A Canadian retailer has listed Supermicro's yet-to-be-announced X13SWA-TF motherboard based on the Intel W790 chipset. It is designed for workstations featuring Intel's Xeon processors in LGA4677 packaging, which points to Sapphire Rapids CPUs.
The Supermicro X13SWA-TF motherboard (listed at Atic.ca and spotted by @momomo_us) comes in an E-ATX form factor, which is used for workstations, desktops, and tower servers. The motherboard is priced at CAD$1290 ($965) with a discount if you pay cash, but there is no mention of its availability timeframe.
Earlier this year, Intel confirmed that its W790 is a workstation-grade chipset (not an entry-level workstation-grade chipset) but never disclosed which processors it supports. But since the motherboard has an LGA4677 socket, it should support Intel's Xeon processors codenamed Sapphire Rapids.
We can speculate that we might be talking about a special version of Sapphire Rapids CPUs tailored for workstations (i.e., featuring fewer than 60 cores but with higher clocks) or Intel's 34-core Raptor Lake-S processors spotted by our own Paul Alcorn earlier this year. Meanwhile, both Sapphire Rapids and Raptor Lake-S feature high-performance cores based on the Golden Cove microarchitecture and have several things in common. Therefore, it is plausible to assume that Intel's 34-core Raptor Lake processors (also known as RPLS-34C) will be marketed under the Xeon brand, though Intel has never discussed it publicly.
The Supermicro X13SWA-TF platform has six PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, two 10GbE ports controlled by Intel's X550 chip, and Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) for remote management, which is handy both for workstations and servers. The basic description does not mention PCIe 5.0 support or M.2 slots (indispensable for desktop PCs), but since this is an early representation of the X13SWA-TF's capabilities, this is not surprising.
Rumors about a Sapphire Rapids-based platform for high-end desktops and workstations have been floating around for years. However, Intel has never publicly confirmed plans to address the client PC market with its SPR processors as it is focused on launching Sapphire Rapids for servers first. The listing is essentially the first confirmation that Intel's W790 platform supports the company's processors in LGA4677 packaging, which points to Intel Xeon 'Sapphire Rapids' CPUs. Meanwhile, Intel's 34-core Raptor Lake-S processors are perhaps better candidates for mainstream workstations and high-end desktops.
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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.