It has been one of the computer industry’s longest running and most closely guarded product journeys. But finally, global microchip giant Intel has released its 4th Gen Xeon Scalable microprocessor which, until now, has been known only by its codename, Sapphire Rapids.
Last month the Intel announced the new Xeon W-3400 and Xeon W-2400 product lines as part of the Sapphire Rapids family, with the W-3400 line supporting up to 56 CPU cores.
This high-end workstation chip is set to compete with the Threadripper Pro and is the fastest processor Intel has released so far.
The range will soon be available through G2 Digital, in conjunction with the Asus Pro WS W790 series workstation motherboard. Shaping up to be the Threadripper pro alternative that has been absent from Intel’s range for some time.
One of Intel’s most important product lines in years, each chip has 15 processor ‘cores’ which act as individual calculators for general-purpose computing jobs.
The 4th Gen Xeon processors make use of the same ‘Golden Cove’ microarchitecture featured in Intel’s 13th Gen Core desktop ‘Raptor Lake’ processors. In terms of design, however, they are considerably different from Raptor Lake processors and, building on decades of innovation, it should provide significantly better performance than Raptor Lake in workstation-relevant applications. With the most built-in accelerators of any CPU, it can tackle the most important computing challenges across AI, analytics, networking, security, storage, and high-performance computing.
All Xeon W-3400 processors have an eight-channel DDR5 memory controller that can support around four times the memory bandwidth of the equivalent Raptor Lake system.
In addition, 112 PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 lanes are included in each chip to support ultra-fast SSDs and workstation graphics cards.
At the lower end of the product range, the W-2400 line is headed by a w7-2495X that has 24 Golden Cove cores and 48 threads. While this may sound like a step down, it’s worth remembering that this is the same core count as the Core i9-13900K, except in the w7-2495X all of the cores are the high-performance, Hyper-Threaded Golden Cove variant.
This should give the w7-2495X an unassailable advantage against the Core i9-13900K in any multi-threaded test.
Across the range, customers can expect a 2.9x average performance per watt efficiency improvement for targeted workloads when utilizing built-in accelerators, up to 70-watt2 power savings per CPU in optimized power mode with minimal performance loss, and a 52% to 66% lower TCO3. They will also get platform-level power savings, reducing the need for additional discrete acceleration and helping them meet sustainability goals.
In addition, the new Optimized Power Mode can deliver up to 20% socket power savings, with a less than 5% performance impact for selected workloads.
Innovations in air and liquid cooling reduce total data centre energy consumption and processors are manufactured with 90% or more renewable electricity at Intel sites with state-of-the-art water reclamation facilities.
With Artificial Intelligence, 4th Gen Xeon processors achieve higher PyTorch real-time inference and training performance with built-in Intel Advanced Matrix Extension (Intel AMX) accelerators. The modular architecture of 4th Gen Xeon allows Intel to offer a wide range of processors across nearly 50 targeted SKUs for customer use cases or applications, from mainstream general-purpose SKUs to purpose-built SKUs for cloud, database and analytics, networking, storage, and single-socket edge use cases.
The 4th Gen Xeon processor family is On Demand-capable and varies in core count, frequency, mix of accelerators, power envelope and memory throughput as is appropriate for target use cases and form factors addressing customers’ real-world requirements.
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