Intel to Fire Back at AMD's EPYC Rome With Cascade Lake Xeon Refresh: Report

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

According to a report from Dylan Martin at CRN, Intel is poised to launch a new lineup of Cascade Lake Xeon refresh processors to fire back at AMD's EPYC Rome

The report cites numerous anonymous sources that informed the trustworthy publication of the new Intel lineup that is purportedly slated for a February 23, 2020 launch. Further examination indicates public-facing evidence of the new chips in Penguin Computing's server configurator and in Intel's own recent microcode update documents.  

The new processors have been hinted at in prior leaks, and Intel's response makes sense as it looks to protect its market share from the resurgent AMD's EPYC Rome processors that hold both the process node and core count advantage. The CRN report also cites industry sources that say the ramp-up for the refreshed Cascade Lake lineup could have contributed to recent Xeon shortages as the company shifted production capacity to the new chips. 

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Rumored Refresh LineupCores / ThreadsBase Freq.(GHz)TDP
Intel Xeon Gold 6238R28 / 562.2165W
Intel Xeon Gold 6258R28 / 562.7205W
Intel Xeon Gold 6230R26 / 522.1150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6248R24 / 483.0205W
Intel Xeon Gold 6340R24 / 482.4165W
Intel Xeon Gold 5220R24 / 482.2150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6242R20 / 403.1205W
Intel Xeon Gold 5218R20 / 402.1125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6208U16 / 322.9150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6226R16 / 322.9150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6246R16 / 323.4 205W
Intel Xeon Silver 4216R16 / 322.2125W
Intel Xeon Silver 4214R12 / 242.4100W
Intel Xeon Silver 4210R10 / 202.4100W
Intel Xeon Silver 4210T10 / 202.395W
Intel Xeon Silver 4215R8 / 163.2130W
Intel Xeon Bronze8 / 161.985W

*Data in table is unconfirmed, compiled from CRN report

The purported refresh lineup (with an "R" suffix) brings 28-core models to the Xeon Gold lineup that previously topped out at 24 cores. The list of processors also includes a Xeon Bronze model that brings that family of chips up to eight cores (from six), and six new Silver models. A cursory examination reveals slightly higher boost frequencies with the new chips, as expected of a typical refresh generation, and several models come with more cores than their prior-gen counterparts.  

(Image credit: Penguin Computing Configurator)

The refreshed lineup, which is purportedly an iterative 14nm update to the existing Xeon Scalable architecture, should bring along more competitive price points for Intel's data center lineup. The latest news comes on the heels of Intel's recent adjustments to its Xeon product stack that, in sum, equates to lower pricing for models that support 4.5TB of memory capacity. That addressed a shortcoming in Intel's feature set compared to AMD's EPYC processors, which support 4TB of maximum memory capacity with no additional charge. 

Current-Gen Cascade Lake Lineup

(Image credit: Intel)

*chart above outlines Intel's official Cascade Lake Xeon lineup

We pinged Intel for comment, but the company responded that it doesn't comment on rumors. That means we'll have to wait for an official launch for more information on the final specifications and pricing of the chips, but given the public-facing info, it appears we won't have to wait too long. 

In either case, the purported lineup makes plenty of sense and appears to plug some noticeable competitive performance gaps in Intel's lineup against AMD's EPYC Rome processors. 

As always, pricing will tell the final tale. 

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • spongiemaster
    admin said:
    A report backed by public-facing evidence exposes Intel's plan to release Cascade Lake Refresh processors soon.

    Intel to Fire Back at AMD's EPYC Rome With Cascade Lake Xeon Refresh: Report : Read more
    So Intel is countering 64 core Epyc Rome with a 28 core CPU? That's not even bringing a knife to a gun fight, that's bringing a Play-Doh spoon to a gun fight.
  • bit_user
    spongiemaster said:
    So Intel is countering 64 core Epyc Rome with a 28 core CPU? That's not even bringing a knife to a gun fight, that's bringing a Play-Doh spoon to a gun fight.
    I think the more likely scenario is countering 64-core EPYC and ThreadRipper with a dual- 28-core config*. Not that I expect it'll match AMD's perf/$, but Intel is still heavily trading on its reputation and customers' inertia.

    As reported by Anandtech, Intel's Cascade Lake-AP (with up to 56 cores) seems little more than a publicity stunt, in practice:
    * Against dual EPYC configurations, Intel probably hopes customers will use 4x Cascade Lake-SP (they do scale up to 8x, whereas EPYC is limited to only dual-CPU configs).