Leak reveals 500W fire-breathing 128-core Granite Rapids Xeon 6 CPU

Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

Yuuki_ans on X (formerly Twitter) published a leaked slide comprised of most (if not all) of Intel's upcoming Xeon 6 series CPUs, featuring Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest SKUs. The slide reveals that Intel is massively increasing core counts with its two next-generation server CPU platforms but at the cost of absurd power consumption. The highest-core count Granite Rapids part — the Xeon 6 6980P, boasts 128 Cores and a colossal 500W TDP.

Intel is equipping five Xeon 6 CPUs with a sky-high 500W TDP, including the top four most powerful Granite Rapids SKUs and even the flagship Sierra Forest SKU comprised entirely of efficiency cores. Intel's new 500W ceiling is almost twice as high as its outgoing Xeon Scalable parts which peak at 350W to 385W.

However, with all that additional power headroom Intel has been able to double the core count available on the Granite Rapids CPUs from 64 cores to 128 cores. This is a massive change that will greatly enhance Granite Rapids's multi-core capabilities. Granite Rapids is the first Intel server CPU architecture to outperform AMD's outgoing EPYC 9654 series (Genoa) in raw core count.

The same behavior is even more apparent in Intel's first-ever EPYC 9754 Bergamo competitor codenamed Sierra Falls. An architecture comprised entirely of E-cores. The flagship Sierra Forest SKU (which doesn't have a name yet) comes with 288 of Intel's E-cores, blowing away AMD's Zen 4c flagship that comes with 128 cores.

Granite Rapids is Intel's next-generation CPU architecture that will succeed Emerald Rapids. Powering the new architecture is a new packaging strategy comprised of dual I/O chipsets paired with varying configurations of compute core made on the Intel 3 process node. For the P-cores, Intel is using a new architecture dubbed Redwood Cove that comes with AMX FP16 acceleration, more L1 cache, and higher IPC performance.

Overall Intel claims Granite Rapids will provide up to a 2x to 3x performance improvement in mixed AI workloads and up to 2.8x better memory bandwidth.

Sierra Forest is Intel's first-ever Xeon server architecture comprised only of efficiency cores. Intel is using new Sierra Glen E-cores in its new server architecture, which are optimized for scalar throughput workloads such as cloud-native computing. Intel claims Sierra Forest will have 2.5x better server rack density and 2.4x higher efficiency than its older fourth-gen Xeon CPUs.

Intel's next-generation Xeon CPU architectures are shaping up to be the largest generational improvements we've seen in quite some time. However, just like its desktop 13th and 14th Gen chips, it appears Intel is putting less of a focus on power consumption and is going all in on performance with its Xeon 6 lineup. As a result, server manufacturers will need to design new cooling solutions to accommodate Intel's flagship parts featuring a sky-high 500W TDP rating.

Correction, April 18, 1:30 p.m. ET: This article misnamed Granite Rapids in certain mentions. It has been corrected. We regret the error.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • Metal Messiah.
    However, with all that additional power headroom Intel has been able to double the core count available on the Granite Ridge CPUs from 64 cores to 128 cores. This is a massive change that will greatly enhance Granite Ridge's multi-core capabilities.

    Granite Ridge is the first Intel server CPU architecture to outperform AMD's outgoing EPYC 9654 series (Genoa) in raw core count.

    Granite Ridge is Intel's next-generation CPU architecture that will succeed Emerald Rapids.

    Overall Intel claims Granite Ridge will provide up to a 2x to 3x performance improvement in mixed AI workloads and up to 2.8x better memory bandwidth.

    Can you make some corrections though, since there has been some confusion/typos regarding the naming scheme which Intel uses vs AMD.

    Granite Ridge has been used instead of "Granite Rapids" on few paragraphs. We all know that Granite Ridge is the "rumored" codename for the desktop implementation of the "Zen 5" micro-architecture, the upcoming Ryzen 9000 series, so it's obviously confusing.

    Even I get confused when it comes to "Granite Ridge", and "Granite Rapids" naming scheme.

    On a serious note, AMD should definitely change their codename, assuming this "Granite" name has not been chosen yet. Because we don't expect Intel to do any changes now, since the Granite Rapids family is already finalized.


    EDIT:

    Thanks for the correction.
    Reply
  • emike09
    Think of all the Qubic you could mine!
    Reply
  • ezst036
    If these CPUs keep getting physically larger and larger, we're going to have to start going back to vertical daughter boards like the old Pentium IIIs had.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    Btw, as expected, there are two variants of these chips Intel plans to release, notably within the AP and SP lineup.

    AP seems to be higher end, since these are centered around a bigger socket, and there are four higher-end Granite Rapids-AP CPUs listed, which would sport the Intel "Platinum" badge as per one leak.

    But there are definitely more SKUs in the pipeline, since this can't be the final product list. These are early qualification samples though.
    Xeon 6980P - 128 Cores (Redwood Cove P-Cores) / 500W / 2.0-3.2 GHz
    Xeon 6979P - 120 Cores (Redwood Cove P-Cores) / 500W / 2.1-3.2 GHz
    Xeon 6972P - 96 Cores (Redwood Cove P-Cores) / 500W / 2.4-3.5 GHz
    Xeon 6960P - 72 Cores (Redwood Cove P-Cores) / 500W / 2.7-3.8 GHzIntel Xeon 6 6900E/P Platinum
    Intel Xeon 6 6700E/P Gold
    Intel Xeon 6 6500P Silver
    Intel Xeon 6 6300P Bronze

    It appears all the previous leaks from the past 1-2 years have materialized, since there has again been a mention of two reference platforms used by Intel, sporting different sockets as well. Both still come under the "Birch Stream" platform though.

    For the SP chips Intel is using the reference evaluation platform known as "Beechnut City" sporting the LGA 4710 socket.
    For the AP chips Intel is using the reference evaluation platform known as ""Avenue City"" sporting the LGA 7529 socket.

    This rumored 7529 socket is kind of huge. In fact, the socket is so big that it can literally house six AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs. One guy at a Chinese forum last year posted a screenshot of this chip, lol. Doesn't come as a surprise though, since this is a server socket.

    ZlLkoRiyA8U:84View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlLkoRiyA8U&t=84s
    https://i.imgur.com/fo2vYLm.png
    Reply
  • usertests
    Intel's new 500W ceiling is almost twice as high as its outgoing Xeon Scalable parts which peak at 350W to 385W.
    Questionable maths.

    Intel is equipping five Xeon 6 CPUs with a sky-high 500W TDP, including the top four most powerful Granite Rapids SKUs and even the flagship Sierra Forest SKU comprised entirely of efficiency cores.
    AMD applies the same 350 W TDP to all Ryzen Threadripper 7000 CPUs, ranging from 12 to 96 cores. Intel could be doing a similar thing here. But maybe some of these need all the watts they can get. Sierra Forest at 288 cores and actual 500 W usage would be only ~1.74 Watts per core.

    Either way, physically large chips can dissipate more heat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Rapids#Emerald_Rapids-SP_(Scalable_Performance)
    What does TDP even mean anymore? Apparently for Emerald Rapids it's the old definition from before base/turbo TDP:
    Thermal Design Power (TDP) represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    usertests said:
    What does TDP even mean anymore? Apparently for Emerald Rapids it's the old definition from before base/turbo TDP:
    Basically still the same thing, this is from the current gen desktop info on ark
    Processor Base PowerThe time-averaged power dissipation that the processor is validated to not exceed during manufacturing while executing an Intel-specified high complexity workload at Base Frequency and at the junction temperature as specified in the Datasheet for the SKU segment and configuration.

    And yes, base power IS TDP.
    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000055611/processors.html
    Reply
  • Anomaly_76
    Admin said:
    A leak has revealed that Intel is planning two new Xeon 6 CPUs boasting a whopping 500W TDP rating, one with just P-cores and the other featuring E-cores only. The P-core model will have 128 cores while the E-core variant will come with 288 cores.

    Leak reveals 500W fire-breathing 128-core Granite Rapids Xeon 6 CPU : Read mor

    :eek:

    Okay, now we're just getting stupid. 500W 128 core CPU? That's like wrapping a Dodge Neon around a Viper V10.

    I can see where it might be useful for fileservers over broadband or something... But how do you cool it?

    I can't see the average person needing that. :cool:
    Reply
  • paschimo
    usertests said:
    Questionable maths.


    AMD applies the same 350 W TDP to all Ryzen Threadripper 7000 CPUs, ranging from 12 to 96 cores. Intel could be doing a similar thing here. But maybe some of these need all the watts they can get. Sierra Forest at 288 cores and actual 500 W usage would be only ~1.74 Watts per core.

    Either way, physically large chips can dissipate more heat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Rapids#Emerald_Rapids-SP_(Scalable_Performance)
    What does TDP even mean anymore? Apparently for Emerald Rapids it's the old definition from before base/turbo TDP:
    I thought TDP is related to the necessary cooling hardware, using the Tjmax as a parameter. Given power and Tjmax, one gets a thermal resistance (K/W) that is used to design the cooling system. Second question was what is the area of the chip? How much is the power density (W/m2) increasing? thanks.
    Reply
  • usertests
    Anomaly_76 said:
    Okay, now we're just getting stupid. 500W 128 core CPU? That's like wrapping a Dodge Neon around a Viper V10.
    Larger = easier to cool because the heat is spread out over a larger area and more chiplets/tiles. Xeons and Threadripper/Epyc are much larger than the consumer sockets.

    More cores = more watts. At least if cores and clocks are rising faster than efficiency gains. But think about it. Tom's Hardware pushed the i9-14900K to use 359 Watts in Prime95. That's 24 cores (8+16), a lot less than 128 P-cores or 288 E-cores, in a chip that is what, maybe 25% the size or less?

    Having said that, these chips can probably pull more than 500 Watts. How about 1 kW?

    paschimo said:
    I thought TDP is related to the necessary cooling hardware, using the Tjmax as a parameter. Given power and Tjmax, one gets a thermal resistance (K/W) that is used to design the cooling system. Second question was what is the area of the chip? How much is the power density (W/m2) increasing? thanks.
    TDP is a marketing term, and AMD and Intel have come up with their own definitions and tweaked them over the years.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    usertests said:
    TDP is a marketing term, and AMD and Intel have come up with their own definitions and tweaked them over the years.
    It is not a marketing term, it's just like the minimum specs for games, it's what you need to get going while biggerrer will be betterrer.

    All the CPUs ,be they from amd or intel, run perfectly fine and at stated speeds with a cooler that can cool for the rated TDP. It's just that a bigger cooler can make them run faster than they should/would.
    Reply