Sapphire Rapids Boosts Workstation Xeons

The new Xeon W-2400 and W-3400 processors integrate 6 to 56 CPUs and support DDR5 as well as PCIe Gen5, providing a needed upgrade to Intel’s workstation line.
Joseph Byrne
Joseph Byrne

The new Xeon W processors bring Intel’s Sapphire Rapids technology to users’ desks, including AMX matrix units for AI and other math-intensive tasks. The top-end model integrates more CPUs and cache than previous-generation flagship Xeons for workstations. The new Xeon W-2400 line spans midrange and lower-tier processors. Overlapping the midrange and covering the high end, the Xeon W-3400 line offers more memory and I/O bandwidth.

Engineers, financial modelers, animators, and video producers all need systems that are more capable than conventional PCs. Intel has served them with a combination of processors originating in its PC and server families. The Core PC chips address mobile and entry-level workstations, and they support ECC-protected DRAM interfaces when operating with Intel’s W680 core-logic chip. In the Sapphire generation, the Xeon W-2400-series covers mainstream workstations; the W-3400 tackles “expert” and “dual-socket expert” designs.

Employing the monolithic MCC Sapphire implementation, the W-2400 models integrate 6–24 CPUs and have a base power (essentially TDP) of up to 225 W. At $359, pricing starts below that of the least-expensive Sapphire server products. For more-demanding applications, the W-3400 uses the multidie XCC version of Sapphire, packing 12–56 CPUs, raising base power as high as 350 W, and costing $1,189 to $5,889. Intel’s new W790 core-logic chip completes the platform. OEMs expect to ship systems in March.

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