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Intel Launches Kaby-Lake based Xeons: The E3-1200 v6 Family

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For the several generations previous, it has become customary for the Xeon equivalents of consumer processors to hit the market several months later. We saw the launch of Kaby Lake on the consumer desktop in January, with quad-core parts up to 4.0 GHz coming to retail. The Xeon E3 launch will be in the similar vein to previous years, designed for entry-level workstations, small business servers and storage servers, and Intel’s main comparisons for these Xeons will be to replace similar builds that are more than three years old.

A total of eight processors will be launched today under the E3 v6 name, with some models receiving a corresponding low-power version later down the line. All desktop replaceable CPUs will be using the LGA1151 socket, the same as the previous generation E3 v5 Xeons.

Intel E3-1200 v6 CPUs (Kaby Lake)
  C/T Base Freq Turbo L3 Cache IGP IGP Freq TDP $
E3-1280 v6 4/8 3.9 GHz 4.2 GHz 8 MB - - 72 W $612
E3-1275 v6 4/8 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 8 MB P630 1150 MHz 73 W $339
E3-1270 v6 4/8 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 8 MB - - 72 W $328
E3-1245 v6 4/8 3.7 GHz 4.1 GHz 8 MB P630 1150 MHz 73 W $284
E3-1240 v6 4/8 3.7 GHz 4.1 GHz 8 MB - - 72 W $272
E3-1230 v6 4/8 3.5 GHz 3.9 GHz 8 MB - - 72 W $250
E3-1225 v6 4/4 3.3 GHz 3.7 GHz 8 MB P630 1150 MHz 73 W $213
E3-1220 v6 4/4 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 8 MB - - 72 W $193

On the integrated graphics models, i.e. those ending in '5', are all running Intel HD P630 graphics and run up to 1150 MHz. This is the ‘professional’ version of the HD630 we see on the consumer parts, using Intel’s latest Gen9 graphics architecture and supporting H.265 encode/decode. Our Kaby Lake review piece goes into more detail.

The high-end E3 v6 parts will have a maximum base frequency of 3.9 GHz base and a 4.2 GHz turbo. All the parts listed have a full 8MB of L3 cache, and either be 72W for non-IGP models or 73W for IGP parts. As with other previous Xeons, these come with ECC memory support, vPro and other technologies Intel files under the professional level. In Intel’s presentations, Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions) are included, however TSX (Transactional Extensions) were not listed.

Intel E3-1200 v6 and v5 CPUs
IGP v6 Model v5 IGP
- 3.9/4.2, 72W E3-1280 3.7/4.0, 80W -
+ 3.8/4.2, 73W E3-1275 3.6/4.0, 80W +
- 3.8/4.2, 72W E3-1270 3.6/4.0, 80W -
- - E3-1260L 2.9/3.9, 45W -
+ 3.7/4.1, 73W E3-1245 3.5/3.9, 80W +
- 3.7/4.1, 72W E3-1240 3.5/3.9, 80W -
- - E3-1240L 2.1/3.2, 25W -
- - E3-1235L 2.0/3.0, 25W +
- 3.5/3.9, 72W E3-1230 3.4/3.8, 80W -
+ 3.3/3.7, 73W E3-1225 3.3/3.7, 80W +
- 3.0/3.3, 72W E3-1220 3.0/3.5, 80W -

It is worth noting that for LGA1151 based E3 v5 Xeons, Intel adjusted the requirements such that Xeon processors require a server grade chipset on the motherboard. For Skylake E3 v5 parts, this was either a C232 or C236 chipset – we reviewed a few motherboards with these on (ASRock E3V5 Gaming, GIGABYTE Z170X-Extreme ECC). With a BIOS update, these C232/C236 motherboards should support the new v6 processors.

For the E3 v6 line, Intel is not releasing new chipsets, deciding to stick with the C232 and C236 models. This means that users wishing to upgrade their E3 v5 system will have to wait for a BIOS update in order for the new CPUs to work. We have yet to receive word if the standard motherboard manufacturers are launching a new series of motherboards for this generation, however we suspect that several will do so.

With the no new motherboard chipsets being launched, it is, therefore, odd that Intel is announcing Optane Memory support with the E3-1200 v6 Xeons. This essentially means that Optane Memory support is already baked into the chipset, and it is merely a firmware approval of a CPU and chipset combination in order for it to be enabled. Intel states that only select E3-1500M v6 (mobile) and E3-1200 v6 (desktop) configurations will be available for use with Optane, and may only be provided on an OEM basis.

Intel Xeon E-Series Families (February 2017)
  E3-1200 v5 E3-1500 v5
E3-1500M v6
E5-1600 v4
E5-2600 v4
E5-4600 v4
E7-4800 v4 E7-8800 v4
Core Family Skylake Skylake Broadwell Broadwell Broadwell
Core Count 2 to 4 2 to 4 4 to 22 8 to 16 4 to 24
Integrated Graphics Few, HD 520 Yes, Iris Pro No No No
DRAM Channels 2 2 4 4 4
Max DRAM Support (per CPU) 64 GB 64 GB 1536 GB 3072 GB 3072GB
DMI/QPI DMI 3.0 DMI 3.0 2600: 1xQPI
4600: 1xQPI
3 QPI 3 QPI
Multi-Socket Support No No 2600: 1S/2S
4600: 1S/2S
1S, 2S or 4S Up to 8S
PCIe Lanes 16 16 40 32 32
Cost $213 to
$612
$396 to
$1207
$294 to
$7007
$1223 to
$3003
$4061 to
$8898
Suited For Entry Workstations QuickSync,
Memory Compute
High-End Workstation Many-Core Server World Domination

Along with Intel’s announcement, we are seeing systems being launched with E3 v6 processors installed. Prices of the new parts are equivalent to the last generation.

To call out a big elephant in the room: Intel has more competition in this space than in previous years. Intel gives value to Xeon processors above consumer products, but Ryzen could potentially be an alternative to Intel. Aside from AMD, some of the positioning that Intel puts forward with the E3 could be taken up by Intel’s Atom offerings, Xeon-D, or even musings from ARM partners on new silicon designs. All being said, Intel is still expected to have the peak single thread performance for general purpose compute, and has the larger install base of customers and ready-to-go platforms. Performance per watt will be a key metric to monitor as well.

We have the E3 v5 processors in for testing on our new CPU test suite, and we hope that the E3 v6 units will arrive in due course. Stay tuned for those. 

Related Reading:

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zipcube
11 hours ago
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Intel hasn't even finished rolling out v5 across the whole Xeon lineup yet
Dallas, Texas
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peelman
17 hours ago
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Will Apple offer an iMac Pro or any new desktop Pro machine of some stripe containing one of these? My guess is a big resounding "No". And if its a tower-ish model, shipping with "just" an E3 would be a tragedy.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
16 hours ago
I'd guess no as well. How great would an extensible, pro-level mac be with that Optane memory all slotted in? I can dream...

Potent LastPass exploit underscores the dark side of password managers

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(credit: Wikimedia)

Developers of the widely used LastPass password manager are scrambling to fix a serious vulnerability that makes it possible for malicious websites to steal user passcodes and in some cases execute malicious code on computers running the program.

The flaw, which affects the latest version of the LastPass browser extension, was briefly described on Saturday by Tavis Ormandy, a researcher with Google's Project Zero vulnerability reporting team. When people have the LastPass binary running, the vulnerability allows malicious websites to execute code of their choice. Even when the binary isn't present, the flaw can be exploited in a way that lets malicious sites steal passwords from the protected LastPass vault. Ormandy said he developed a proof-of-concept exploit and sent it to LastPass officials. Developers now have three months to patch the hole before Project Zero discloses technical details.

"It will take a long time to fix this properly," Ormandy said. "It's a major architectural problem. They have 90 days, no need to scramble!"

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kazriko
10 hours ago
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I'd rather take the occasional risk of a security flaw and having to change my passwords over password reuse and all the flaws that come from that.
Colorado Plateau
zipcube
11 hours ago
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Dallas, Texas
cbenard
12 hours ago
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Plano, Texas
zipcube
11 hours ago
lol Tavis is a weapon of mass destruction
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fxer
4 hours ago
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Strangely, I feel better with Ormandy spending so much time pentesting LastPass
Bend, Oregon
freeAgent
13 hours ago
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Please don't get into the wild. Please don't get into the wild. Please don't get into the wild.
Los Angeles, CA

Embattled DNC Asks All Staffers For Resignation Letters

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has launched a major overhaul of the party's organization, which has been stung by recent crises — and the DNC has requested resignation letters from all current staffers.

Party staff routinely see major turnover with a new boss and they had been alerted to expect such a move. However, the mass resignation letters will give Perez a chance to completely remake the DNC's headquarters from scratch. Staffing had already reached unusual lows following a round of post-election layoffs in December.

Immediately after Perez's selection as party chairman in late February, an adviser to outgoing DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, asked every employee to submit a letter of resignation dated April 15, according to multiple sources familiar with the party's internal workings.

A committee advising Perez on his transition is now interviewing staff and others as part of a top-to-bottom review process to decide not only who will stay and who will go, but how the party should be structured in the future.

Full Perez Interview: 'We Have to Rebuild Our Party' 8:33

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Major staffing and organizational changes will be announced in coming weeks, one aide said.

"This is longstanding precedent at the DNC and has happened during multiple Chair transitions," said DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. "The process was started before the election of the new Chair. From the beginning, Tom has been adamant that we structure the DNC for future campaigns. Current and future DNC staff will be integral to that effort. Over the last few months, the DNC staff has done incredible work under immense pressure to hold Trump accountable."

Perez is the party's third leader in the past year, which was one of its most difficult on record.

It began with accusations that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, continued with the wrenching exposure of hacked emails and the abrupt resignation of former chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and concluded with the shocking defeat of its presidential nominee and a divisive race for the new party chairman.

The grueling experience, which followed years in which many Democrats felt the Obama White House ignored the party organization, has left the DNC with a crisis of confidence and competence.

Now Perez, who spent most of his career in government and not politics, needs to rebuild the beleaguered party, take on President Donald Trump, tap into a unique moment of progressive activism across the country, and replenish the party's coffers.

"I wouldn't wish that on anybody," California Gov. Jerry Brown told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I was the Democratic Party chairman in California — it's a miserable job. So, Tom, too bad."

Perez has spent his first weeks on the job in "active listening mode," hearing from Democrats in Washington and in small group meetings across the country before making any big moves.

"What we're trying to do is culture change," he told NBC News between stops of a listening tour in Michigan on Friday. "We're repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can't land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice."

RELATED: Democratic party boss "thrilled" that Trump failed

It's a whirlwind job that took Perez from being feted at a donor conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington Thursday night to playing Solitaire on his iPhone in row 31 on a Delta flight to Detroit shortly after dawn the next morning.

The DNC will embark on a national search to fill key party positions, overseen by the 30-odd members of the transition advisory committee.

The committee is also reviewing the DNC's contracts with outside vendors and consultants, a source of complaints from many Democrats.

Progressives also criticized the transition committee's initial makeup, leading the DNC to add several more members from the left's ranks.

Earlier this month, Perez held a meeting to discuss the issue with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sanders, both of whom supported Rep. Keith Ellison in the DNC chair race.

Schumer, pointing to Ellison and Sanders, told Perez, "If he's happy, and if he's happy, then I'm happy," according to two sources.

Perez has included Ellison in many of the DNC's public events so far, but the party's charter makes no provision for a deputy chair, so Ellison does not have vote on the DNC. That could be fixed by naming the Minnesota congressman to one of the 75 slots the chairman gets to appoint to the national committee.

Ellison's political director has also been helping to oversee staffing decisions in some key departments in the DNC, according to several sources.

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zipcube
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Will the Supreme Court end the East Texas patent scam?

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Enlarge / People wait in line to enter the US Supreme Court building in January 2016. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

It didn't take long during oral arguments yesterday for the Supreme Court to hear about the "single judge in the United States that has one-quarter of all patent cases" from a lawyer representing patent defendant TC Heartland. Now, the question is what the court will do about it.

The wonky issue of patent venues is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court, which heard arguments yesterday in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands. Kraft sued TC Heartland for infringing its patents on "liquid water enhancers" in Delaware, and TC Heartland lawyers asked to move the case to its home state of Indiana. A Delaware judge rejected the case, noting that TC Heartland shipped about 2 percent of the accused products to Delaware. That was enough to keep the case in the state.

TC Heartland appealed, but the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled against the company last year. The company appealed again, asking the Supreme Court to take its case. TC Heartland's petition was bolstered by a brief (PDF) filed by 32 Internet companies, emphasizing that venue rules were being abused by so-called "patent trolls" with no business beyond licensing and litigating patents. Tech trade associations and public interest groups Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge (PDF) also urged the high court to take the case. In December, the petition was granted.

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zipcube
12 hours ago
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Trump’s executive order on climate change finally drops

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Enlarge (credit: Tammy Anthony Baker)

After weeks of rumors and delays, President Trump signed an executive order on climate policies Tuesday at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency—an agency the Trump Administration tried to hit with a $247 million cut for the current fiscal year, according to Politico, and is seeking a 31 percent budget cut for next year. The order includes a number of actions to undo Obama-era decisions addressing the greenhouse gas emissions that have already warmed the world’s climate about 1°C (1.8°F) since the late 1800s.

As part of the announcement, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, "America's leadership, the president's leadership, on how we achieve energy independence while improving our environment in this country and abroad is determined more by the actions that this president is taking than at any time."

Clean Power Plan ended

The main target of the effort is the EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule. The EPA finalized the rule last August, but a court challenge by a number of Republican state attorneys general (including new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt) has kept it in legal limbo. The goal of the Clean Power Plan was to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule set reduction targets for each state to meet but left it to the states to decide how they wanted to meet it. It would have been particularly difficult for coal-burning plants to meet the new standards, and less burning coal would result in reductions of other pollutants as well.

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