Intel's Return to HEDT? Xeon W9-3495X Hits Geekbench

Sapphire Rapids
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel is set to roll out its Xeon W-2400 and Xeon W-3400-series processors for high-end desktops (HEDTs) and extreme workstations on February 15, and as their launch date looms, the first benchmark results have begun to leak. As it usually happens, this time around Intel's upcoming HEDT flagship — the 56-core Xeon W3495X — landed in the Geekbench 5 database (via @Benchleaks), which is proof that the CPU is in the wild already. 

Intel's return to HEDT and extreme workstation space is important by itself. In recent years, AMD essentially ousted Intel from these markets with its Ryzen Threadripper processors. However, Intel's Sapphire Rapids design enables Intel to re-enter the game with high core counts, decent clocks, and support for up to 4TB of DDR5 memory. In addition, it appears that Intel will offer multiple X-series models with an unlocked multiplier for those that want to overclock their machines. 

Intel's flagship Xeon W3495X CPU packs 56 high-performance Golden Cove cores and a massive 105MB L3 cache. It runs at a default clock of 1.90 GHz and can accelerate to 4.80 GHz when possible, so expect it to offer quite decent performance. Meanwhile, the sample listed in the Geekbench 5 database ran at around 3.20 GHz (which is too low). It allegedly also used a quad-channel memory subsystem, so we shouldn't come to any serious conclusions about the CPUs' performance. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Xeon W9-3495XRyzen Threadripper Pro 5995WX
General specifications56C/112T, 1.90 GHz - 3.20GHz, 105MB L364C/128T, 2.70 GHz - 4.50 GHz, 256MB L3
Single-Core | Integer11201316
Single-Core | Float13381719
Single-Core | Crypto30913832
Single-Core | Score12841563
Row 5 - Cell 0 Row 5 - Cell 1 Row 5 - Cell 2
Multi-Core | Integer3357746049
Multi-Core | Float4032249414
Multi-Core | Crypto6136144987
Multi-Core | Score4032247005
Linkhttps://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/20093542https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/19923348

Platform-wise, Intel's new W790 provides PCIe Gen5 (by CPU), 16 PCle 4.0 lanes, up to 12 PCle 3.0 lanes, up eight SATA ports, up to five USB 3.2 Gen2x2 connections, up to 10 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and supports two 2.5GbE PHY controllers.

 Obviously, all reliability, availability, and serviceability capabilities of modern Intel Xeon processors are also supported, just like things like virtual RAID on CPU (VROC), and remote management. Of course, HEDTs and workstations would certainly benefit from Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 7, so we would expect workstation makers to install the appropriate controllers themselves. 

In any case, for now, it appears that Intel is about to re-enter HEDT and extreme workstation markets, giving AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000WX-series CPUs a strong rival for the first time in years. 

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • dalek1234
    Your table with Geekbench result has misaligned headers. It make it look like AMD lost in almost every benchmark, when it fact those poor results belong to Intel.

    Which bring me to the next point: " a strong rival ". What are you smoking? Intel is behind AMD in 7 out of 8 of your benchmarks, sometimes by a big margin. And the only benchmark AMD loses to is "crypto". Nobody does crypto on a CPU, so that's a useless benchmark anyway. And what about power consumption and heat generated? I bet that even with the poor Xeon performance, it probably sucks rediculous amounts of power compared to Threadripper.
    Reply
  • jp7189
    dalek1234 said:
    Your table with Geekbench result has misaligned headers. It make it look like AMD lost in almost every benchmark, when it fact those poor results belong to Intel.

    Which bring me to the next point: " a strong rival ". What are you smoking? Intel is behind AMD in 7 out of 8 of your benchmarks, sometimes by a big margin. And the only benchmark AMD loses to is "crypto". Nobody does crypto on a CPU, so that's a useless benchmark anyway. And what about power consumption and heat generated? I bet that even with the poor Xeon performance, it probably sucks rediculous amounts of power compared to Threadripper.
    I agree with most of your points, except crypto refers to cryptographic functions which can be a significant piece of the workload for the target market. It does not refer to crypto currency.

    Considering the low single core crypto score, it seems a strange outlier for unusually high multi core score.
    Reply
  • dalek1234
    jp7189 said:
    ...crypto refers to cryptographic functions...

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    You're right about single and mult core crypto scores. They don't make sense.
    Reply
  • PCWarrior
    This is not a 56core cpu. It is a 28core/56thread cpu. What is reported in Geekbench is the number of logical cores.
    https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/20093542
    This is evidenced by the L1 and L2 Cache numbers where the multiplier is 28 and not 56.
    L1 Instruction Cache 32.0 KB x 28
    L1 Data Cache 48.0 KB x 28
    L2 Cache 2.00 MB x 28

    Intel will be entering the HEDT market again with prices up to $2000 or even up to $3000 but not higher. So they won't be offering their 56-core server parts as workstation offerings. It is very likely that the HEDT flagship will be markeked as the successor of the 28core W3175X which launched for $3000. In a market where even consumer-grade higher-end boards cost over $600, good motherboards for the HEDT platform will easily cost $1000-$2000, making a $2000-$3000 cpu kind of a reasonable pairing.
    Reply
  • SunMaster

    his is not a 56core cpu. It is a 28core/56thread cpu. What is reported in Geekbench is the number of logical cores
    And yet the spec of the Xeon W9-3495X, as entered in the chart, is 56 cores/112 threads
    Reply
  • bit_user
    As in some other articles I've seen, the table column headings are shifted left by one.
    Xeon W9-3495XRyzen Threadripper Pro 5995WXGeneral specifications56C/112T, 1.90 GHz - 3.20GHz, 105MB L364C/128T, 2.70 GHz - 4.50 GHz, 256MB L3Single-Core | Integer11201316Single-Core | Float13381719
    I think adding a column heading at the left would fix it (maybe call it "Test").
    Test
    Xeon W9-3495X
    Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5995WXGeneral specifications56C/112T, 1.90 GHz - 3.20GHz, 105MB L364C/128T, 2.70 GHz - 4.50 GHz, 256MB L3Single-Core | Integer11201316Single-Core | Float13381719
    Reply
  • bit_user
    dalek1234 said:
    Which bring me to the next point: " a strong rival ". What are you smoking?
    I generally agree, but there's a possibility this is still just an engineering sample, which typically perform a worse than final production examples. I'm rather suspicious that's what we're seeing, since especially the single-core scores don't tally with what we saw when Alder Lake launched against Ryzen 5000.

    Regarding multi-threaded, 56 Golden Cove cores should be very competitive against 64 Zen3 cores. It's really the matchup against the 7000-series Threadripper that will be interesting.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    PCWarrior said:
    This is not a 56core cpu. It is a 28core/56thread cpu. What is reported in Geekbench is the number of logical cores.
    https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/20093542
    If the model number is being correctly reported and they're not doing anything weird by restricting cores or running without hyperthreading, then it's truly a 56-core/112-thread CPU.
    Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-roadmap-leaks-raptor-lake-refresh-hedt-replacement-in-2023
    PCWarrior said:
    This is evidenced by the L1 and L2 Cache numbers where the multiplier is 28 and not 56.
    L1 Instruction Cache 32.0 KB x 28
    L1 Data Cache 48.0 KB x 28
    L2 Cache 2.00 MB x 28
    I wouldn't read too much into that. Especially for an unreleased CPU. There could be some bug in how it's detecting those stats.

    Next, let's look at scaling data, to see how that aligns with different hypothetical core & thread counts. Below, I've taken each CPU's multithreaded score and divided it by the respective single-threaded score. What we get tells us how well performance scaled up.
    TestXeon W9-3495XTR Pro 5995WXInteger
    30.0

    35.0
    Float
    30.1

    28.7
    Crypto
    19.9

    11.7
    Overall
    31.4

    30.1

    This shows is that Geekbench's multithreaded tests apparently don't scale very well, because even the 64-core/128-thread TR 5995WX tends to scale up to about 30x the performance of single-threaded. There could be lots of reasons for this, including poorly-written benchmarks or perhaps encountering memory bottlenecks or excessive contention for L3 cache. Also, the single-core tests will be running at max turbo, while multithreaded tests will tend to run at much lower base clocks.

    PCWarrior said:
    Intel will be entering the HEDT market again with prices up to $2000 or even up to $3000 but not higher. So they won't be offering their 56-core server parts as workstation offerings.
    Not well-researched statements, it seems. Check the source link above, and you'll also find a list of the 2400-series models. I expect the 2400-series CPUs to range from about $800 to $3500, and the 3400-series CPUs to range from about $2k to $7k.
    Reply