24 Cores at 5 GHz For Mainstream, Up To 112 Cores With 8-Channel Memory For Expert Workstations

The latest information regarding Intel’s Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform which will feature Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ CPUs has been leaked by Moore’s Law is Dead. The new information adds more details regarding the two segments that will be featured within the lineup, the first being the Xeon-W mainstream and the second being the Xeon-W expert platform.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ For Fishhawk Falls Platform To Come In Two Flavors: 24 Cores at 5 GHz For Mainstream, Up To 112 Cores With 8-Channel Memory For Expert

The last time we talked about the Sapphire-Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ lineup, there were still a few missing bits and pieces but it’s all coming together thanks to the latest leak from Moore’s Law is Dead. The TechTuber was able to reveal a bunch of new details while also reaffirming some older details and how they will pan out on the new Fishhawk Falls platform.

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Intel Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ CPU lineup for Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform has been detailed. (Image Credits: Moore’s Law is Dead)

So first of all, Intel is dropping the ‘Core-X’ series branding from its lineup and instead going with the ‘Xeon-W’ branding. This is a similar approach to AMD which has also dropped the traditional Ryzen Threadripper naming and instead gone with the ‘Pro’ branding across all of their SKUs in the Zen 3 family. The mainstream family with high-core count chips is what is regarded as design enthusiasts but people who really know the HEDT platform will see the upcoming platform as such and not the other way.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-X – Xeon-W Expert Workstation Platform

Intel is also planning to further segment its Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform into two categories, an expert workstation, and a mainstream workstation platform. The expert workstation platform will be succeeding Ice Lake-W Xeon CPUs that launched back in 2020. These will feature up to 56 Golden Cove cores and as low as 12 cores that will boost beyond 4 GHz. It will be a diverse portfolio with lots of SKUs with TDPs scaling up to 350W for the flagship models. As for price, these chips are expected between $3000-$5000 which puts them in the ultra-premium performance category.

The Fishhawk Falls platform is going to be a robust and next-gen ecosystems comprising 8-Channel DDR5-4400 (1DPC) / DDR5-4800 (2DPC) and up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. These will come with ECC support and up to 4 TB DDR5 memory is possible (theoretically). There’s also a good chance that we might see dual-socket SPR Expert Workstation motherboards that would boost the core count per platform to 112 cores, almost double the amount featured on AMD’s flagship Threadripper, the 5995WX (64 Zen 3 cores). So summing things up:

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  • Intel ‘Expert’ Sapphire Rapids HEDT CPUs
  • Up To 56 Cores / 112 Threads
  • LGA 4677 Socket Support (Possible Dual-Socket Motherboards)
  • 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 Lanes
  • 8-Channel DDR5 Memory (Up To 4TB)

Intel Sapphire Rapids – Xeon Mainstream Workstation Platform

The second platform is designed to be a more mainstream workstation offering and will replace the Cascade Lake-X and Xeon-W Skylake-X (Xeon W-3175X) chips. These Sapphire Rapids-X CPUs will rock up to 24 cores and 48 threads in a single monolithic design. Clock speeds will be set above 5 GHz (boost) and an all-core boost of around 4.4-4.6 GHz.

The CPUs will end up with around PL1 TDPs of 200 300W TDPs however the top model can end up at around 300-400W PL2 based on its final clock configuration. As of right now, the Core i9-12900KS already has a PL2 rating of 241W so more cores running at higher clocks can lead to over 300W. In terms of performance, the 24 Golden Cove cores are said to easily outperform the 32 core 3970X in multi-threading and we can expect the same against the 32 core 5970X however the top 64-core line is going to be something that only the Expert platform will be able to compete against.

A single Sapphire Rapids-SP die featuring 15 Golden Cove colors of which 1 is disabled for a total of 14 colors. (Image Credits: Der8auer)

As for the platform, there’s support for 4-Channel (EEC) DDR5 support & the number of PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes will drop to 64. The prices will be largely similar to the previous Core-X CPUs so we can expect around $500-$3000 US for these chips. Earlier rumors have suggested that the Fishhawk HEDT family will be based around the W790/C790 PCH but given that there are at least two platforms in the works, there might be a much higher-end PCH SKU. The launch is said to take place in Q3 2022, around the same time as the 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs, however, Intel might give us a first look at the platform at Computex later this month. Summing things up for the Sapphire Rapids mainstream segment:

  • Intel ‘Mainstream’ Sapphire Rapids HEDT CPUs
  • Up To 24 Cores / 48 Threads
  • Up To 5.2 GHz Boost Clocks
  • Up To 4.6 GHz All-Core Boost
  • LGA 4677 Socket Support
  • 64 PCIe Gen 5.0 Lanes
  • 4-Channel DDR5 Memory (Up To 512GB)
  • Q3 2022 Launch

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT Family Sapphire Rapids-X? (Sapphire Rapids Expert) Alder Lake-X? (Sapphire Rapids Mainstream) Cascade 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 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
Max Cores/Threads 56/112? 24/48 18/36 28/56 18/36 18/36 10/20 8/16 12/6 12/6 12/6
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
Max Cache 105 MB L3 45 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 38.5 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 25 MB L3 20 MB L3 15 MB L3 15 MB L3 12 MB L3
Max 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
Socket Compatibility 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
Max TDP ~500W ~400W 165W 255W 165W 165W 140W 140W 130W 130W 130W
launch Q3 2022? Q3 2022? Q4 2019 Q4 2018 Q4 2018 Q3 2017 Q2 2016 Q3 2014 Q3 2013 Q4 2011 Q1 2010
Launch Price TBA TBA $979 US ~$4000 US $1979 US $1999 US $1700 US $1059 US $999 US $999 US $999 US

In the SKU dissection posted below, there are at least four SKUs & three different platform configs starting with the Sapphire Rapids-SP XCC dies which will be aimed at the server market. These will be the full-blown parts and won’t be a part of the Xeon Workstation HEDT family. Then there’s the Sapphire Rapids-112L XCC dies which will offer up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes and will be featured under the Expert Workstation platform (most likely in dual-socket designs). This is followed by the Sapphire Rapids-SP MCC config which will offer medium core counts but with 8-Channel memory support while the entry-level SPR-MSWS mainstream workstation platform will feature the same MCC die but with 4-channel DDR5 memory support.

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

From what we are getting, the new Intel HEDT family is going to look like the following:

  • Sapphire Rapids AP (Xeon Class Workstation Replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (High-End Enthusiast Class Replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (Mainstream Enthusiast Class Replacement)

Now the question remains if Intel wants to call all three Sapphire Rapids families or will the entry-level mainstream lineup be referred to as something else? There’s already support for Alder Lake-X added to AIDA64 and the mainstream family does feel more like an upgraded Alder Lake-S rather than a workstation-aimed Sapphire Rapids platform however, the main differentiation between SPR and ADL could be the fact that the latter features a hybrid core design whereas the HEDT family is based solely on the P-colors.

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