26-Core Intel CPU Leak Might Be a New Xeon W for C621 Motherboards

Credit: 3175X: Tom's HardwareCredit: 3175X: Tom's Hardware

Intel might be planning on launching a cut-down version of the Xeon W-3175X, the 28-core HEDT flagship that it launched almost a year ago. It's the only CPU available for the C621 chipset that uses the LGA 3647 socket, and currently, there are only two motherboards available for the C621 chipset. A SiSoftware benchmark result shows a 26-core Intel CPU operating on one of those two C621 boards, the ROG Dominus Extreme.

This result likely comes from an engineering sample or qualification sample CPU because a similar CPU at a lower clock speed was also tested just a couple of days before. Other than the clock speed (which was reported at 4.1 GHz in the most recent benchmark), we see everything we'd expect from a 26-core Skylake X CPU. Then again, SiSoftware doesn't report much else other than clock speed, cache, and core count, so maybe this cut-down CPU might also have fewer PCIe lanes or another differentiating feature.

At $3,000, the Xeon W-3175X is Intel's most expensive desktop CPU, so offering a slightly cut down version at a lower price might be nice for some people, especially if that lower price is closer to the mid- to high- $2000 range, for instance. That wouldn't stop the motherboards from being almost as expensive as the CPUs themselves, but saving a few hundred dollars and not losing much performance would be nice.

This new CPU might be part of Intel's new strategy to cope with AMD's upcoming Threadripper 3000 CPUs, which are shaping up to be a seriously significant upgrade over even the 32-core 2990WX. Intel is promising to focus on superior value and not just superior performance, which has usually been AMD's selling point, so a cheaper Xeon W could make sense within the context of Intel's marketing. Even if this CPU is out of the reach of the vast majority of users, it's always a good thing for consumers to see lower prices.