24 5 GHz mainstream cores, up to 112 cores with 8-channel memory for Expert workstations

The latest information on the Intel Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform, which will be equipped with Sapphire Rapids-X “Xeon-W” processors, was disclosed by Moore’s Law is Dead. The new information adds more details on the two segments that will be presented in the offering, the first being the mainstream Xeon-W and the second being the Xeon-W expert platform.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-X “Xeon-W” for Fishhawk has two variants: 24 5 GHz mainstream cores, up to 112 cores with 8-channel memory for the expert

The last time we talked about the Sapphire-Rapids-X “Xeon-W” lineup, a few pieces were still missing, but everything is falling into place thanks to the latest leak from Moore’s Law is Dead. TechTuber was able to reveal some new details while confirming some of the older details and the way they would fall out on the new Fishhawk Falls platform.

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The Intel Sapphire Rapids-X “Xeon-W” processor offering for the Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform was presented in detail. (Image Credits: Moore’s Law is Dead)

First, Intel is withdrawing the brand from the “Core-X” series and using the “Xeon-W” brand instead. This is a similar approach to AMD, which also dropped the traditional Ryzen Threadripper nomenclature and instead shifted to the “Pro” brand on all of its Zen 3 family SKUs. A mainstream family with high core count chips is considered an enthusiastic project, but people who really know the HEDT platform will see the upcoming platform as such, not the other way around.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-X – Xeon-W Expert workstation platform

Intel also plans to further segment its Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform into two categories: an expert workstation and the popular workstation platform. The expert workstation platform will replace the Ice Lake-W Xeon processors that were launched in 2020. They will be equipped with up to 56 Golden Cove cores and just 12 cores, which will rise above 4 GHz. It will be a diverse portfolio with multiple TDP SKUs scaled up to 350W for flagship models. In terms of price, these chips are expected to be in the range of $ 3,000 to $ 5,000, which places them in the ultra-premium performance category.

The Fishhawk Falls platform will be a solid next-generation ecosystem consisting of 8-channel DDR5-4400 (1DPC) / DDR5-4800 (2DPC) and up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. They will be delivered with ECC support and up to 4 TB of DDR5 memory (theoretically) is possible. There’s also a good chance we’ll see dual-processor SPR Expert Workstation motherboards that will increase the number of cores per platform to 112 cores, almost double that of AMD’s flagship Threadripper, 5995WX (64 Zen 3 cores). To sum up:

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  • Intel “Expert” Sapphire Rapids HEDT processors
  • Up to 56 cores / 112 threads
  • LGA 4677 socket support (dual-socket motherboards possible)
  • 112 lanes of PCIe Gen 5.0
  • 8-channel DDR5 memory (up to 4 TB)

Intel Sapphire Rapids – the main Xeon workstation platform

The second platform was designed to be a more popular workstation offering and will replace the Cascade Lake-X and Xeon-W Skylake-X (Xeon W-3175X) chips. These Sapphire Rapids-X processors can support up to 24 cores and 48 threads in one monolithic design. The clock speeds will be set above 5 GHz (boost) and the whole core gain will be around 4.4-4.6 GHz.

The processors will have around TDP PL1 of 200-300W TDP, however the top model can go around 300-400W PL2 based on the final clock configuration. At the moment, the Core i9-12900KS already has a PL2 power of 241W, so more cores working with higher clocks can lead to over 300W. In terms of performance, Golden Cove’s 24 cores are said to easily outperform the 32-core 3970X in multithreading and we can expect the same compared to the 32-core 5970X, however, the highest 64-core line will be something that only an expert platform can compete with.

A single Sapphire Rapids-SP die containing 15 Golden Cove cores, 1 of which is off for a total of 14 cores. (Image credits: Der8auer)

As for the platform, it supports 4-channel (EEC) DDR5 and the number of PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes will drop to 64. Prices will be largely similar to previous Core-X processors, so we can expect to pay around US $ 500-3000 for these chips . Earlier rumors suggested that the Fishhawk HEDT family would be based on the W790 / C790 PCH, but given that at least two platforms are under development, there may be a much higher PCH SKU. The premiere is expected in the third quarter of 2022, around the same time as the 13th generation Raptor Lake processors, but Intel may give us a first glimpse of the Computex platform later this month. To summarize the main segment of the Sapphire Rapids:

  • Intel “Mainstream” Sapphire Rapids HEDT processors
  • Up to 24 cores / 48 threads
  • Up to 5.2 GHz Boost Clock
  • All core boost to 4.6 GHz
  • Support for LGA 4677 sockets
  • 64 lanes of PCIe Gen 5.0
  • 4-channel DDR5 memory (up to 512 GB)
  • The premiere in the third quarter of 2022.

Intel HEDT processor families:

Intel HEDT family Sapphire Rapids-X? (Sapphire Awards Expert) Alder Lake-X? (Sapphire Rapids mainstream) Kaskadowe Lake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Broadwell-E Haswell-E Ivy Bridge-E Sandy Bridge-E Gulftown
Process node 10nm ESF 10nm ESF 14nm ++ 14nm + 14nm + 14nm + 14nm 22nm 22nm 32nm 32nm
Flagship SKU code TBA TBA Core i9-10980XE Xeon W-3175X Core i9-9980XE Core i9-7980XE Core i7-6950X Core i7-5960X Core i7-4960X Core i7-3960X Core i7-980X
Maximum number of cores / threads 56/112? 24/48 18/36 28/56 18/36 18/36 10/20 8/16 6/12 6/12 6/12
Clock speeds ~ 4.5 GHz ~ 5.0 GHz 3.00 / 4.80 GHz 3.10 / 4.30 GHz 3.00 / 4.50 GHz 2.60 / 4.20 GHz 3.00 / 3.50 GHz 3.00 / 3.50 GHz 3.60 / 4.00 GHz 3.30 / 3.90 GHz 3.33 / 3.60 GHz
Maximum cache 105MB L3 45 MB L3 24.75MB L3 38.5MB L3 24.75MB L3 24.75MB L3 25 MB L3 20 MB L3 15 MB L3 15 MB L3 12MB L3
Maximum Number of PCI-Express Lanes (CPU) 112 Gen 5 65 Gen 5 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen2 32 Gen2
Chipset compatibility W790? W790? X299 C612E X299 X299 X99 chipset X99 chipset X79 chipset X79 chipset X58 chipset
Compatibility of sockets LGA 4677? LGA 4677? LGA 2066 LGA 3647 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011 LGA 2011 LGA 1366
Memory Compatibility DDR5-4800? DDR5-5200? DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2800 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2133 DDR3-1866 DDR3-1600 DDR3-1066
TDP ~ 500W ~ 400W 165W 255W 165W 165W 140W 140W 130W 130W 130W
Beginning 3rd quarter 2022? 3rd quarter 2022? 4th Quarter 2019 4th Quarter 2018 4th Quarter 2018 3rd Quarter 2017 Q2 2016 3rd Quarter 2014 3rd Quarter 2013 4th Quarter 2011 1st Quarter 2010
Starting price TBA TBA $ 979 ~ $ 4,000 $ 1,979 1999 USD $ 1,700 $ 1,059 $ 999 $ 999 $ 999

There are at least four SKUs and three different platform configurations in the SKU section below, starting with the Sapphire Rapids-SP XCC matrices that will target the server market. These will be fully fledged parts and will not be part of the HEDT Xeon Workstation family. There are also Sapphire Rapids-112L XCC matrices that offer up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes and will be available as part of the Expert Workstation platform (most likely in dual-slot designs). This is followed by the MCC Sapphire Rapids-SP setup which will offer an average number of cores but with 8-channel memory support, while the basic mainstream SPR-MSWS workstation platform will feature the same MCC die but with support for 4- channel DDR5 memory.

Intel intends to offer at least four different SKU configurations in its Sapphire Rapids Xeon Workstation HEDT lineup. (Image credits: MLID)

From what we get, the new Intel HEDT family will look like this:

  • Sapphire Rapids-AP (Xeon class workstation replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (High-end replacement for enthusiasts)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (Replacing the mainstream class of enthusiasts)

Now the question remains, will Intel want to name all three Sapphire Rapids families, or will the core mainstream range be referred to as something else? There is already support for Alder Lake-X added to AIDA64, and the mainstream family looks more like the enhanced Alder Lake-S platform than the workstation-oriented Sapphire Rapids platform, however the main difference between SPR and ADL may be that the latter has a hybrid core design while the HEDT family relies solely on P cores.

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