Without any doubt, Intel's 4th Generation Xeon Scalable 'Sapphire Rapids' server processors are among the highly anticipated products in 2022. The CPUs were delayed several times, and their specifications remain a mystery. But as Intel's partners are testing samples of the new processors, their benchmark results inevitably emerge in various databases. This time around, someone posted results from Intel's 56-core Xeon Platinum 8480+ processor to Primate Labs's Geekbench 5 database.
As the name suggests, Intel's 56-core Xeon Platinum 8480+ with 112MB L2 cache and 105MB L3 cache belongs to the company's crème-de-la-crème server CPUs with all cores and features (AMX, AVX-512, CXL, DSA, etc.) enabled. Considering Intel's 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable nomenclature, we may be dealing with the new top-of-the-range SKU.
The Xeon Platinum 8480+ supports HyperThreading and has a base frequency of 2.0 GHz, according to the Geekbench 5 database entry. The relatively low clocks of the Xeon Platinum 8480+ (down from 2.30GHz in the case of the 40-core Xeon Platinum 8380 CPU) are a bit surprising because it is made using Intel's 10nm Enhanced SuperFin fabrication technology that features advanced power delivery and is generally designed to enable high frequencies on CPUs with a high core count. Perhaps the new Sapphire Rapids processors feature very high turbo clocks, but unfortunately, we have no idea how high the Xeon Platinum 8480+ CPU can go in turbo mode.
Primate Labs's Geekbench 5 is hardly the best benchmark for server CPUs (especially modern ones with various special-purpose accelerators). Still, it gives some clues about the integer, floating point, and multi-thread performance. Still, considering that we are dealing with pre-production hardware and firmware (Tyan's S5652AGM3NRE-2T LGA4677 motherboard was used), take the benchmark results with a grain of salt.
|Xeon Platinum 8480+||EPYC 7763||EPYC 7773X||Threadripper Pro 5995WX||M1 Ultra||Core i9-12900K||Ryzen 9 5950X|
|General specifications||56C, 2.0GHz - ?GHz, 112MB L3, 105MB L3||64C, 2.45 ~ 3.50GHz, 32MB L2, 256MB L3||64C, 2.20 ~ 3.50GHz, 32MB L2, 768MB L3||64C, 2.70 ~ 4.50GHz, 32MB L2, 256MB L3||16P, 4E, up to 3.22GHz, 48MB SLC||8P, 8E, 3.20 ~ 5.10GHz, 30MB||16C, 3.40 ~ 5.0 GHz, 64MB||General specifications|
|Single-Core | Integer||639||1129||1143||1305||1632||1830||1435||Single-Core | Integer|
|Single-Core | Float||776||1437||1448||1715||1929||2189||1881||Single-Core | Float|
|Single-Core | Crypto||2069||3142||3157||3839||2803||6064||4089||Single-Core | Crypto|
|Single-Core | Score||752||1322||1335||1555||1780||2149||1702||Single-Core | Score|
|Multi-Core | Integer||36889||25446||50178||40600||21332||20631||16695||Multi-Core | Integer|
|Multi-Core | Float||39779||24662||50949||47800||27048||23205||18695||Multi-Core | Float|
|Multi-Core | Crypto||37642||10527||58040||56327||43345||17413||8145||Multi-Core | Crypto|
|Multi-Core | Score||37794||24465||50802||43546||24147||21242||16868||Multi-Core | Score|
The performance of Intel's Xeon Platinum 8480+ 'Sapphire Rapids' processor in Geekbench 5 is a mixed bag: it wins in certain cases but loses badly in others.
The CPU is considerably behind AMD's 64-core EPYC processors (that also feature rather low base clocks) in single-thread workloads. Intel's Golden Cove microarchitecture (used by Sapphire Rapids and Alder Lake CPUs) has very good single-thread performance, so perhaps the reason why Xeon Platinum 8480+ performs so poorly is because the pre-production chip does not boost its clocks (i.e., appropriate modes are disabled).
In multi-core workloads, Intel's Xeon Platinum 8480+ shows its potential and outperforms AMD's 64-core EPYC 7763 processor. Meanwhile, it cannot beat AMD's 64-core EPYC 7773X CPU, which is armed with 3D V-Cache, as well as Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5995WX, which has considerably higher clocks.
In general, Intel's 56-core Xeon Platinum 8480+ 'Sapphire Rapids' processor looks rather promising for pre-production hardware. It looks like, for now, Intel hasn't enabled boost clocks on samples of SPR CPUs for certain reasons, but what the 56-core/112-thread processor can do in multi-thread workloads at 2.0 GHz looks pretty impressive.