Chip Giant Intel recently launched a range of Xeon processors for entry level workstations called E-2200 that range in price from US$193 to US$539. Wow, that sounds cheap for a Xeon.
The top-line part in the stack is the Xeon E-2288G with 8 cores/16 threads and a maximum Turbo of 5.0GHz, which sounds pretty darn impressive and is certainly worth some research. A bit of digging reveals those intended entry level workstations include ‘Tower, AIO, small form factor and mobile designs’ which is quite a range of products.
Intel’s Ark page for Xeon E-2200 shows we are looking at a mix of two distinct types of CPU. Most of them use the Socket LGA1151 that is shared with the current 9th Gen desktop parts such as Core i9-9900K while other Xeons such as the E-2176M use the laptop FCBGA1440 socket we see in products such as Core i7-8750H.
There are subtle differences between Xeon-E2200 and Core i9 when it comes to chipset support as the desktop part is allied to Z390 while the Xeon uses a C240 chipset. Also, the graphics inside Core are called Intel UHD Graphics 630 while the Xeons run on UHD Graphics P360.
This might be a consideration if you are building your own workstation but we reckon it is more likely these boxes and laptops will come off the shelf from the likes of Dell and HP. If you fancy speccing your new Xeon system you will find suitable motherboards on sale from the likes of Gigabyte.
By now we are sure you will have got the idea behind Xeon E-2200. Intel has taken its existing stack of tried and true desktop and mobile CPUs and has repurposed them as Xeons along with a trivial price hike of US$50. We know full well that many companies dish out laptops to their workers without a care as to whether they run Core or Xeon, GeForce or Quadro.
It is easy to get AMD, Intel and Nvidia to claim that professional level products are extra reliable and extra well suited to business use. At the same time it is impossible to get these same companies to state their desktop and mobile products are flaky and unreliable for the simple reason they are none of those things, so if you want to use a high end gaming laptop to edit videos you should feel free to carry on regardless.
It is a different story for workers in fields such as CAD where it matters that a mega high-end professional graphics card has extra memory and can power along at 100 percent load for days at a time.
Xeon E-2200 operates in a completely different sphere and caters for companies that have no particular need to rely on the Xeon brand, but are happy to pay a small premium for peace of mind. There is no harm in that, provided you make your buying decision with your eyes wide open.