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Intel Comet Lake Xeon W Listed Early: Server CPU Specs Surface

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake die shot (Image credit: Intel)

You can find unexpected things in unexpected places. And when it comes to Intel's unannounced 10th Generation Comet Lake Xeon W workstation CPUs, that place is Dutch printer shop. 

Intel revealed the latest 10th Generation Comet Lake-S processors a few days ago, and it seems that the chipmaker's workstation offerings aren't far behind either. A tweet from hardware detective @momomo_us tipped us off on alleged model names for seven unannounced Comet Lake Xeon chips. We've since spotted those same seven chips, including the Xeon W-1290, W-1290P and W-1290T, available for pre-order at PS Printer Supplies, a printer retailer in the Netherlands. 

A couple of things stand out about the chips' naming. For starters, Intel uses the "W" designation for its enterprise-class chips that typically live on the the HEDT platform, such as the LGA2066 CPU socket. It's weird to see a Xeon W chip on a mainstream platform, which in this case is the latest LGA1200 socket.

Additionally, the Comet Lake Xeon parts reportedly belong to the W-1200 series. However, the Xeon W family debuted with the W-2000 series, and there was never a W-1000 series. 

The Dutch retailer didn't expose the complete specifications for the Comet Lake Xeon W processors. However, we have some thoughts on the number of cores and threads for each model based on the amount of L3 cache, which we've detailed in the table below. 

Intel Comet Lake Xeon W Specifications*

ModelPart NumberCores / ThreadsBase Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)Tray Pricing
Xeon W-1290CM807010437911110 / 203.220$568.91
Xeon W-1290PCM807010437841210 / 203.720$620.62
Xeon W-1290TCM807010442900710 / 201.920$568.80
Xeon W-1270CM80701043809108 / 163.416$416.21
Xeon W-1270PCM80701043808098 / 163.816$492.57
Xeon W-1250CM80701043795076 / 123.312$293.12
Xeon W-1250PCM80701043810066 / 124.112$358.41

*Specifications are not confirmed.

We suspect that the W-1290 could be the flagship model, which would mean it should have 10 cores and 20 threads. On the other hand, the W-1270 and W-1250 could sport up to eight and six cores, respectively.

As the product listings show, Intel will offer other variants of the main SKUs. The processors that carry the "T" suffix are obviously optimized for energy efficiency, and the lower base clock speeds reflect that. 

In the old days, Intel used the "P" suffix to refer to processors without an iGPU. However, the chipmaker later redefined the suffix to denote processors with a slower iGPU, such as the Core i5-6402P. While other Skylake parts were using the HD Graphics 530 solution at the time, the Core i5-6402P came with the slower HD Graphics 510 iGPU.

Surprisingly, the "P" versions of the Comet Lake Xeon W processors check in with higher base clock speeds, suggesting that they have a higher TDP (thermal design power) to provide more performance. As the tray pricing shows, the "P" versions are priced significantly higher, supporting our theory.

Now that Comet Lake-S has finally been unveiled, it shouldn't be long before Intel starts announcing workstation-grade counterparts. 

  • mikewinddale
    If these Xeon Ws use the mainstream LGA1200, I'd be curious to know if they'll be released alongside a new chipset to support ECC and/or buffered memory / load-reduced memory, unlike the mainstream LGA1200 mainstream.
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    There were/are Z390 boards that support ECC, albeit only with the i3 CPU or Pentium...; I'd suspect ECC support survives the move to 400 series....
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Intel uses the "W" designation for its enterprise-class chips that typically live on the the HEDT platform, such as the LGA2066 CPU socket. It's weird to see a Xeon W chip on a mainstream platform, which in this case is the latest LGA1200 socket.
    Could this mean that Intel is killing off the LGA2066 socket with no replacement? I guess that would also mean Xeon W is subsuming their E-series?

    ...or, maybe something else is going on. After they released LGA3647-socket Cascade Lake Xeons, branded as the W-3000 series, I can see a new pattern emerging. If W-2000 meant LGA2066 and W-3000 was LGA3647, then next-gen W-1200 could be their new branding of Xeons in the desktop platform, rather than Xeon E.

    IIRC, Xeon E was the last Xeon line they rebranded, so maybe they felt that E didn't have a lot of intertia in the market, and W had more cachet. As odd as it sounds, remember: this is the company who brought Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum branding to server CPUs! So, I could believe that someone in their marketing department might think "E" summons notions of "Economy", which sounds low-end, and wanted to move away from it.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    mdd1963 said:
    There were/are Z390 boards that support ECC, albeit only with the i3 CPU or Pentium...;
    This has been the case through all of their i-series generations. I've seen only a handful of i3's that don't support ECC, but by and large, every generation's i3's and a few of its Pentiums (mabye even a couple Celerons) will feature ECC support.

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/search/featurefilter.html?productType=873&0_ECCMemory=True
    The motherboards you need to use with them are the same ones that supported their Xeon E3 (and now Xeon E) series CPUs.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    @zhiyeliu Regarding the article's title, a hint: the "W" is for "Workstation" (i.e. not server).
    Reply
  • mikewinddale
    mdd1963 said:
    There were/are Z390 boards that support ECC, albeit only with the i3 CPU or Pentium...; I'd suspect ECC support survives the move to 400 series....

    bit_user said:
    This has been the case through all of their i-series generations. I've seen only a handful of i3's that don't support ECC, but by and large, every generation's i3's and a few of its Pentiums (mabye even a couple Celerons) will feature ECC support.

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/search/featurefilter.html?productType=873&0_ECCMemory=True
    The motherboards you need to use with them are the same ones that supported their Xeon E3 (and now Xeon E) series CPUs.

    Oh, okay! Thanks to you both for explaining for me.
    Reply