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Up To 56 Cores, 350W TDP & 8-Channel DDR5 Ready

The first details of Intel’s next-generation Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform codenamed ‘Fishhawk Falls’ have been leaked by Moore’s Law is Dead. According to the information, Intel is going to re-badge the lineup as the Xeon Workstation family instead of the Core-X family.

Intel’s Sapphire Rapids ‘Fishhawk Falls’ HEDT Family To Be Rebadged As Xeon Workstation – Expected To Rock Up To 56 Cores, 350W TDP & DDR5 8-Channel Memory Support

It has been almost two years since the launch of Intel’s last HEDT platform, the Cascade Lake-X. The lineup failed to compete against AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 2000 lineup and the blue team realized it was time to go back to the drawing board. So what’s the result of all the brainstorming that went in those two years of no HEDT launches, well, Intel has decided to radically change the branding of their HEDT CPU platforms and Sapphire Rapids seems to be a fresh new start.

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According to the alleged information revealed by Moore’s Law is Dead, the Intel Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform is going to be branded as the Xeon Workstation family and not the Core-X family. This means that HEDT CPUs will launch under the ‘Prosumer’ branding rather than specifically aim at the consumer segment. The CPUs will be designed with Enthusiasts, Content Creators, & Mega-tasking users that are the prime market for Intel and AMD HEDT platforms.

Intel Sapphire Rapids – Xeon Workstation Platform

Intel is also planning to further segmentize its Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform into two categories, a workstation, and a mainstream workstation platform. The standard 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. There are also various on-chip accelerators present on the Sapphire Rapids HEDT CPUs but it is not known whether these will be functional or disabled in the final models. As for pricing, they are expected between $3000-$5000 which puts it in the ultra-premium performance category.

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 Workstation platform. This is followed with 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.

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Intel is going to offer at least four different SKU configurations in its Sapphire Rapids Xeon Workstation HEDT lineup. (Image Credits: MLID)The Fishhawk Falls platform is going to be a robust and next-gen ecosystem comprising 8-Channel DDR5-4400 (1DPC) / DDR5-4800 (2DPC) and up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. The motherboards look a lot like workstation tier products rather than server boards and will feature one socket.

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. The core counts for the Sapphire Rapids CPUs within this lineup are expected to be around 28-36 cores (Golden Cove architecture) and will rock much higher clock speeds of up to 4.5 – 5.0 GHz. The CPUs will end up with around 300W TDPs however the top model can end up around 400W based on its final clock configuration.

Preliminary specifications of Intel’s Sapphire Rapids HEDT Xeon Workstation CPUs. (Image Credits: MLID)

As for the platform, there’s 8-Channel (non-ECC) and 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. As for launch, Intel has been rumored to launch their next-gen HEDT CPU family in Q3 2022, around the same time as the 13th Generation Raptor Lake CPU lineup.

AMD on the other hand seems to have delayed or even canceled their Threadripper lineup based on the Chagall/Chagall 3D design. Intel is following AMD’s route in branding their HEDT platform for Workstation users under the Xeon brand. AMD also did the same with their Threadripper Pro family. AMD will have the option to reschedule their Zen 3 Threadripper CPUs against Intel’s Xeon workstation parts in mid of 2022 or delay the family entirely in favor of next-gen Zen 4 parts. AMD has so far been the undisputed king of the HEDT and Workstation CPU space with its Threadripper lineup but with Sapphire Rapids, Intel really has a chance to catch up and even retake some of the workstation/HEDT market share back from them. That will be something we have to wait and see.

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT Family Sapphire Rapids-X? Cascade Lake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Broadwell-E Haswell-E Ivy Bridge-E Sandy Bridge-E Gulftown
Process Node 10nm ESF 14nm++ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm 22nm 22nm 32nm 32nm
Flagship SKU 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? 18/36 28/56 18/36 18/36 10/20 8/16 6/12 6/12 6/12
Clock Speeds TBA 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 TBA 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 Gen5? 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen2 32 Gen2
Chipset Compatiblity W790? X299 C612E X299 X299 X99 Chipset X99 Chipset X79 Chipset X79 Chipset X58 Chipset
Socket Compatiblity LGA 4677? LGA 2066 LGA 3647 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011 LGA 2011 LGA 1366
Memory Compatiblity DDR5-4800? DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2800 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2133 DDR3-1866 DDR3-1600 DDR3-1066
Max TDP TBA 165W 255W 165W 165W 140W 140W 130W 130W 130W
Launch Q3 2022? Q4 2019 Q4 2018 Q4 2018 Q3 2017 Q2 2016 Q3 2014 Q3 2013 Q4 2011 Q1 2010
Launch Price TBA $979 US ~$4000 US $1979 US $1999 US $1700 US $1059 US $999 US $999 US $999 US



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