Up to 56 cores, 350W TDP and 8 channels DDR5 ready

The first details of Intel’s next-generation Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform, dubbed “Fishhawk Falls,” have been disclosed by Moore’s Law is Dead. According to reports, Intel will rebrand the line as the Xeon Workstation family instead of the Core-X family.

Intel’s ‘Fishhawk Falls’ HEDT Sapphire Rapids family to be rebadged as Xeon workstation – expected to reach 56 cores, support for 350W TDP and 8-channel DDR5 memory

It has been almost two years since the launch of Intel’s latest HEDT platform, the Cascade Lake-X. The line failed to compete with AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 2000 line, and the blue team realized it was time to get back to the drawing board. So what is the result of all the brainstorming that has taken place in those two years without launching HEDT, well, Intel has decided to drastically change the branding of its HEDT processor platforms and Sapphire Rapids seems like a new beginning.

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According to alleged information revealed by Moore’s Law is Dead, the Intel Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform will be labeled as the Xeon Workstation family and not the Core-X family. This means that the HEDT processors will be launched under the “Prosumer” brand rather than specifically targeting the consumer segment. The processors will be designed with enthusiasts, content creators and mega-task users who are the primary market for Intel and AMD HEDT platforms.

Intel Sapphire Rapids – Xeon Workstation Platform

Intel also plans to further segment its Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform into two categories, a workstation and a consumer workstation platform. The standard workstation platform will succeed the Ice Lake-W Xeon processors launched in 2020. These will include up to 56 Golden Cove cores and as few as 12 cores which will expand beyond 4 GHz. It will be a diverse portfolio with many references with TDPs of up to 350 W for flagship models. There are also various on-chip accelerators present on the HEDT Sapphire Rapids processors, but it is not known whether they will be functional or disabled in the final models. As for the prices, they are expected to be between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000, which puts it in the ultra-premium performance category.

In the SKU dissection published below, there are at least four SKUs and three different platform configurations starting with the Sapphire Rapids-SP XCC arrays that will be aimed at the server market. These will be the full-fledged parts and will not be part of the Xeon Workstation HEDT family. Then there are the Sapphire Rapids-112L XCC arrays which will offer up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes and will be featured under the Workstation platform. 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 workstation platform will feature the same MCC matrix but with 4-channel DDR5 memory support.

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Intel will offer at least four different SKU configurations in its Sapphire Rapids Xeon Workstation HEDT line. (Image credits: MLID) The Fishhawk Falls platform will be a robust, next-generation ecosystem comprising 8 DDR5-4400 (1DPC) / DDR5-4800 (2DPC) channels and up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. Motherboards look a lot like workstation-level products rather than server boards and will have a single socket.

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. The number of cores for Sapphire Rapids processors within this range is expected to be around 28-36 cores (Golden Cove architecture) and much higher clock speeds of up to 4.5-5.0 GHz. Processors will end up with TDPs of around 300W, but the high-end model can reach around 400W depending on its final clock configuration.

Preliminary specifications for Intel Sapphire Rapids HEDT Xeon Workstation processors. (Image credits: MLID)

As for the platform, there is 8-channel (non-ECC) and 4-channel (EEC) DDR5 support and the number of PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes will increase to 64. Prices will be broadly similar to previous processors. Core-X, so we can expect around $ 500 to $ 3000 US for these chips. Earlier rumors had suggested that the Fishhawk HEDT family would be based on the PCH W790 / C790, but given that there are at least two platforms in the works, there could be a much higher-end PCH SKU. As for the launch, it is rumored that Intel will launch its next-gen HEDT family of processors in the third quarter of 2022, around the same time as the 13th-gen Raptor Lake processor line.

AMD, on the other hand, appears to have delayed or even canceled its Threadripper line based on the Chagall / Chagall 3D design. Intel is following AMD’s route by branding its HEDT platform for workstation users under the Xeon brand. AMD has also done the same with its Threadripper Pro family. AMD will have the option of reprogramming its Zen 3 Threadripper processors for Intel’s Xeon workstation parts in mid-2022 or delaying the family entirely in favor of next-gen Zen 4 parts. AMD has so far been the undisputed king of the CPU HEDT and Workstation space with its Threadripper line, but with Sapphire Rapids Intel really has a chance to catch up and even reclaim some of the workstation market share. / HEDT. It will be something that we have to wait and see.

Intel HEDT processor families:

Intel HEDT Family Sapphire Rapids-X? Cascade-X Lake Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Broadwell-E Haswell-E Ivy Bridge-E Sand bridge-E Gulftown
Process node 10nm ESF 14 nm ++ 14 nm + 14 nm + 14 nm + 14 nm 22 nm 22 nm 32 nm 32 nm
Flagship SKU to be determined Core i9-10980XE Xon W-3175X Core i9-9980XE Core i9-7980XE Core i7-6950X Core i7-5960X Core i7-4960X Core i7-3960X Core i7-980X
Cores / wires max. 56/112? 18/36 28/56 18/36 18/36 10/20 8/16 6/12 6/12 6/12
Clock speeds to be determined 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 to be determined 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 (CPU) lanes 112 Gen5? 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen2 32 Gen2
Chipset compatibility W790? X299 C612E X299 X299 X99 chipset X99 chipset X79 chipset X79 chipset X58 chipset
Socket compatibility 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? DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2800 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2133 DDR3-1866 DDR3-1600 DDR3-1066
TDP max. to be determined 165W 255W 165W 165W 140W 140W 130W 130W 130W
To throw 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 US $ 979 ~ US $ 4,000 US $ 1,979 US $ 1,999 $ 1,700 $ 1,059 US $ 999 US $ 999 US $ 999

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