We recently saw the launch of the consumer Cascade Lake high-end desktop processors last week, featuring up to 18 cores at a low launch price. This week Intel is launching the professional versions of those processors, focused on workstations. The W-2200 family is an upgrade over the older W-2100 family, offering more frequency, more memory support, faster memory support, and a more affordable pricing structure.

The Xeon W family is Intel’s answer to the Workstation market. Intel sees the workstation market slightly differently to AMD, in that it sees workstations as mission critical hubs for commercial and corporate workflows. Users that require workstations, for Intel, require full uptime, full performance, and full support for a wide array of applications and hardware integration. Even though there might be end-users that require this level of hardware stability, the main focus for Intel is in these commercial and corporate deployments. This is why the company splits up its Core X family for consumers and end-users/enthusiasts, while Xeon W focuses more on the B2B clientele.

Intel currently runs two processor lines on Xeon W. The W-2000 family uses the same HEDT socket as the current Core X family, with the same size processors and memory channels, but with ECC support, more memory support, features like vPro, VROC, and also RAS capabilities. The W-3000 family, new for Cascade Lake, sits on the Xeon Scalable LGA3647 socket, and features more PCIe lanes, more memory support, and similar ECC/vPro/RAS capabilities. W-3000 also comes with a price premium, but at the high-end offers more cores.

For the new W-2200 family, we have the following:

Intel Xeon W-2200 Family
AnandTech Cores
Threads
Base All
Core
TB2 TB3
Max
DDR4 TDP Price
(1ku)
W-2295 18C / 36T 3.0 3.8 4.6 4.8 2933 165 W $1333
W-2275 14C / 28T 3.3 4.1 4.6 4.8 2933 165 W $1112
W-2265 12C / 24T 3.5 4.3 4.6 4.8 2933 165 W $944
W-2255 10C / 20T 3.7 4.3 4.5 4.7 2933 165 W $778
W-2245 8C / 16T 3.9 4.5 4.5 4.7 2933 155 W $667
W-2235 6C / 12T 3.8 4.3 4.6 - 2933 130 W $555
W-2225 4C / 8T 4.1 4.5 4.6 - 2933 105 W $444
W-2223 4C / 8T 3.6 3.7 3.9 - 2666 120 W $294

These prices are approximately half of the previous generation, perhaps to be in line with the competition that are currently offering an extremely attractive perf/$ ratio. Frequencies and TDP values are the same as the Core X counterparts, and Intel states that Turbo Boost Max 3.0 is now available on four cores rather than just two.

Users might notice that there is no 16 core processor in the stack, similar to the Core X family. Intel states that this is because of the price difference between the 14-core and 18-core is slight that they don’t see a need to put another processor in that area. Some cynics might not that this stops direct comparisons to AMD’s 16-core offering.

Each of these CPUs has 48 PCIe lanes, supporting x16/x16/x16, and require motherboards with C422 chipsets (these CPUs are not compatible with X299 motherboards for segmentation reasons). The maximum memory support for most models is four channels at DDR4-2933, which drops to DDR4-2666 in 2 DIMMs per channel mode. These CPUs support RDIMMs and LRDIMMs, with up to 1 TB per socket, or 128 GB modules where available.

We asked Intel about retail availability, and they noted that they’re seeing a strong demand at retail, so we might expect to see more of them offered in retail packaging. That being said however, the number of compatible motherboards is still a very small number, and often region dependent.

These processors are set to enter the market sometime in November.

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  • yannigr2 - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    Let's see.

    "Intel sees the workstation market slightly differently to AMD, in that it sees workstations as mission critical hubs for commercial and corporate workflows."

    So AMD doesn't see them as "mission critical hubs"?

    "require full uptime, full performance, and full support for a wide array of applications and hardware integration."
    "this level of hardware stability"

    I can understand the mention about full support, but aren't the other three features offered by Core X? Are they less stable versions of the Xeons? what about AMD CPUs?

    "perhaps to be in line with the competition"
    Does it have a name? The competition.

    "Some cynics might not that this stops direct comparisons to AMD’s 16-core offering."
    No, it's just reality. Intel is going from 4 cores up to 18 cores with a steady step of 4 and suddently they decide that there is no reason for a 16 core? Oh, please.

    PS that W 2223 looks like a terrible model of the worst kind of silicon that could not pass quality control. So they lowered the frequencies upped the voltage as much as needed and throw it out there to be used in "mission critical hubs" with a high "level of hardware stability" as the main feature.
    Reply
  • yannigr2 - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    "a steady step of 4"
    a steady step of 2, not 4 obviously
    Reply
  • ZoZo - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    Man, that W-2223 is getting the hate. Poor thing.
    But you did make me notice that its TDP is higher than its X-2225 sibling even though it has lower specs across the board. I would be curious to meet the people who buy that runt.
    Reply
  • ZoZo - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    (typo, meant W-2225 sibling, not X-2225... where's the edit feature) Reply
  • abufrejoval - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    Looks like you got the wattage for the lowest two SKUs reversed. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    No, they are correct. That W 2223 looks like a low quality chip that needs extra voltage to work at those lower frequencies, compared with the3 other models. That's why it comes with a higher TDP. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    Well, what's nice to see is that finally you get clocks that follow the silicon capabilities. In the old days, high core CPUs would never be allowed to clock high, even if a workload only used a couple of them: And if you wanted higher clocks, you needed to go with chips that had fewer cores enabled and thus couldn't go wide and slow, when the use case made that a better choice.

    Now, no matter what your workload, you'll get whatever the silicon can deliver without exceeding the thermal limits.

    Of course the next step would be the ability to control TDP or the energy budget nice and easy from command lines and library, so you datacenter control plane can optimize energy efficiency depending on the workload, slower nightly batches and better response timed during day-time peak hours. It's not just gamers who want to fiddle with clocks!

    I always assumed that the fixed binning employed earlier was to prevent the thermal stress in the huge dies, when high-core islands of heat might expand and contract in seconds, causing issues with soldered heat spreaders solder bumpers on the organic substrate.

    Perhaps they got better at that game or it's simply that even a 14nm 18 core is a little smaller than the 22nm Haswell equivalent.

    Sadly, if you want live-migrations between hosts, it's not so easy to switch to AMD, unless you can afford to change everything at once.
    Reply
  • ksec - Monday, October 7, 2019 - link

    It would be competitive if OEM have further 20 -30% discount from that list. Otherwise I cant think of reason to buy Intel instead of EPYC 2. Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - link

    The only company to really use this line up are a handful of OEM's, most notably Apple in their iMac Pro. So iMac Pro update in coming? I wonder if Apple will drop the price since the CPU side has gotten significantly cheaper.

    Realistically Apple probably should hope over to the AMD side of things as announced but not yet shipping new Mac Pro is already trounced by Epyc chips for system configs that are twice as fast for nearly half the price. That makes the only interesting part of that platform ironically quad Vega 20 config using Infinity Fabric. Apple probably could negotiate with AMD to provide an Infinity Fabric link between the Epyc CPU and each GPU in such a config as each Epyc chip has four independent Infinity Fabric links.
    Reply
  • csell - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - link

    AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su told at the Hot Chips Keynote at 05:25PM EDT - 'These technologies might be designed for the high end HPC systems, these technologies filter down to commercial systems and next gen CPU/GPU.'
    But I don't expect it to be on Apple systems, but on Windows system we can expect to see next gen CPU/GPU interconnected by Infinity Fabric.

    From this link: https://www.anandtech.com/show/14762/hot-chips-31-...
    Reply

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