Intel Announces Xeon Processors for Professional Workstations
Intel has announced new Intel Xeon W-3400 and Xeon W-2400 processors alongside the Intel W790 chipset. The processors and chipset are designed for the next generation of compute-intensive professional workloads and promise improved performance, reliability, and expandability for demanding professionals across various industries, including creative professionals.
Intel Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 Processors
The new Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 processors feature Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology to connect multiple heterogeneous dies in a “single solution, alleviating processing bottlenecks” and allowing for up to 56 cores in one socket. This represents a doubling of the previous generation Intel Xeon processors.
Leveraging Intel Turbo Boost Max technology, CPU speeds can reach up to 4.8 GHz. An expanded Intel Smart Cache of 105MB reduces latency when users perform complex tasks. Workstations built around the new processors also include the 3rd Generation Intel Deep Learning Boost, which accelerates complex machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, including the training of AI models.
The Xeon W-3400 and X-2400 support DDR5 RDIMM Error Correction Code (ECC) Memory and include features to guard against system errors, maximizing uptime.
The processors pair well with various hardware, including multiple GPUs, the latest SSDs, and the fastest network cards. They also offer up to 112 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes, allowing the processing power to be used across many different platform technologies. Content creators, including photographers and videographers, have many W-3400 and W-2400 series processors to choose from and can match them to the proper GPU and storage technology to meet their needs.
The W-2400 family of processors, including w3, w5, and w7 series processors, allow for up to 24 cores. The higher-end, more powerful W-3400 series, including w5, w7, and w9 processors, provides up to 56-core CPU performance. The W-2400 allows up to 2TB of DDR5 RIDMM at 4800 megatransfers per second (MT/s). The W-3400 processors support up to 4TB of DDR5 RIDMM at the same 4800 MT/s speed.
To summarize the Intel Xeon W-2400 and W-3400 processors, they feature new processor core architecture, up to DDR5 ECC RDIMM, PCIe 5.0 up to 112 lanes, increased L2 cache and L3 Shared Intel Smart Cache, 3rd Gen Intel Deep Learning Boost, ECC Memory Support, Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, and Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.
Intel W790 Chipset
The new Intel W790 chipset platform delivers support for the new Xeon W-series processors, plus much more. The W790 motherboard includes up to 38 high-speed I/O lanes, PCIe Express 3.0 and 4.0 interface, DMI, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, up to 6 GB/s transfer rates over Serial ATA (SATA), and advanced Intel safeguards to ensure security and reliability.
The Intel W790 chipset includes 16 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, providing high-speed access to additional SSD storage. Increased DMI lanes (x4 to x8) and improved throughput (3.0 to 4.0) reduce bandwidth bottlenecks. Further, eight channels of DDR5 RDIMM memory are available. Intel Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 GbE wired network connectivity are included, and there’s support for up to 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20G) ports, perfect for users with high data demands and large files.
Big Performance Gains for Intensive Computing Tasks
That’s a lot of performance and specs. What about real-world performance? Considering content creation workflows, compared to the baseline measurement, the Intel Xeon W-3275 and the new Intel Xeon W9-3495X deliver gains of 12% and 24% in Adobe Premiere Pro 23.0 and Adobe After Effects 22.4, respectively. In Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 18.1, the new processor offers a 10% performance gain. However, when considering Maxon Cinema 4D 2023, the improvements are much more significant, at 131%. It’s a similar story with Chaos vRay 5.01, with 123% better performance. In Autodesk Maya – SPECapc for Maya 2023, the new processor delivers an 89% performance gain.
Intel positions its new W-2400 as well-suited to mainstream use. On the other hand, the W-3400 processor family is designed for experts and professionals.
Intel and NVIDIA Partnership Delivers Next-Generation Graphics Built on NVIDIA Ada Lovelace GPU Architecture
Joining Intel’s announcement, NVIDIA has partnered with Intel to deliver new workstations. The workstations use NVIDIA RTX 6000 Ada generation GPUs and NVIDIA ConnectX-6 Smart network interface cards (NICs) to provide high-end performance.
“Professionals require advanced power and performance to run the most intensive workflows, like using AI, rendering in real-time or running multiple applications simultaneously,” says Bob Pette, vice president of professional visualization at NVIDIA. “The new Intel- and NVIDIA-Ada powered workstations deliver unprecedented speed, power, and efficiency, enabling professionals everywhere to take on the most complex workflows across all industries.”
“The latest Intel Xeon W processors — featuring a breakthrough new compute architecture — are uniquely designed to help professional users tackle the most challenging current and future workloads,” adds Roger Chandler, vice president and general manager of Creator and Workstation Solutions in the Client Computing Group at Intel. “Combining our new Intel Xeon workstation processors with the latest NVIDIA GPUs will unleash the innovation and creativity of professional creators, artists, engineers, designers, data scientists, and power users across the world.”
The new embedded multi-die interconnect bridge packaging is an essential feature of the Xeon W-2400 and W-3400 series processors. The breakthrough technology enables “unprecedented scalability,” says NVIDIA, making the new processors better-suited for extreme performance workloads. The highest-end Intel Xeon w9-3495X processor referenced in the benchmarks above features a redesigned memory controller and larger L3 cache, promising up to 28% more single-threaded and 120% more multi-threaded performance over the previous-generation Intel Xeon W processors.
Built on the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace GPU architecture, the new NVIDIA RTX 6000 delivers “incredible power efficiency and performance” to Intel’s latest workstations. The RTX 6000 includes 142 third-generation RT cores, 568 fourth-generation Tensor Cores, 18,176 of the latest-generation CUDA cores, and 48GB of graphics memory. NVIDIA promises up to double the ray-tracing, AI, graphics, and compute performance over the previous generation.
Pricing and Availability
The new generation of Intel workstations, including the latest Intel Xeon W and Intel Scalable processors and NVIDIA RTX Ada generation GPUs, are available to preorder now from BOXX and HP. Additional availability from other workstation system integrators will arrive soon. Pricing depends upon the workstation manufacturer. Intel is working with more than 50 system designs with industry-leading partners, including Dell, Lenovo, Puget Systems, and Supermicro.
Image credits: Intel and NVIDIA