For those looking at upgrading a server or workstation to an Intel Xeon E3 v5 "Skylake" processor, here is a nine-way benchmark comparison of these processors compared to older Haswell Xeons as well as an AMD FX processor for reference. The benchmarks today were done under Ubuntu Linux and besides looking at raw performance we also have test results for the CPU thermal performance, system power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar metrics with a total of 14 AMD/Intel processors.
To date the only Skylake Xeon we had been able to test was the Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5 that I ended up buying for one of our Linux test servers. Fortunately, thanks to the kind (and Linux-interested) folks at MSI, they have lent us nine different Xeon E3 processors for testing. This selection of processors for testing include:
- Intel Xeon E3 1220 v5: Quad-Core, 3.0GHz Base, 3.5GHz Turbo, 80 Watt, $193 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1230 v5: Quad-Core + HT, 3.4GHz Base, 3.8GHz Turbo, 80 Watt, $250 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1235L v5: Quad-Core, 2.0GHz Base, 3.0GHz Turbo, 25 Watt, $250 USD, HD Graphics P530
- Intel Xeon E3 1240 v5: Quad-Core + HT, 3.5GHz Base, 3.9GHz Turbo, 80 Watt TDP, $272 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1240L v5: Quad-Core + HT, 2.1GHz Base, 3.2GHz Turbo, 25 Watt TDP, $278 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5: Quad-Core + HT, 3.5GHz Base, 3.9GHz Turbo, 80 Watt, $284 USD, HD Graphics P530
- Intel Xeon E3 1260L v5: Quad-Core + HT, 2.9GHz Base, 3.9GHz Turbo, 45 Watt TDP, $294 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1270 v5: Quad-Core + HT, 3.6GHz Base, 4.0GHz Turbo, 80 Watt TDP, $328 USD
- Intel Xeon E3 1280 v5: Quad-Core + HT, 3.7GHz Base, 4.0GHz Turbo, 80 Watt TDP, $612
It's an interesting assortment of E3 v5 processors that are topping out in the upper 3GHz range, generally have an 80 Watt TDP except for the few -L processors running at still competitive frequencies but with TDPs of 25~35 Watts, and the -5 models with HD Graphics P530 integrated. All of these tested Skylake E3 Xeons have an 8MB Intel Smart Cache, AVX 2.0, 14nm manufacturing, and support up to dual-channel DDR4-2133MHz ECC UDIMM memory. If you want to look at each of the processor's specifications more closely, there is the Intel ARK comparison with all of the data.
For adding some additional perspective to these Skylake Xeon performance figures, the following extra systems/processors were tested based upon other Intel Xeon / Core i7 EE recent hardware I had available and what I could test on the AMD side. Unfortunately on the AMD side, my newest Opteron system is a decade old with the company not sending out server/workstation review samples, so for testing on the red side was just an AMD FX-8370.
- Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3: Quad-Core + HT, 3.4GHz base, 3.8GHz Turbo, 80 Watt TDP, 8MB Cache, $240 USD
- Intel Core i7 5960X EE: Eight-Cores + HT, 3.0GHz Base, 3.5GHz Turbo, 140 Watt TDP, 20MB Cache, $999 USD
- Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3: Eight-Cores + HT, 3.2GHz Base, 3.8GHz Turbo, 140 Watt TDP, 20MB Cache, $1723 USD
- Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3: Ten-Cores + HT, 3.1GHz Base, 3.5GHz Turbo, 160 Watt TDP, 25MB Cache, $2145 USD
- AMD FX-8370: Eight-Core, 4.0GHz Base, 4.3GHz Turbo, 125 Watt, 8MB Cache, $199 USD