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

The latest information on Intel’s Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform with Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ CPUs has been leaked by Moore’s Law is Dead. The new information adds more details about the two segments that will be included in 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 comes in two flavors: 24 cores at 5 GHz for mainstream, up to 112 cores with 8-channel memory for experts

The last time we talked about the Sapphire-Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ lineup, there were still a few bits and pieces missing, but it’s all coming together thanks to the latest leak from Moore’s Law is Dead. The TechTuber was able to reveal a ton of new details while also confirming 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 is detailed. (Image Credits: Moore’s Law is dead)

So, first of all, Intel is dropping the ‘Core-X’ series branding from its lineup and moving to the ‘Xeon-W’ branding instead. This is a similar approach to AMD, who also dropped the traditional Ryzen Threadripper naming convention and instead went with the ‘Pro’ branding for all of their SKUs in the Zen 3 family. The mainstream family of high-core chips is considered design enthusiast, but people who really know the HEDT platform will see the upcoming platform as such and 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 a mainstream workstation platform. The expert workstation platform will succeed the Ice Lake-W Xeon CPUs launched in 2020. These will contain up to 56 Golden Cove cores and only 12 cores that will be boosted to over 4 GHz. It will be a diverse portfolio with many SKUs with TDPs scaling up to 350W for the flagship models. As for the price, these chips are expected to be between $3000 and $5000, which puts them in the ultra-premium performance category.

The Fishhawk Falls platform will be a robust and next-gen ecosystem with 8-channel DDR5-4400 (1DPC) / DDR5-4800 (2DPC) and up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. These come with ECC support and up to 4TB DDR5 memory is possible (theoretically). There’s also a good chance we’ll see dual-socket SPR Expert Workstation motherboards that would increase the number of cores per platform to 112 cores, nearly double the number on AMD’s flagship Threadripper, the 5995WX (64 Zen 3 cores). So things in order:

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  • Intel ‘Expert’ Sapphire Rapids HEDT CPUs
  • Up to 56 cores / 112 wires
  • LGA 4677 Socket Support (Possible Dual-Socket Motherboards)
  • 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes
  • 8-channel DDR5 memory (up to 4 TB)

Intel Sapphire Rapids – Xeon Mainstream Workstation Platform

The second platform is designed as 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 are set above 5 GHz (boost) and an all-core boost of about 4.4-4.6 GHz.

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

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

As for the platform, there is support for 4-channel (EEC) DDR5 support and the number of PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes will drop to 64. Prices will be largely comparable to the previous Core-X CPUs, so we can get about $ Expect 500-$3000 US for these chips. Previous rumors have suggested that the Fishhawk HEDT family will be based on the W790/C790 PCH, but since at least two platforms are in the works, there could be a much more expensive PCH SKU. It was set to launch in Q3 2022, around the same time as the 13th-generation Raptor Lake CPUs, but Intel could give us a first look at the platform on Computex later this month. In summary for the mainstream segment of Sapphire Rapids:

  • Intel ‘Mainstream’ Sapphire Rapids HEDT CPUs
  • Up to 24 cores / 48 wires
  • Up to 5.2 GHz boost clocks
  • Up to 4.6GHz All-Core Boost
  • LGA 4677 Socket Support
  • 64 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes
  • 4-channel DDR5 memory (up to 512 GB)
  • Q3 2022 Launch

Intel HEDT processor families:

Intel HEDT family Sapphire Rapids X? (Sapphire Rapids expert) Elzenmeer-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 Not yet known Not yet known 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/wires 56/112? 24/48 18/36 28/56 18/36 18/36 10/20 8/16 6/12 6/12 6/12
Clock Speeds ~4.5GHz ~5.0GHz 3.00 / 4.80GHz 3.10/4.30GHz 3.00/4.50GHz 2.60/4.20GHz 3.00/3.50GHz 3.00/3.50GHz 3.60/4.00GHz 3.30/3.90GHz 3.33/3.60GHz
max cache 105MB L3 45MB L3 24.75MB L3 38.5MB L3 24.75MB L3 24.75MB L3 25MB L3 20MB L3 15MB L3 15MB L3 12MB L3
Max PCI Express Lanes (CPU) 112 Gen 5 65 generation 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: LGA4677? LGA4677? 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? 4th quarter 2019 4th quarter 2018 4th quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2016 3rd quarter 2014 3rd quarter 2013 4th quarter 2011 1st quarter 2010
Launch price Not yet known Not yet known $979 US ~$4000 US US$ 1979 $1999 US $1700 US $1059 US $999 US $999 US $999 US

In the SKU dissection posted below, there are at least four SKUs and three different platform configurations, starting with the Sapphire Rapids-SP XCC stamps that will target the server market. These will be the full-fledged parts and not part of the Xeon Workstation HEDT family. Then there’s the Sapphire Rapids-112L XCC which will provide up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes and will be included under the Expert Workstation platform (probably in dual socket designs). This is followed by the Sapphire Rapids-SP MCC configuration which will offer a medium core count but with 8-channel memory support, while the entry-level SPR-MSWS mainstream workstation platform will have the same MCC chip but with 4-channel DDR5 memory support. .

Intel will offer at least four different SKU configurations in its Sapphire Rapids Xeon Workstation HEDT series. (Image Credit: MLID)

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

  • Sapphire Rapids AP (Replacement of Xeon Class workstation)
  • Sapphire Rapids X (High-end enthusiast class replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids X (Replacement of the regular fancier class)

Now the question remains whether Intel wants to name all three families Sapphire Rapids or will the mainstream entry-level lineup be called something else? Alder Lake-X support has already been added to AIDA64 and the mainstream family feels more like an upgraded Alder Lake-S than a workstation focused Sapphire Rapids platform, but the main difference between SPR and ADL could be the fact being that the latter has a hybrid core design while the HEDT family is based solely on the P cores.

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