The first signs of Ice Lake potentially arriving as desktop CPUs (opens in new tab) appeared by way of a Linux patch (opens in new tab) last year. Fast forward to today, and we have not one, but three fresh Geekbench 4 submissions (via @TUM_APISAK (opens in new tab)) that support the rumor.
Following Cannon Lake's, Ice Lake is Intel's second family of processors to feature the 10nm process node. The 10nm+ chips are based on the Sunny Cove (opens in new tab) microarchitecture. While Ice Lake has debuted on the mobile plaform first and is found in laptops (opens in new tab), it would appear that Intel is finally ready to shift its focus to the desktop, but more specifically, the server market.
Ice Lake is expected find its home on Intel's Whitley platform. The new processors are also rumored to usher in native support for PCIe (opens in new tab) 4.0 and DDR4-3200 RAM (opens in new tab) modules on an Intel desktop platform.
The Ice Lake Xeon processor in question surfaced with the Intel $0000 codename to disguise itself from unwanted eyes. The chip seemingly features 24 CPU cores (opens in new tab) and 48 threads (opens in new tab). Geekbench reported a 2.19 GHz base clock (opens in new tab) and 2.89 GHz boost clock. The 24-core Ice Lake processor's cache (opens in new tab) design comes down to 1.25MB of L2 cache per core and a total of 36MB of L3 cache on the chip itself.
The anonymous user benchmarked the Ice Lake Xeon processor three times. It's likely that the chip used is an engineering sample. Additionally, we don't have all the details on the system or benchmark run. While the scores look pretty consistent, we should still exercise a bit of skepticism. The best submission (opens in new tab) had the 24-core processor putting up single-and multi-core scores of 4,100 points and 41,972 points, respectively.
A Xeon Gold 6212U (opens in new tab) (codename Cascade Lake) scored 4,772 points (opens in new tab) in the single-core test and 38,420 points in the multi-core test. While the Xeon Gold 6212U was up to 16.4% faster than the Ice Lake chip in single-threaded workloads, the latter delivered 9.2% higher multi-threaded performance.
AMD has four Epyc (codename Rome) (opens in new tab) processors that carry a similar 24-core, 48-thread design as the Ice Lake processor. The Epyc 7402P raked in single-and multi-core scores (opens in new tab) of 4,498 points and 42,155 points in the same Geekbench 4 benchmark. AMD's offering outperformed the Ice Lake part by up to 9.7% in single-threaded performance. Multi-threaded performance between the Epyc 7402P and 24-core Ice Lake was in the same ballpark.
Rumor has it that Intel's Ice Lake server processors will arrive in the third quarter of this year.