Intel launches first laptop-ready Xeon chip

Chip will be targeted at specific verticals, although some power users may want it.

Late last week Intel announced its first workstation-grade Xeon CPUs for laptops. The exact details aren't available, nor is a release date, although the details it did release are intriguing.

Xeons have been available for high-end desktops doing work like CAD and other graphic design because they have features a business power user would want, like error correcting code (ECC) memory and the vPro business management features.

The laptop processor, the Xeon E3-1500M v5, is meant for that same market of power users who are on the go or move between locations and need mobility. And while the new Skylake processor will have some advanced features like ECC, there are some other goodies.

The Xeon E3-1500M v5 will include Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C ports, which support 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 transfer speeds. It will also have its own optimized graphics, although Intel did not go into details. The Xeon has never been known as a graphics champ since it runs on servers, but the upcoming Skylake line is said to have very good graphics, so we may see a desktop Xeon with Skylake-level graphics.

Also, Intel's announcement includes this new Xeon in with the 6th generation Core family based on the Skylake architecture, so it sounds safe to assume this will be a Skylake part, not the older Haswell design.

As far as performance goes, this likely won't be any faster than other desktop processors because the E3 family has always stuck to quad-core design. The E3 has traditionally been for power desktops and low-end servers, usually a tower server. The big brothers of the E3, the E5 and E7, are designed for servers and come with six to 15 cores.

So figure on the E3 1500 to be aimed at power users who need the extra stability and reliability for processor-intensive work. Your Core i7 will be enough for almost everything else.

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