Intel Pulls the Plug On Cascade Lake HEDT, Workstation CPUs (Update)

Core X-series CPU
Core X-series CPU (Image credit: Intel)

Update 7/7/2023 5:40am PT: Intel's mainstream Cascade Lake Xeon processors are still available and are unimpacted by the change. We've clarified the article below to make that more clear.

Even though its mainstream Xeon line remains intact and available, Intel has already discontinued some of its more exotic Cascade Lake Xeon processors due to tough competition from AMD's EPYC Rome lineup, but many of the Cascade Lake SKUs for desktop PCs and workstations had survived the cut. After three long years, Intel has decided to axe some of the remaining PC and workstation survivors.

Intel launched Cascade Lake in 2019 to replace Skylake. Cascade Lake was an optimized version of Skylake, representing the optimization phase in Intel's process–architecture–optimization development model. The 14nm processors were available in different presentations, including Cascade Lake-X for the HEDT, Cascade Lake-W for workstations, and Cascade Lake-SP and Cascade Lake-AP for servers. In a new Product Change Notification (PCN), Intel has discontinued the company's Cascade Lake-X and Cascade Lake-W lineup. The termination applies to both tray and boxed processors.

Cascade Lake-X, which belongs to the Core X-series category, was a minimal lineup with just four Core i9-tier SKUs: Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition, Core i9-10940X, Core i9-10920X, and Core i9-10900X. Intel had abandoned the HEDT segment for a while now. Cascade Lake-X was the last wave of HEDT processors from the Blue Team. Before the Sapphire Rapids launch, rumors were circulating that Intel could get back into the HEDT game with Sapphire Rapids-X; however, we haven't seen any concrete evidence to back up the hearsay.

Meanwhile, Cascade Lake-W, which Intel marketed under the Xeon W-2200 series, offered more diverse options with models stretching from the quad-core Xeon W-2225 to the 18-core Xeon W-2295. It's important to make this distinction because Intel later introduced the W-3200 series, that's also based on Cascade Lake. However, the chipmaker is only discontinuing the W-2200 series for now. At any rate, the Xeon W-2200 and Xeon W-3200 series have been succeeded by the more up-to-date Sapphire Rapids Xeon W-2400 and Xeon W-3400 series.

Although Intel has announced the Cascade Lake-X and Cascade Lake-W discontinuation, customers still have a substantial grace period to order the 14nm chips. Intel has set the last product discontinuance order date for April 26, 2024, and the company will ship the Cascade Lake-X and Cascade Lake-W orders before January 31, 2025.

Logically, the discontinuance of the processors also brings with it the termination of the chipsets that support these processors. Intel revealed it'd be retiring the X299 and C422 chipsets via a separate PCN. These chipsets existed long before Intel launched Cascade Lake. The X299 and C422 chipset debuted in 2017 with the LGA2066 socket during the old Skylake period. The chipsets supported up to three generations of Intel processors, including Skylake, Kaby Lake, and ultimately Cascade Lake.

Cascade Lake is a relic from the past for Intel and most consumers. The chipmaker is slowly halting the production of older products and redirecting the resources to focus on recent offerings, such as Sapphire Rapids.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.