeon Processor E3-1240

3.30GHz

4/8

8MB

Yes

Yes 

80W

151

Intel Xeon Processor E3-1230

3.20GHz

4/8

8MB

Yes

Yes

80W

148

Intel Xeon Processor E3-1220

3.10GHz

4/4

8MB

Yes

No 

80W

125

Low Power Options 
Intel Xeon Processor E3-1260L2.40GHz4/8 8MB 

Yes

 

Yes

45W121 
Intel Xeon Processor E3-1220L 2.20GHz2/43MB 

Yes

 

Yes 

20W63