In perhaps a very unexpected turn of events, one of our first meetings at CES has heralded an important nugget of information. One of the boutique system integrators here at CES has told me, in conjunction with a system they are planning to ship, that Intel’s 28-core W-3175X processor will be ‘around $8k’ at retail.

In the middle of 2018, Intel announced that it would be releasing an unlocked 28-core processor, which we subsequently learned will be the Xeon W-3175X, which will have a TDP of 255W with frequencies from 3.1 GHz base to 4.3 GHz single core. It would require a new motherboard due to the six memory channels and a socket change.

We were also told that Intel is planning both 28-core and 24-core parts, and we should expect systems with the top chip and corresponding motherboards (such as ASUS’ ROG Dominus Extreme, or GIGABYTE's un-named board) to easily be in the five figure range, especially as systems with the hardware will also be paired with high-end graphics, lots of memory, and plenty of storage.

We were told by the system builder that they will expect to start shipping systems sometime in Q2, however the processors will be available before then.

If the price of $8k holds true, the chip is expensive. More reasonable estimates at the announcement were nearer $4k, because of what the CPU has to compete against. Ultimately, Intel knows that this chip will end up competing against its own Xeon Platinum 28-core parts, which already start from $8874. Because this will be a single socket part, unlocked, and have all the cores, I can totally see it eating into some of Intel’s margin of those parts. This hardware is perfect for high frequency traders who make 6 or 7 figures a day on the market – they will happily drop 5 figures on a faster machine if it means they can make more money. These chips aren’t for 99.99% of consumers at the end of the day, and I can very easily see Intel making the argument that they’re not competing against 32-core Threadripper.

We’re looking to confirm this price with other vendors, if it's with/without tax or what a boutique builder might charge to add it into the system. We know that some online retailers have starting listing parts at just over $4000, so it's an interesting disparity between the two. But we thought you should know what we’ve been told. Thoughts below!

*Images from this story were taken at Computex 2018 and Intel's August 2018 event.

 

Addition:

We have spoken to other people in the know, and have learned that Intel's original pricing for the chip was around $8000. One of our sources is saying that the initial documents put the price up at that high, however discussions with distributors have confirmed that the on-shelf price is more likely to be around $4500, in line with some retailer listings already out on the market. However, Intel's documents to its partners still state the $8000 price; perhaps the MSRP is that high, however retailers might be cutting into their own margins to sell the chip.

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  • rquared - Sunday, January 06, 2019 - link

    I doubt it. Even the 18 Core Intel® Xeon® W-2195 has a MSRP of
    $2553.00. Why would a 28 Core cost 3 times as much? A MSRP of $4000 for the 28 Core sounds realistic to me.
    Reply
  • ZoZo - Sunday, January 06, 2019 - link

    8-core Core i7-9800X officially costs $599.
    Yet the 18-core Core i9-9980xe that operates on the same platform costs $1999 and not $1348 as it should if it were proportionately priced to the i7-9800X.
    Higher end means higher premium.
    Reply
  • npz - Sunday, January 06, 2019 - link

    because the 28 core Xeon Platinum 8180 @ 2.5Ghz base - 3.8Ghz Turbo costs $10,000
    https://ark.intel.com/products/120496/Intel-Xeon-P...

    and the lower clocked 28 core Xeon Platinum 8176 costs $8,719
    https://ark.intel.com/products/120508/Intel-Xeon-P...

    and this is supposed to trump even their own highest end in clock speed at 3.1 base, 4.3 Ghz turbo, albeit being limited to single socket
    Reply
  • npz - Sunday, January 06, 2019 - link

    * with the caveat of those clock speeds requiring phase-change/basically AC cooling, especially given how inaccurate Intel's TDP is. A 255W TDP would mean 350W and up with multi-core turbo and the usual PL2 limits removed by OEMs for the enthusiast market.

    So I can see the cooling system factor into the price as well.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 07, 2019 - link

    I will certainly be interested in the schadenfreude potential of this thing's actual thermal output :D Reply
  • Rudde - Monday, January 07, 2019 - link

    255W should be the power consumption at constant 3.1GHz. An all-core turbo of ~3.7GHz would use ~20% more power (assuming same voltage) at 305W. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, January 10, 2019 - link

    Except that

    A.) as shown with the 9900K, under turbo the power consumption for big intel chips is a LOT higher then +20%

    and

    B.) the voltage does NOT stay the same under turbo boost, it is in fact much higher.

    305W at 3.7GHz on 28 cores is a fantasy.
    Reply
  • sharath.naik - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - link

    There is not much benefit after crossing 16cores. The speed bump you get is not proportional. As it starts to flood the interprocess connectors. It may get benefit when running < 3 GHz. But will bottle neck on slow single core. I wish Intel releases these high core count CPU where 2 core turbos at 5hz. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Sunday, January 06, 2019 - link

    You've got a higher base clock speed (which I think all cores are guaranteed to maintain). Based on that you're talking 41.4Ghz-cores vs 86.8 - over double the raw power. You get it in one socket, albeit at almost twice the TDP. And in theory you can go even higher...

    I imagine the workloads might be quite specialized, though! And because of that, potentially less volume, which again increases the price a bit.
    Reply
  • KOneJ - Wednesday, January 09, 2019 - link

    It would eat into their 8176 and 8180 sales, especially since those require 2s+. I servers need 1s compute without the lanes, pricing this low would cannibalize that niche. They're not aiming this at consumers and they're sacrificing a premium XCC die, so they're not going to sell it for 4k when they could sell it as an 8176 or 8180 for 8k. Just sayin' TM. Reply

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