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Intel stands up to AMD’s Threadripper, but not until 2022

There is no doubt that Intel is currently somewhat neglected in the market for HEDT CPUs, those that are server architectures, but have been adapted for use in a high-powered desktop computer. If we look at the current panorama we will realize that AMD has a domain with its Threadrippper CPUs, which are HEDT versions of its EPYC processors for servers. Well, the latest leak about Sapphire Rapids is that Intel is launching a HEDT version of the processor.

Sapphire Rapids will have HEDT version

Intel’s last bet as a HEDT CPU was Glacier Falls, which was based on Cascade Lake-X, since Intel Xeon CPUs based on the Ice Lake-X architecture have not had an HEDT version. Well, according to a recently leaked Intel roadmap, Sapphire Rapids will have an HEDT version, which will be released in the second half of 2022 and using the W790 chipset.

We do not know what the core configuration of the HEDT version of Sapphire Rapids will be at the moment, what we do know is that officially the server version will have 56 cores and will be compatible with the LGA4677 socket. And we cannot rule out that the HEDT version is compatible with the same type of motherboards by using a socket and a different chipset from the already announced and well-known version for servers.

Intel Sapphire Rapids Die

Furthermore, we do not know the number of cores that the HEDT version of Sapphire Rapids will have, we must bear in mind that it is a design composed of four tiles, the name given to Intel. Where each of the tiles are symmetrical, and include 15 cores each with one of them disabled for redundancy. So it is possible that the HEDT version may be composed of a lower number of cores than the server version.

Let’s not forget that Cascade Lake-X, its direct predecessor, was made up of 18 cores with 36 threads of execution. A HEDT version of Sapphire Rapids with 28 cores cannot be ruled out. But this is already within the possible scenarios for this Sapphire Rapids HEDT.

Is the delay of the following Intel Xeons confirmed?

Intel Xeon Chiplet

The Sapphire Rapids HEDT release date for late 2022 indicates a possible delay for subsequent Intel Xeons. Since the CPU for HEDT and for servers would theoretically be the same based on the same tiles. Obviously what they will most likely differ in will be the socket and chipset on which each variant could be mounted, but the base chip would be the same.

Let’s not forget that Sapphire Rapids is built on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin node, the same as the Alder Lake, with which they will share Intel’s wafers for market launch. So it is normal to expect a staggered launch. In any case, its possible delay would put it face to face against the AMD EPYC and Threadripper based on Zen 4, which are also dated 2022.

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