Intel is prepping to refresh its workstation-grade Xeon W-series processors with its codenamed ‘Sapphire Rapids Refresh’ products, and as their launch looms, it isn’t surprising to see benchmark results start to emerge along with the chips’ specifications.
As it turns out, Intel’s Xeon W5-3535X has 20 high-performance Golden Cove/Raptor Cove cores with simultaneous multi-threading clocked at 2.80 GHz (base), which is a substantial — well, a four-core — difference from the Xeon W5-3435X processor that has 16 high-performance Golden Cove/Raptor Cove cores with SMT clocked at 3.10 GHz (base). In general, this looks to be a good upgrade, but given the price of $1,589 per unit (for the Xeon W5-3435X), some may argue about the economic feasibility of the W5 platform in general.
While an avid reader would argue that the lower base clock may mean lower single-thread performance of the new CPU, we would remember that Intel’s processors rarely run at their base clocks, provided sufficient cooling. That said, assuming that the upcoming Xeon W5-3535X has at least the same power limits as its direct predecessor, it will definitely at least match its predecessor in single-thread workloads. Meanwhile, the CPU will clearly outperform the Xeon W5-3435X in multi-thread workloads due to four extra cores.
Regarding the UserBenchmark result, the test program finds the new CPU ‘Very Good.’ Meanwhile, UserBenchmark represents a series of general-purpose workloads that test various system capabilities that it tests, in this case, a new HP Z8 Fury G5 Workstation. While this benchmark provides some general understanding of the performance of a PC, it does not really highlight the advantages of a particular type of software, so take its results with a grain of salt.
Moving back to the Sapphire Rapids Refresh processor series. Indeed, it is expected to increase the core count of Intel’s range-topping overclockable workstation-grade CPUs to 60 (up from 56 in the case of the Xeon W9-3495X), which will improve their competitive position against AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper series. Albeit it is pretty hard to compete against AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7995WX with 96 cores with SMT as far as multi-thread workloads are concerned, Intel’s Sapphire Rapids Refresh will still have an indisputable trump over Zen 4-based produces: single-thread performance.
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