Intel Xeon W-3175X Review: Supercharged 28-Core Skylake-SP

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Intel Xeon W-3175X - SANDRA, PCMark, GeekBench

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first made sure all firmware was up to date, then we entered their respective system BIOSes / UEFI and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance" defaults. We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform (without overclocking). The SSDs were then formatted, and the latest build of Windows 10 Pro x64 was installed.

xeon 3175 system 4
  The ASUS Dominus Extreme For Intel's Xeon W-3175X

When the Windows installation was complete, we fully updated the OS, and installed all of the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled, and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, and cleared any temp and prefetch data. Finally, we enabled Windows Quiet Hours and let the systems reach an idle state before invoking a test. We should note that we have updated our AMD Threadripper platform and re-tested the 2990X to best reflect performance as it stands today. The Intel Xeon W-3175X system came pre-assembled by Intel, complete with a 3x120mm AIO liquid cooling solution (we also used a 3x120mm AIO liquid cooler on Threadripper). We reset the system BIOS and performed a clean OS installation, however, to ensure consistency with our other test rigs.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head
test systems
Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with the latest version of SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in sub-system tests that partially comprise the suite with Intel's beastly Xeon W-3175X (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cache and Memory, and Memory Bandwidth). All of the scores reported below were taken with the CPU running at its default settings, with 48GB of ECC DDR4 RAM running at 2,666MHz, in 6-channel mode, on the ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme motherboard.

san cpu
Processor Arithmetic

san mm
Multi-Media

san mem
Memory Bandwidth

san cache
Cache and Memory

The Intel Xeon W-3175X flexed some real muscle here. In the CPU Arithmetic benchmark, the processor broke the 882GOPS -- a 32-core Threadripper 2990WX hits about 820GOPS in this test and you can see how more mainstream desktops perform in the graph. In the Multi-Media test, the Xeon W-3175X hit 3.4GPix/s, which more than double the 2990WX's score of 1.59GPix/s. Average memory bandwidth was north of 75GB/s, whereas Threadripper comes in around 55GB/s. And average memory latency was 34.2ns, which is less than half the 82ns+ we saw with Threadripper WX-series processors.

Geekbench
Synthetic CPU Testing

In the GeekBench tests, we're stressing only the CPU cores in a system (not graphics or GPU architecture), with both single and multi-threaded workloads. The tests are comprised of encryption processing, image compression, HTML5 parsing, physics calculations and other general purpose compute processing workloads.

geekbench

Geekbench doesn't make use of all of the compute resources available in a many core processor, but is does scale somewhat beyond 8 - 12 cores. Here, the higher-clocked 18-core Core i9-9980XE takes the top spot by a small margin in the MT test, followed closely behind by the Xeon W-3175X. The Intel Xeon W-3175X processor is markedly faster than any of the Threadrippers, however, with both single and multi-threaded workloads.

PCMark 10
System Level Benchmark
Next, up we have some full-system testing with PCMark. We're reporting all test results from the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, including the Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation and and total PCMark score. The Essentials test covers workloads like web browsing, video conferencing and app start-up times, while Productivity tests everyday office apps from spreadsheets to word processing. Finally, the Digital Content Creation test evaluates performance of a machine with respect to photo and video editing, as well as rendering and visualization.

pcmark10

Only a few portions of the PCMark10 suite will leverage all of the compute resources available in a many-core processor. As such, higher-clocked chips based on newer architectures like the Core i9-9900K take the lead. The Xeon W-3175X finishes right alongside the Threadripper 2990WX here though, with each processor coming away with a couple of victories.

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