Intel isn't accustomed to losing. That was apparent earlier this year as the company attempted to take the shine off of AMD's Computex announcement of a 32-core Threadripper chip by debuting its own 28-core processor running at 5.0 GHz. Sure, Intel's 28-core count isn't quite as impressive as Threadripper's, but the beastly 5.0 GHz frequency at stock settings blew Threadripper out of the water.
Except it wasn't at stock settings: Intel notoriously demoed the chip without disclosing that it was overclocked and cooled with the help of an industrial-grade water chiller. A few months later Intel officially announced the processor and told us that it would arrive this December.
|Intel Xeon W-3175X||Intel Core i9-9980XE||AMD Threadripper 2990WX||Intel Xeon Platinum 8180|
|Process / Architecture||14nm++ / Skylake-X||14nm++ / Skylake-X||12nm LP GloFo / Zen+||14nm / Skylake|
|Cores / Threads||28 / 56||18 / 36||32 / 64||28 / 56|
|Base / Boost (GHz)||3.1 / 4.3||3.0 / 4.5||3.0 / 4.2||2.5 / 3.8|
|Memory Support||Hexa-Channel DDR4-2666||Quad-Channel DDR4-2666||Quad-Channel DDR4-2933||Hexa-Channel DDR4-2666|
|PCIe Lanes||44||44||64 (4 to PCH)||48|
|Cache ||38.5 MB||24.75 MB||64 MB||38.5 MB|
|Socket||LGA 3547 / LGA 2018p||LGA 2066||TR4||LGA 3647|
Now several European retailers have listed Intel's Xeon W-3175X for preorder. As with all early product listings, we have to view these with a bit of skepticism, especially because early pricing can be adjusted later. All the other specifications line up with the details Intel provided earlier this year. The timing of the listings also aligns with Intel's goal to bring the processors to market by the end of the year, even if in name only.
|Pre-VAT Pricing - Converted to USD||Listing 1 ||Listing 2||Listing 3||Listing 4|
|Intel Xeon W-3175X - USD||$3,977||$4,286||$3,900||$5,084|
According to the listings, pricing spans from $3,977 to $5,084 before VAT. Of course, that doesn't include the lavish accommodations you'll need to overclock the processor, like multiple power supplies and a Franken-motherboard with the most ridiculous 32-phase power delivery system we've ever seen. The boards sport the 3,647-pin LGA3647 socket flanked by six DIMM slots on each side. These memory slots feed the six-core memory controller onboard the chip, which is largely thought to be a $10,000 Xeon Platinum Scalable 8180 server processor with an unlocked multiplier.
Supporting motherboards have four eight-pin EPS power connectors. The processor needs north of a 1000W to provide adequate power for overclocking. There are actually motherboards coming to market that support overclocking the W-3175X. ASUS has its ROG Dominus Extreme and Gigabyte its own competing motherboard in the pipeline, but release dates haven't been announced.
Then you'll also need a minimum of an industrial-class chiller to push the chip to the limits, much like the one Intel used for its test system at Computex. We have a detailed look at Intel's demo system here.
Overall, expect stratospheric pricing for these chips and the supporting platform. Of course, as Intel told us during our first look into the test setup, it didn’t design this processor for gamers. Instead, Intel positions Xeon W processors for professional use-cases, though overclocking's applicability to those types of workloads is questionable. We've pinged Intel for comment and will update as necessary.