The ever increasing flow of CPUs from Intel most certainly keeps us on our toes with the new mainboards that together make the platform. Servers are not often top of our list join us as we take a swift look into the new Sandy Bridge Series Xeons. The E3 series was recently introduced featuring professional-class for the first time.
As it usually goes, advancing to a new architecture with higher level of integration meant that the pricing on CPUs and Mainboards are once more more affordable for the SoHo office and small business. Thus, smaller businesses can go to an SI (System Integrator) or VAR (Value Added Reseller) without over spending on the IT budget for the year. More so for the new business making its way into the world they can obtain a whole unit without breaking the bank.Intel Xeon E3-1280 Processor
For the purpose of this review, Intel has provided us with the Xeon E3-1280 processor. With 3.5GHz stock clock and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 raising the clock to 3.9GHz, this is one of fastest widely-available X86 processors in the world (3.73GHz NetBurst Pentium D processor was not widely available, neither was limited-edition 4.4GHz Dual-Core Gulftown-based Xeon
). The processor utilizes external data transport link clocking in five billion transfers per second (5GT/s), somewhere in between faster and slower Gulftown-based Xeons (4.8 and 5.4 GT/s respectively). However, that transfer speed is equal to desktop-based Sandy Bridge processors, something we commend.Intel Xeon E3-1280 processor comes with HD Graphics P3000
This is also the very first Intel processor featuring professional-class graphics
, i.e. integrated graphics subsystem was optimized for professional applications. Do not expect wonders, though.Intel S1200BTS Motherboard
According to the spec sheet, the company is pitching this product as an "entry Intel Server Board with Essential Server-Class Features"
. The S1200BT supports the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 series and will support the next generation, 22nm Ivy Bridge processors - ensuring future upgradeability. The board is shipping in two variations; S1200BTS base SKU (the one tested today) and S1200BTL featuring either optional Intel I/O or the Management Module. Boards also differ in form factor, as S1200BTL is expected to be installed in 1U cases.
The board we tested today features a conventional e-ATX form factor, offering six SATA ports (only two white ones are SATA 6Gbps), internal and external USB Connectivity (internal for an add-on USB SSD).
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