Tech

Intel Xeon W-1200 and Core i-10000 with vPro functions for corporate networks

Since 2006, Intel has been selling variants of processors and chipsets for centrally administered office computers with remote maintenance functions and Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) under the additional brand "vPro". For some years now there have been closely related Xeons for single processor workstations as well as for mobile workstations. There they often work in conjunction with professional graphics cards from the Nvidia Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro series.

Now Intel is introducing the vPro and Xeon versions of the 10th Core i generation Core i-10000 aka "Comet Lake" with up to ten CPU cores. They are structurally identical to the other LGA1200 processors and also contain the same silicon. What is new in the Comet Lake generation is that the overclockable "K" versions of the processors are now released for vPro.

Intel has already announced most of the Core i 10000 processors that can also be used for vPro office computers, as well as most H types with four to eight cores and 45 watts for notebooks.

The 15-watt U versions with vPro are new and have slightly different numbers than those without vPro. So far there are no 10-nanometer processors (Ice Lake) with vPro.

Intel's vPro platforms combine certain processors, chipsets and network chips with CSME firmware.

(Image: Intel)

Intel changes the naming scheme for the Xeons: The Xeon versions of the Coffee Lake (Refresh) generations (Core i-8000/9000) came as the Xeon E-2100 and Xeon E-2200, the Comet Lake types are now called Xeon W-1200. They run on mainboards with the chipset W480 – a relative of the platform controller hub PCH Z490 – and can protect the main memory from the most common bit errors using error correction code (ECC). As with the other LGA1200 processors, a maximum of four UDIMMs with 32 GB each are possible, i.e. up to 128 GB RAM.

As before, Core i9- / i7- / i5-10000 lacks the ECC function. In cheap configurations, workstation manufacturers can still use a Core i3-10000 or Pentium G 6000 and use ECC. Then it is no longer a vPro system, because at least one Core i5 is required.

Like the Core i9-10900K, the top model in the Core i 10000 family for desktop PCs, the Xeon E-1290P has ten CPU cores and 125 watts TDP. Other ten cores are the 65-watt type Core i-10900 and the Xeon E-1290 (80 watt), but also the 35-watt versions Core i-10900T and Xeon E-1290T. The base clock frequency for the latter is only 1.9 GHz, in the Turbo Intel promises up to 4.7 GHz. Only the top models have the new Thermal Velocity Boost.

As with the Comet Lake-S desktop PC platforms, Intel now recommends using the I255 Ethernet chip with 2.5 GBit / s, i.e.NBase-T. The Wi-Fi 6 adapter Intel AX201 with vPro is available for WLAN.

Most vPro functions are off known to previous vPro generations, Intel has further developed them at Comet Lake. The marketing name vPro not only denotes remote maintenance, but a whole bundle of functions that only work in combination with certain chipsets, Ethernet or WLAN adapters, an additional physical Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) and a special UEFI BIOS. Because many of the functions are based on the converged security and management engine (CSME, formerly ME) built into the PCH.

Thus, vPro is particularly interesting for manufacturers of complete computers and is difficult to fully implement when building a PC based on a Q470 or W480 mainboard.

Despite the famous vulnerabilities Specter and Meltdown, which are very difficult to exploit, Intel emphasizes the security features of vPro. For some time now, this has included the aforementioned TPM, which Microsoft Windows can also use for the Measured Launch, for example.

Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) is also a vPro component, while the virtualization functions VT-x and VT-d can also be used with other Intel CPUs (and with AMD as AMD-V and IOMMU); Windows uses them for virtualization-based security (VBS, core isolation).

Under the generic term Intel Hardware Shield, Intel summarizes several functions that are intended to ensure the integrity of the UEFI BIOS in order to protect it from manipulation, for example for attacks of the "evil maid" type. This includes, for example, Intel Runtime BIOS Resilience, which essentially makes abuse of the System Management Mode (SMM) more difficult.

Microsoft now lists a number of "Secured-Core PCs" with better firmware protection, especially notebooks. Firmware protection is particularly important there because they are stolen more frequently and SSD encryption (such as BitLocker) can be attacked via firmware attacks.

Intel's Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) is not yet included in the Comet Lake processors. It is said to improve protection against Specter-type attacks.

The best firmware protection is of no use if attackers manipulate the hardware during manufacture or during transport. Intel's efforts for one Transparent supply chain should protect against this, for example with digital certificates that approved manufacturers store in the firmware during production.

Intel's vPro products are also available a little longer than the "normal" processors and chipsets; Intel used to call this the Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP): It should reduce the effort in companies to maintain preconfigured and validated operating system images.

Intel vPro processors of the 10th Core i generation Core i-10000 and Xeon W-1200
Core-i type Cores
(all with HT)
TDP Base clock turbo
Comet Lake-S for desktop PCs (LGA1200, Q470)

Core i9-10900K

10th

125 W.

3.7 GHz

5.3 GHz *

Core i9-10900

10th

65 W.

2.8 GHz

5.2 GHz *

Core i9-10900T

10th

35 W.

1.9 GHz

4.7 GHz

Core i7-10700K

8th

125 W.

3.8 GHz

5.1 GHz

Core i7-10700

8th

65 W.

2.9 GHz

4.8 GHz

Core i7-10700T

8th

35 W.

2.0 GHz

k. A.

Core i5-10600K

6

125 W.

4.1 GHz

4.8 GHz

Core i5-10600

6

65 W.

3.3 GHz

4.8 GHz

Core i5-10600T

6

35 W.

2.5 GHz

k. A.

Core i5-10500

6

65 W.

3.1 GHz

4.5 GHz

Core i5-10500T

6

35 W.

2.3 GHz

k. A.

Comet Lake-S for workstations with ECC-RAM (LGA1200, W480)

Xeon W-1290P

10th

125 W.

3.7 GHz

5.3 GHz *

Xeon W-1290

10th

80 W.

3.2 GHz

5.2 GHz *

Xeon W-1290T

10th

35 W.

1.9 GHz

4.7 GHz

Xeon W-1270P

8th

125 W.

3.8 GHz

5.1 GHz

Xeon W-1270

8th

80 W.

3.4 GHz

5.0 GHz

Xeon W-1250P

6

125 W.

4.1 GHz

Xeon W-1250

6

80 W.

3.3 GHz

Comet Lake-H for mobile workstations

Core i9-10885H

8th

45 W.

2.4 GHz

5.2 GHz

Core i7-10875H

8th

45 W.

2.3 GHz

5.1 GHz

Core i7-10850H

6

45 W.

2.7 GHz

5.1 GHz

Core i5-10400H

4th

45 W.

2.6 GHz

4.6 GHz

Comet Lake-H for mobile workstations with ECC-RAM

Xeon W-10885M

8th

45 W.

2.4 GHz

5.2 GHz

Xeon W-10855M

6

45 W.

2.8 GHz

5.1 GHz

Comet Lake-U for business PCs

Core i7-10810U

6

15 W.

1.1 GHz

4.7 GHz

Core i7-10610U

4th

15 W.

1.8 GHz

4.9 GHz

Core i5-10310U

4th

15 W.

1.7 GHz

4.5 GHz

* with Intel Thermal Velocity Boost


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. (tagsToTranslate) Intel (t) Intel Core i (t) PC system (t) Processors (t) Security (t) Workstation (t) vPro