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’ processors has been leaked by Moore’s law is dead. The new information adds more details regarding the two segments that will be featured in the lineup, the first being the mainstream Xeon-W and the second being the expert Xeon-W platform.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ for Fishhawk Falls platform coming in two flavors: 24 cores at 5GHz for mainstream, up to 112 cores with 8 channel memory for experts

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

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The Intel Sapphire Rapids-X ‘Xeon-W’ line of processors for the Fishhawk Falls HEDT platform has been detailed. (Image credits: Moore’s Law is Dead)

So, first, Intel is removing the “Core-X” series brand from its lineup and opting for the “Xeon-W” brand instead. It’s a similar approach to AMD, which also ditched the traditional Ryzen Threadripper name and instead opted for the “Pro” branding on all of its Zen 3 family SKUs. high core count chips is what is considered a 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 consumer workstation platform. The expert workstation platform will succeed the Ice Lake-W Xeon processors launched in 2020. These will feature up to 56 Golden Cove cores and as few as 12 cores that will bump beyond 4GHz. It will be a diverse portfolio with many SKUs with TDPs of up to 350W for flagship models. As for the price, these chips are expected between $3,000 and $5,000, which puts them in the ultra-premium performance category.

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

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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 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes
  • 8-channel DDR5 memory (up to 4TB)

Intel Sapphire Rapids – Xeon Consumer 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 processors will rock up to 24 cores and 48 threads in a single monolithic design. Clock speeds will be pegged above 5 GHz (boost) and an all-core boost around 4.4-4.6 GHz.

The processors will end up with around 200 TDP PL1 of 300W, but the high end model can end up at around 300-400W PL2 depending on its final clock configuration. 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 would easily outperform the 32-core 3970X in multi-threading and we can expect the same from the 32-core 5970X, but the 64-core top line will be something only the platform expert can compete with.

A single Sapphire Rapids-SP die with 15 Golden Cove hearts with 1 disabled for a total of 14 hearts. (Image credits: Der8auer)

As for the platform, support for 4-channel DDR5 (CEE) and the number of PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes will drop to 64. Pricing will be broadly similar to previous Core-X processors, we can so we expect around $500-$3000 US for these chips. Earlier rumors suggested that the Fishhawk HEDT family would be based on the W790/C790 PCH, but given that there are at least two platforms in the works, there could be a much higher end PCH SKU. The launch is expected to take place in Q3 2022, around the same time as the 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors, however, Intel could give us a first look at the platform at Computex later this month. In summary for the consumer segment of Sapphire Rapids:

  • “Mainstream” Intel Sapphire Rapids HEDT processors
  • Up to 24 cores / 48 threads
  • Boost clocks up to 5.2 GHz
  • 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)
  • Third quarter 2022 launch

Intel HEDT processor families:

Intel’s HEDT Family Sapphire Rapids-X? (Sapphire Rapids Expert) Alder Lake-X? (Sapphire Rapids Mainstream) Lake Cascade-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 To be determined To be determined 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 ~4.5GHz ~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 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
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
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
To throw Q3 2022? Q3 2022? Q4 2019 Q4 2018 Q4 2018 Q3 2017 Q2 2016 Q3 2014 Q3 2013 Q4 2011 Q1 2010
Introductory price To be determined To be determined US$979 ~US$4,000 US$1979 US$1999 US$1700 US$1059 US$999 US$999 US$999

In the SKU dissection posted below, there are at least four SKUs and three different platform configurations starting with the Sapphire Rapids-SP XCC dies that will be aimed at the server market. These will be the standalone parts and will not be part of the Xeon Workstation HEDT family. Then there are the Sapphire Rapids-112L XCC dies which will offer up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes and come in the Expert Workstation platform (most likely in dual-socket designs). Next is 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 feature the same MCC chip but with support for 4-channel DDR5 memory.

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

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

  • Sapphire Rapids-AP (Xeon Class Workstation Replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (Upscale Enthusiast Class Replacement)
  • Sapphire Rapids-X (Mainstream Enthusiast class replacement)

Now the question remains whether Intel wants to call all three families Sapphire Rapids or will the entry-level mainstream lineup be called something else? There is already Alder Lake-X support added to AIDA64 and the mainstream family looks more like an upgraded Alder Lake-S rather than a workstation-targeted Sapphire Rapids platform. However, the main difference between SPR and ADL could be that the latter features a hybrid core design while the HEDT family is based only on P cores.

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