With the launch earlier this year of Intel’s Ice Lake Xeon Scalable platform, the first Intel enterprise platform based on 10nm, we were always wondering to what extent this silicon would penetrate other markets. Today Intel is answering that question by launching the Xeon W-3300 family, using the same Ice Lake Xeon silicon but in a more focused single socket platform. Xeon W-3300 will offer processors from 12 core up to 38 cores, peaking at 270 W TDP, but offering support for up to 4 TB of memory.

The Xeon W-3300 Family

This is the third generation of Intel’s Xeon W processor family, initially highlighted by the overclockable 28-core Xeon W-3175X based on the Skylake family of enterprise CPU architectures. Intel made a big effort with the launch of that processor, and followed it shortly with the Xeon W-3200 series based on Cascade Lake, offering more PCIe lanes and an increase in frequencies. The new Ice Lake Xeon W family uses Intel’s Ice Lake architecture, as we highlighted in our initial Xeon Scalable review of the platform, affording a sizeable gen-on-gen bump performance improvement against the previous Intel processors. In that review we’ve highlighted that Ice Lake offered a good +19% IPC increase, and the gain in core count and TDP provided an uplift despite some regressions in frequency compared to Cascade Lake.

While the Xeon Scalable line offers up to 40 core variants, Xeon W-3300 will go as far as 38 cores, but Intel is focusing mostly on the 32-core version as its lead product. The new Xeon W-3365 with 32 cores is designed to be competitive against AMD’s Threadripper Pro 3975WX, which we recently reviewed, offering the same number of cores, the same DRAM support, and has some tradeoffs.

Intel Xeon W-3300 Ice Lake SKUs
AnandTech Cores Base
Freq
1T
Turbo
nT
Turbo
L3
(MB)
TDP Price
(1ku)
W-3375 38 / 76 2500 4000 3300 57 270 W $4499
W-3365 32 / 64 2700 4000 3500 48 270 W $3499
W-3345 24 / 48 3000 4000 3700 36 250 W $2499
W-3335 16 / 32 3400 4000 3700 24 250 W $1299
W-3323 12 / 24 3500 3900 3700 21 220 W $949

The top processor is the Xeon W-3375 with 38 cores and 76 threads. The base frequency of 2.5 GHz is offset with a 4.0 GHz single core turbo and a 3.3 GHz all-core turbo, enabled through the 270 W TDP, which increases the TDP of the top Xeon W processor from 255 W in the previous generation. 

All the processors will support 64 lanes of PCIe 4.0, 8-channel DDR4-3200 memory (up from 6-channel), and with 256 GB LRDIMMs up to 4 TB per socket (16 modules). The standard Ice Lake enterprise core offers 1.5 MB of L3 cache per core, and for all the processors here that standard stays the same, however the 12-core version uses 1.75 MB of L3 cache per core. Intel has not disclosed the die configurations of the lower core count parts, however the 28+ core parts are almost certainly using the 40 physical core configurations.

These new processors use the same LGA4189 socket as the mainline Xeon Scalable platform, but are enabled through a new generation of C621A chipset which allows for Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 expansion on motherboards should the board OEM built it in. Further information about the C621A has not been detailed at this time.

The other angle new to the Xeon W family is the addition of new instructions for cryptography – Ice Lake cores now support SHA extensions, have doubled AES throughput, and VPMADD52 instruction sets. On top of this, Intel is pushing its latest generation of DLBoost technology to speed up AI workloads through efficient use of the on-board AVX512 units. Although not disclosed, we are under the impression that the Xeon W-3300 parts have dual AVX512 FMAs per core.

Some Xeon W-3365 Benchmarks

Ahead of this launch, we were contacted by a system integrator who shipped us a system that arrived a couple of days ago with the W-3365 installed. Unfortunately the system didn’t survive the transatlantic shipment entirely intact, and we’re still debugging exactly why. But we were able to strip out the board and CPU to do some initial testing. We’re going to be doing a full review hopefully next week.

  • Processor: Intel Xeon W-3365 (32-core Ice Lake, 270W)
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S LGA4189
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X12SPA-TF
  • Memory: 8 x 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RDIMM (128 GB)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3090 FE
  • Storage: Intel Optane P5800X 800GB + 2x1 TB Samsung 980 Pro
  • Power Supply: 2x Corsair AX860i
  • Operating System: Windows 10 20H2

We’re comparing this processor to the 28-core W-3175X and the 32-core TR Pro 3975WX in these initial tests. Intel is targeting this processor very much at workstation-dedicated workflow. Also, the benefit of all these processors listed being 32-core or below means they fit inside Windows’ 64-thread mask limit, which can limit some tests to 64 threads.

(1-1) Agisoft Photoscan 1.3, Complex Test

(4-2) Corona 1.3 Benchmark

(2-5) NAMD ApoA1 Simulation

(4-1) Blender 2.83 Custom Render Test

(4-7b) CineBench R23 Multi-Thread

(5-1c) Handbrake 1.3.2, 1080p30 H264 to 4K60 HEVC

(5-4) WinRAR 5.90 Test, 3477 files, 1.96 GB

(8-4c) Linux OpenSSL Speed sha256 8K Block (nT)

When it comes to power, we're measuring a peak 292 W during AVX-512 workloads and 286 W in AVX2 workloads, however this is preliminary data from a few tests we've been able to run so far.

We can see that the Ice Lake Xeon W-3365 already pushes ahead of the Skylake W-3175X in almost all our benchmark suite, save for a couple of tests that seem to be cache/frequency-dependent. Against the Zen 2-based 3975WX it is more benchmark dependent. We are waiting for AMD to launch its Zen 3-based Threadripper and TR Pro over the next few months.

Xeon W-3175X vs Xeon W-3365 vs TR Pro 3975WX
Intel Xeon
W-3175X
Intel Xeon
W-3365
AnandTech AMD TR
Pro 3975X
$2999 $3499 Cost $2750
Skylake Xeon Ice Lake Xeon Microarchitecture Zen 2
28 / 56 32 / 64 Cores / Threads 32 / 64
3100 MHz 2700 MHz Base Frequency 3500 MHz
4300 MHz 4000 MHz Turbo Frequency 4200 MHz
1024 KB 1280 KB L2 Cache / core 512 KB
38.5 MB 48 MB L3 Cache 128 MB
255 W 270 W TDP 280 W
6 x DDR4-2933 8 x DDR4-3200 Memory 8 x DDR4-3200
512 GB 4 TB Memory Capacity 4 TB
PCIe 3.0 x48 PCIe 4.0 x64 PCIe PCIe 4.0 x128
PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x8 Chipset Link PCIe 4.0 x8
Yes Yes AVX-512 No

We’re hoping to put more time into testing this platform, along with the rest of the system sent to us; workstations rarely focus solely on the CPU, and rely very much on the installed graphics, storage, and memory depending on the different bottlenecks of the workload. Stay tuned for that review.

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  • Threska - Thursday, July 29, 2021 - link

    Prohibition, except instead of bootleggers. Reply
  • Wrs - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    A pretty big exception is carved out for workstations. All those PCIe slots push the expandability score past the common regulations Reply
  • flgt - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    Wow. I had not heard of that law. Craziness. Reply
  • ceomrman - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    The law only concerns power wasted in idle and sleep modes. It sets annual KW limits for power consumption assuming a normal amount of downtime. It seems like it will be simple to design better hardware. It's just not the kind of thing manufacturers care about without a law - "burn $8 less electricity each year!" isn't exactly going to burn down the house at CES 2022, but it matters when there are millions of PCs Reply
  • npz - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    Idle power is only half of it. The other half of the law concerns MAX power consumption at full load, limited to a certain annual amount. It differentiates between only between client PCs/end user devices/gaming devices and servers. Reply
  • npz - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    Even without the high end max power use case limitation, this will also increase the cost of lower end PCs because now PC makers that made do with base 80+ or Bronze PSU will have to upgrade to Gold or higher to get the 5 state certification Reply
  • Wrs - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - link

    The law says nothing about max power for a desktop. Only the off, sleep, short idle, and long idle measurements are taken, as well as PSU efficiency at specific % wattages which the previous measurements may or may not reach. It's really easy to blow thru energy star sticker estimates (which CEC is based on) by running tasks overnight or processor/GPU intensive activities in general, because those can draw many times the estimated scenario Reply
  • npz - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - link

    What? Why even set strict totoal energy consumption limits if only idle power is used? There would be absolutely no need for even the limits they provide if what you say is true. The law only specified idle or non-active power use, AND as of July 1, the CEC limits annual consumption to 50, 60, and 75 kWh depending on expansion capability. This annual limit necessarily includes non-active power modes. The law does not limit the maximal peak power, only the total energy used i.e. a machine may use very high peak power but for a very short period of time and thus be under the CEC limit while a machine may use less peak power but spend more time at it, and thus be over.

    But the law does specify a "0.9 power factor at full load" Note the term FULL LOAD, and the law also specifies PSU efficiency at various load levels for 115v and 230v, which also goes up to 100% load.

    The peak or max power usage is used by manufacturers, along with the projected time spent at that peak, plus idle power, to calculate how much annual energy is consumed. Dell provides all this for **energy conumption conpliance requirements** and all their calculations include some time at max power
    https://downloads.dell.com/rdoc/dell%20alienware%2...
    Notice testing prodecures all measure fully stressed consumptin, sleep, idle, etc, NOT just idle or non-active modes. Again
    Reply
  • npz - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - link

    as far as "blowing through CEC limits" that is why they also set usage models that manufacturers default to such as:

    (B) Be shipped with power management settings that do both of the following:

    1. Transition the computer into either the computer sleep mode or computer off mode measured in Section 1604(v)(4) of this Article within 30 minutes of user inactivity. If the transition is to a computer sleep mode, that sleep mode shall either:

    a. Be a computer sleep mode as described in ACPI as S3; or

    b. Consume power less than or equal to the values shown in Table V-6.

    2. Transition connected displays into sleep mode within 15 minutes of user inactivity.

    and again, the non-idle user active modes implicitly but necessary includes time a full load as evident by Dell's own compliance sheets (the law simply does not care about peak power, just total energy per year consumed; it's up the manufacturers to manage the power against energy consumption)
    Reply
  • Wrs - Sunday, August 1, 2021 - link

    CEC limits neither restrict the peak power nor the time spent at peak power to finish a given workload. Dell published peak power, I do not know if they were required to, but they were not required to apply peak power for any amount of time toward the annual KWh limit. This is because the CEC relies on federal energy star testing which all these years has never applied any useful workload. It measures annual KWh for a computer spending a certain % of time shut down, sleeping, idling with monitor on, and idling with monitor off, and that then gets printed on the yellow and white sticker. Those %s are different depending on how functional the computer is when asleep. You could say energy star only targets wasted energy, and office machines used to waste a TON of energy.

    In the Dell example in your link, the reported TEC was 227.68KWh corresponding to an average 24/7 wattage of 26w. The system peaks at 561w and idles at ~65w. That means one can use up the TEC "budget" by idling for 9.5 hours or gaming at 500w for 1 hour 15 min each day, or any proportional mix ... I think you get the idea. Perhaps not unrealistic for a casual home or office user, but in no way representative of a power user (bunch of tabs open) or gamer.

    If you disagree with the above, you could simply provide the % time the law requires a desktop system to be modeled for peak power.
    Reply

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