A Guide to Intel Xeon Server – Intel Xeon vs Intel Core CPU (Embedded Edition)
Intel Xeon processor is arguably one of the best CPUs in the market for workstations or server computers. When buying or building a workstation or rugged server, Intel Xeon vs Intel Core CPUs are often being compared to one another on which one to use for high-performance computers. In short, Xeon CPUs can reliably run data-intensive applications 24/7 that are great for high-end rugged servers and computers. Whereas Intel Core CPUs are cost-effective processors with high clock speeds, a good balance for mid to high-level rugged computers.
That being said, we will dive deeper into this blog discussing these two CPUs and answering some of the most important questions. What is Intel Xeon CPU? What is Intel Core CPU? What are the differences between Intel Xeon and Intel Core CPUs? What are Xeon server and Core CPUs’ specifications and features? Which Intel CPU fits you?
What is an Intel Xeon Server CPU?
Intel Xeon processor was first developed and launched by Intel in 1998. The Xeon processors are designed for high-power systems such as ruggedized servers, industrial-grade workstations, and military computers. The Intel Xeon lineup comes at a premium cost and provides premium performance for enterprises. Intel Xeon processors are very reliable when deployed in extreme environments with mission-critical applications. In addition, the Xeon server can run data-intensive applications for a prolonged time thanks to its rich features such as high core count, ECC RAM support, power efficiency, and more. Currently, there are four processors in Intel Xeon’s family: Xeon E, Xeon D, Xeon W, and Xeon Scalable, each of which has dedicated specifications to handle various workloads.
Different Types of Intel Xeon CPUs
Xeon E: Dedicated to entry-level servers and workstations
Xeon D: Dedicated to micro-servers
Xeon W: Dedicated to powerful, rugged servers and workstations
Xeon Scalable Processors: Divided into different grades, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum for the highest grade. The Xeon Scalable processors power high-end rugged servers and workstations with other specs and price points.
What is an Intel Core processor?
Intel Core CPUs have become a household brand for personal desktop computers, laptops, gaming PC, and even workstations. Introduced in mid-2006, the Core CPUs are designed and manufactured mainly for mid-level computers. However, the Core series has developed to supply a broader customer base, from low-end, budget computers to computing-intensive gaming PCs and powerful, rugged workstations in the past decades. The Intel Core CPUs are known for their high clock speeds, overclocking features, onboard graphics, and more affordable price points. The Intel Core lineup consists of i3, i5, i7, i9, and Core X-Series for higher-end models.
Different Types of Intel Core Processors
Core i3: Budget CPU with basic specifications
Core i5: Mid-range CPU for regular office uses
Core i7: Powerful CPU with more computing power
Core i9: High-end multi-core CPUs capable of handling demanding workloads
Core X-Series: Premium multi-core processors with higher specs than the Core i9 CPUs
Intel Xeon vs Intel Core CPU
When comparing Intel Xeon to Intel Core CPUs, Intel Xeon CPUs offer more collective value for the data-intensive enterprise and industrial applications. However, there are some factors that Intel Core CPUs might be a better fit for particular enterprise and industrial applications when taking into account cost and types of software applied. Below we provide a quick summary comparing the specifications and features between Intel Xeon and Intel Core CPUs. Furthermore, we will dive deeper into the pros and cons of Intel Core and Xeon processors.
Comparison Table: Intel Xeon CPU vs Intel Core CPU
|Specifications and Features
|Intel Xeon CPU
|Intel Core CPU
|Balance clock speed
|Faster clock speed
|Do not support overclocking
|Mainly do not support onboard graphics
|Support onboard graphics
|Premium price ranging from $230 to $15,000
|Cheaper price ranging from $100 to 600$
GHz per Dollar
|Higher GHz per Doller
|Lower GHz per Dollar
Number of CPU Cores
|Up to 40 cores and 80 cores with hyperthreading
|Up to 10 cores
|Some don't support hyperthreading
L3 Cache Memory
|More L3 cache memory up to 50MB of L3
|Less L3 cache memory with half L3 memory compared to Xeon
ECC RAM Support
|Support ECC RAM
|Don't Support ECC RAM
RAM Capacity and Bandwidth
|Entry-level models support six memory channels and 768 GB of RAM
|High-End i7 and i9 models support two memory channels and 128 GB of RAM
Efficiency and Longevity
|Last longer under constant stress and full performance
|Do not last as long as Xeon CPUs
The Pros of Intel Core i9/i7/i5 CPUs
- Clock Speed and Overclocking
- Onboard Graphics
- CPU Cost and GHz per Dollar
Clock Speed and Overclocking
Core CPUs have higher clock speeds and overclocking capacity compared to Xeon processors. Intel Core CPUs can achieve high clock speed with overclocking, right voltage, correct BIOS settings, and adequate cooling solutions. Whereases Xeon processors cannot perform overclocking. Faster clock speed translates to faster CPU calculations, which means smoother application performance for software relying on the CPU’s clock speeds. Overclocking feature is available for Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 processors.
Another advantage of Intel Core CPUs over Xeon processors is they come with onboard graphics. Integrated graphics eliminate the need for an additional dedicated graphic card for video and image processing. In contrast, computers with Xeon processors need a discrete video card for video display. However, the onboard graphics are only fit for regular office use. Dedicated graphics cards are still required for Intel Core and Xeon CPUs for heavier graphics workloads.
CPU Cost and GHz per Dollar
When comparing the cost between Core and Xeon CPUs, the difference can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Intel Xeon processors are much more expensive because they often include more cores, feature advanced technologies, and are highly reliable for mission-critical applications. That is why Intel Xeon processors are aimed mainly at enterprises and industrial applications that find it worth investing in high-end CPUs. Here is a quick price comparison for Intel Core vs Intel Xeon lineups.
The Price Ranges of Intel Core CPUs:
Core i3 costs around $100 to $200
Core i5 costs around $200 to$300
Core i7 costs around $300 to $400
Core i9 and Core X-series cost around $500 to $600
The Price Ranges of Intel Xeon Server CPUs are much more extensive. The cheapest Intel Xeon CPUs start at around $230, and one of the most expensive Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 costs a whopping $15000, such a huge gap compared to the Intel Core lineup.
When should you consider getting Intel Core CPUs?
For low to medium-tier applications that are not mission-critical, the Core CPUs are a much better choice that offers better single-core performance and cost less than most Xeon processors. Intel Core i3 and i5 CPUs are great for web browsing, streaming music and video, faster startup speed, and even 4K graphics support; the Core i7 and i9 CPUs are good for more intensive software that relies on single-core computations, and they even outpace some Xeon CPUs for single-threaded applications such as Revit and AutoCAD.
The Pros of Intel Xeon Server CPUs
- Number of Cores and Hyperthreading
- L3 Cache Memory
- ECC RAM Support
- RAM Capacity and Bandwidth
- Efficiency and Longevity
Number of Cores and Hyperthreading
More CPU cores will result in more multitasking capabilities and increase processing power for parallel computing. The numerous cores on a single Intel Xeon processor can support heavily threaded applications from machine learning to computational fluid dynamics. The latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors have up to 40 cores and 80 threads compared to Intel Core CPUs. Moreover, Xeon processors support multiple CPU configurations for even more cores, memory bandwidth, and I/O slots. In contrast, the latest Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake CPUs with the Core i9 models can have a maximum of 10 cores and 20 threads on a single processor.
L3 Cache Memory
CPU cache memories are divided into three grades, level 1 (L1), level 2 (L2), and level 3 (L3). The difference between L1, L2, and L3 is that L1 is the cache memory that is the closest and fastest to the CPU since it is usually built onto the microprocessor chip itself. L2 is slower than L1 but faster than L3 cache. Then the L3 memory, or the external cache, is the slowest cache but still twice as fast as RAM (random access memory). All the CPU cores share the same L3 cache memory, where more L3 cache memory leads to faster processing as the CPU can access more data faster from the L3 cache. Most Xeon processors have 15-30MB of L3 Cache, and some with more than 50MB, which is double the cache memory of Core i7 CPUs.
ECC RAM Support
Error Checking and Correction RAM or ECC RAM support is one of the most critical advantages Intel Xeon CPUs have over Intel Core CPUs. ECC RAM eliminates the high risk of corrupted memory data, one of the most common causes of software crashes. A software crash is the last thing you want to happen to mission-critical applications. Therefore, ECC RAM ensures the performance stability of rugged servers and high-end workstations. ECC RAM also supports much more significant amounts of RAM than DDR4 RAM, which results in smoother application performance.
RAM Capacity and Bandwidth
Another great advantage of Xeon processors over Core CPUs is the ability to support higher RAM density. As a result, the lowest Xeon models can easily outperform the latest Intel Core i7 and i9 CPUs for RAM capacity and memory channel support. For instance, the 10th Generation Intel CML Core i9 CPU supports up to 128 GB of RAM and two memory channels. In contrast, one of the cheapest Xeon models, the Xeon Bronze 3104 processor, supports up to 768 GB of RAM and six memory channels, adding much more RAM capacity and bandwidth.
Efficiency and Longevity
Intel Xeon processors are highly-efficient CPUs that are built to handle continuous heavy and intensive loads 24/7 without fail. For mission-critical servers and workstation users, Xeon CPUs can provide better value for longevity than the Intel Core CPUs. This is why Intel Xeon CPUs do not support overclocking. Xeon processors have a higher TDP than Core CPUs, which means if they try to bump up the clock speeds, there is a risk of thermal throttling or even failure. That is why Xeon CPUs are more stable and energy-efficient, crucial for rugged servers and workstations.
When should you consider getting Intel Xeon Server Processors?
Despite the high price, Xeon processors can be worth it for mission-critical applications where enterprises can save hundreds of thousands and even millions by eliminating downtime risks. Not only are Xeon processors more reliable and durable, but they also support rich features that take the overall performance and scalability to the next level. Furthermore, the Xeon processors can support data-intensive applications such as machine learning and even offer virtualization support. Xeon processors provide complete chain virtualization support that allows server workloads to be virtualized.
Server Class Performance with Embedded Design
Intel initially developed Intel Xeon processors for server computers in data centers with many cores and numerous PCIe lanes. However, greater demands for edge computing applications are migrating computing from the cloud to remote and mobile environments. Processing localized workloads closer to the IoT sensors and devices allow intelligent edge solutions to perform real-time processing for mission-critical applications. One of the highest demands for AI edge applications is real-time inference and computer vision for machine intelligence. Machine learning and intelligence provide automation for various edge solutions, including robotics, vision, motion control and even self-driving cars. A key challenge for new edge computing models is deploying reliable frameworks of computing architecture near where data is generated. In terms of rugged edge computing, a variety of these new workloads are shifting in harsh environments that require durable rugged computers that have been designed with a balance of performance and power optimization in mind. Today, even leading semiconductor designers are packaging incredible amounts of performance with specific processors designated for low-power budgets but incredible processing performance.
Now, rugged AI edge inference computers can even utilize Intel Xeon CPUs with 35W of thermal design power (TDP) to unlock Xeon's powerful features for server-grade performance at the rugged edge. Configuring Intel Xeon CPU with 35W of TDP allows the computer to be fanless, which offers industrial-grade durability for rugged edge computing. AI Edge Inference computers support Intel Xeon CPUs and modular hardware accelerations, including GPU and NVMe SSDs, to provide balance performance and power at the rugged edge.
Rugged AI Edge Computer that Supports Both Intel Xeon and Intel Core Processors
The RCO-6000-CML Series AI Edge Inference Computer incorporates advanced performance with Intel’s 10th Generation Core processors XEON-W Processors with W480E Chipset. In addition, the RCO-6000-CML is built with the latest processing technologies, including multi-core processors, ultra-fast storage, and AI accelerators, to push real-time processing to new boundaries at the rugged edge.
RCO-6000-CML AI Edge Inference Computer Series
- 10th Gen Intel® Core™ & Intel® Xeon® W processors with W480E chipset
- Modular EDGEBoost Nodes for inference and machine learning workloads
- Plug and Play Dual-SIM 5G cellular network module
- Workload consolidation at the edge with versatile I/O
- Ruggedized and Tested for rugged edge computing