Following the launch of Apple's redesigned Mac Pro earlier this week, Intel has come out and quietly announced a new round of Xeon W 3000 series workstation processors, otherwise known as Cascade Lake W (CSL-W). These are the processors that are featured in the Mac Pro, and they replace Intel's Skylake W (SKL-W) parts.
Intel hasn't issued a press release on the launch, but it did update its ARK page with listings for nine new Xeon W 3000 series processors, which run the gamut from 8 cores and 16 threads all the way up to 28 cores and 56 threads.
Cascade Lake W represents a further refinement to the manufacturing process—the new chips are built on a 14nm++ node, whereas Skylake W featured a 14nm+ node. This paves the way for more cores (and threads) to throw at workloads. The other difference is the socket. Previous generation Skylake W Xeon processors used the aging LGA 2066 socket, whereas the Cascade Lake W parts slip into socket LGA 3647 motherboards.
What the new generation of Xeon chips bring to the table is essentially a doubling of the core and thread counts. Instead of starting at 4 cores and 8 threads like Skylake W, the new Cascade Lake W chips start at 8 cores and 16 threads. Here's a look at the lineup...
- Intel Xeon W-3275M: 28C/56T, 2.5GHz to 4.6GHz, 38.5MB cache, 205W TDP, $7,453
- Intel Xeon W-3275: 28C/56T, 2.5GHz to 4.6GHz, 38.5MB cache, 205W TDP, $4,449
- Intel Xeon W-3265M: 24C/48T, 2.7GHz to 4.6GHz, 33MB cache, 205W TDP, $6,353
- Intel Xeon W-3265: 24C/48T, 2.7GHz to 4.6GHz, 33MB cache, 205W TDP, $3,349
- Intel Xeon W-3245M: 16C/32T, 3.2GHz to 4.6GHz, 22MB cache, 205W TDP, $5,002
- Intel Xeon W-3245: 16C/32T, 3.2GHz to 4.6GHz, 22MB cache, 205W TDP, $1,999
- Intel Xeon W-3235: 12C/24T, 3.3GHz to 4.5GHz, 19.25MB cache, 180W TDP, $1,398
- Intel Xeon W-3225: 8C/16T, 3.7GHz to 4.4GHz, 16.5MB cache, 160W TDP, $1,199
- Intel Xeon W-3223: 8C/16T, 3.5GHz to 4.2GHz, 16.5MB cache, 160W, $749
The doubling of the cores and threads is not surprising, given that this is a new generation of parts, and the pressure Intel is feeling from AMD. We have seen Intel push core and thread counts on the consumer desktop side, and now we are seeing it in the workstation space.
These chips also feature beefier memory channel support. Cascade Lake W in non-M form supports up to 1TB of DDR4 RAM in a six-channel memory arrangement, at speeds of up to 2,933MHz. The M variants, which cost more, support up to 2TB of RAM.
In addition, the chipset bumps the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes from 48 (Skylake W) to 64 (Cascade Lake W), though the platform has yet to adopt PCIe 4.0 support, as found in AMD's newest generation Ryzen processors and X570 chipset. AMD's Threadripper, meanwhile, supports up to 60 PCIe 3.0 lanes, though it has not yet been updated to Zen 2.