Xeon E3s - 1220 vs 1225 vs 1226

Notice: Page may contain affiliate links for which we may earn a small commission through services like Amazon Affiliates or Skimlinks.


New Member
Aug 24, 2021
This is really a follow up to my earlier thread here. The short of it is I had some old hardware laying around that I wanted to make use of, and I was struck by how cheap older server hardware has become. (Or maybe has been for a while and I just never knew.) My plan is to put together a low-end TrueNAS box. Just file storage, no transcoding, containers or other fancy stuff.

I managed to snag some decent deals on a Supermicro X10SLM-F and RAM to match, and now I just need to pick up a CPU. I've been looking at what's available, and (on the low end) it seems I could pick up a Xeon E3 1220, 1225 or 1226 v3 all for about the same $40. Given my build target, which would you guys suggest would be an appropriate choice?

As far as I can tell, there's only a 200 Mhz difference at most between them, and I don't think I need all that much power to begin with. The 1225 and 1226 have built in graphics, but as I understand it the motherboard I purchased has IPMI and wouldn't make use of those integrated graphics. The 1220 shaves 4W off the TDP, but would I really notice any difference in the real world? Especially since I wouldn't be pushing it.

There's also the option of a 1231, but with just a tiny bump up in clock speed, I can't see it matters for me.

The only thing I can think of is the 1226 and 1231 were released a year later than the others, and if there were any process refinements in that time those two processors might benefit from it. Admittedly, it's another thing that might be so slight as to not make a difference for me.


May 12, 2013
Xeon E3 1220, 1225 or 1226 v3 all for about the same $40
At these late stage of E3 v3 life cycle, pricing is based on supply not clock speed.
No reason not getting a 4 core , 4 threads CPU like 1240 v3 and up , like 1270 v3.

Last week, I picked up 3 x E3-1240 v3 for $38 each shipped.
I still have a lot of Supermicro and Intel E3 v3 systems.

I also picked up 5 x E3-1270 v5 CPU for less money than E3-1240 v5.
  • Like
Reactions: T_Minus and Patrick


Active Member
Dec 5, 2016
The C222/C224 Chipsets can't use the IGP, only C226 can, but besides that it should be able to work with the Xeons models with IGP anyways.

Xeon E3 1225v3 is Haswell whereas 1226v3 is Haswell Refresh, which should be like 100 MHz higher. I think there were some cases where Haswell Refresh didn't POSTed if you didn't upgrade the Motherboard Firmware first, so the 1225v3 may be safer. Supermicro lacking public BIOS changelogs isn't really helpful with that.
Also, having an IGP makes it more reusable than the IGPless models like the 1220v3, since before Skylake you could use a Xeon E3 as drop-in replacement for consumer LGA 1150 Motherboards. I wouldn't even consider a model without IGP for the same price. It doesn't help but doesn't hurt you, either, but you have it just in case.


Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2019
I paid an extra few bucks because I might use the IGP for video transcode.

Turns out i didn't need it because it's a opnsense router and I didn't virtualize anything after all, but eh, that's fine.


New Member
Nov 24, 2020
Check if your server supports vPro or out of band as well. An IGP is useful when using vPro for remote KVM (a discrete video card usually don't support this).