Intel Unleashes Cascade Lake 3000-Series Xeon W CPUs

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Intel has revealed the full Cascade Lake 3000-series Xeon W lineup for workstations. The announcement comes as Apple plans to employ the new processors in the company's renewed Mac Pro.

The Xeon W 3000-series or Cascade Lake W (CSL-W) processors are here to replace the current Skylake W (SKL-W) offerings that are on the market. The chips are based on the Cascade Lake microarchitecture and the refined 14nm++ manufacturing process. The previous generation of Xeon W processors resided on motherboards with the LGA 2066 socket, but this time around the chipmaker opted to ditch the aging socket in favor of the LGA 3647 socket.

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ModelCores / ThreadsBase Clock / Boost Clock / Boost 3.0 ClockCacheTDPRCP
W-3275M28 / 562.5 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz38.5MB205W$7453
W-327528 / 562.5 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz38.5MB205W$4449
W-3265M24 / 482.7 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz33MB205W$6353
W-326524 / 482.7 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz33MB205W$3349
W-3245M16 / 323.2 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz22MB205W$5002
W-324516 / 323.2 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.6 GHz22MB205W$1999
W-323512 / 243.3 GHz / 4.4 GHz / 4.5 GHz19.25MB180W$1398
W-32258 / 163.7 GHz / 4.3 GHz / 4.4 GHz16.5MB160W$1199
W-32238 / 163.5 GHz / 4.0 GHz / 4.2 GHz16.5MB160W$749

A simple look at the Cascade Lake W product stack shows that Intel has doubled the cores and cache on the new chips. Intel's decision is probably the result of the constant attacks from AMD's core-heavy Ryzen Threadripper processors. The increased core count comes at a cost, though. In comparison to Skylake W, Cascade Lake W's TDP (thermal design power) has increased significantly between 33 percent to 46 percent. It's worth mentioning that Intel has implemented its Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology with Cascade Lake W. 

While prior entry-level Skylake W parts started at four cores, Cascade Lake W arrives with eight cores as a minimum. Sadly, Intel didn't give the previous flagship Xeon W-2195 18-core processor the same treatment. The chipmaker stopped at 28 cores for this generation's flagship model.

Besides the increased number of cores, Cascade Lake W also brings other goodies to the campfire. Skylake W processors come with support for quad-channel memory kits and are limited to memory speeds up to 2,666 MHz. The transition over to the LGA 3647 socket allows Cascade Lake W chips to hook up with hexa-channel memory kits, bumping the maximum capacity to 1TB. Cascade Lake W supports DDR4 memory modules up to 2,933 MHz out of the box. Intel offers three Cascade Lake W processors, which are designated by the "M" suffix, that are compatible with up to 2TB of memory. However, you'll have to pay a hefty premium for that feature though.

Intel has been feverishly pushing its Optane DC Persistent Memory for over a year now. The standard has been one of Cascade Lake's many highlights. According to the ARK product pages for Cascade Lake W, the processors don't support Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs. It's unknown why Intel would lock out that feature for these chips. In other good news, Cascade Lake W has 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes at its disposal as opposed to the 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes on Skylake W.

Zhiye Liu
News Editor and Memory Reviewer

Zhiye Liu is a news editor and memory reviewer at Tom’s Hardware. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.