Intel has initiated the end of life (EOL) procedure for its only 'extreme' Xeon W processor with 28 cores and unlocked multiplier. Originally meant to compete against AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Xeon W-3175X offered a combination of high core count and overclockability.
"Market demand for the [Intel Xeon W-3175X] products […] have shifted to other Intel products," an Intel statement reads, though the company does not disclose whether it intends to offer an unlocked Xeon for extreme workstations any time soon. For regular workstations that are not designed for CPU overclocking Intel offers its Ice Lake-SP-based 38-core Xeon W-3375 and 32-core Xeon W-3365 processors.
Those interested in buying the Intel Xeon W-3175X will have to order it by April 29, 2022, and the last Xeon W-3175X CPU will be shipped by Intel on October 28, 2022.
Intel originally demonstrated its 28-core Xeon W-3175X processor for extreme workstations at Computex 2018 emphasizing that it could work at 5.0 GHz with all of its cores activated. It quickly turned out that 5.0 GHz was achievable when overclocked and cooled down using a chiller, but it was still impressive to see a 28-core CPU operating at such an extreme frequency. Eventually, Intel clocked the processor at 3.10 GHz base and 4.30 GHz maximum single-core turbo, but since the chip comes with an unlocked multiplier, owners could overclock it beyond 3.10 GHz.
The CPU has a TDP of 255W, but when overclocked it consumes significantly more, which is why makers of motherboards for the Xeon W-3175X had to implement rather extreme voltage regulating modules (VRM) with ~30 power stages to feed the processor and enable overclocking, which made such motherboards extremely expensive. To that end, only Asus, EVGA, and Gigabyte offered platforms for the unlocked Xeon W processor.
Priced at $2999 and requiring a very expensive motherboard along with an advanced cooler, a six-channel DDR4 memory, and a high-performance PSU, Intel's Xeon W-3175X has never been a very popular option even for extreme workstations, perhaps because AMD Ryzen Threadripper-based machines offered more cores at a lower price.
Intel continues to offer Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition 'Cascade Lake' processor with 18 cores for enthusiasts who want a combination of high core count, high frequency, and overclockability, though to a large degree AMD currently controls the lion's share of enthusiast CPU market.