Monday, June 11th 2018

Intel's 28-core HEDT Processor a Panic Reaction to 32-core Threadripper

At Computex 2018, we witnessed two major HEDT (high-end desktop) processor announcements. Intel unveiled a client-segment implementation of its "Skylake XCC" (extreme core count) silicon, which requires a new motherboard, while AMD announced a doubling in core-counts of its Ryzen Threadripper family, with the introduction of new 24-core and 32-core models, which are multi-chip modules of its new 12 nm "Zen+" die, and compatible with existing X399 chipset motherboards. With frantic increases in core counts, the practicality of these chips to even the most hardcore enthusiast or productivity professional diminishes. The Computex 2018 demos reek of a pissing-contest between the x86 processor giants, with AMD having an upper hand.

The HEDT segment is intended to occupy the space between client desktops and serious scalar workstations. Intel is frantically putting together a new HEDT platform positioned above its current LGA2066 (X299) platform, built around its Purley enterprise platform, and a variant of the LGA3647 socket (this chip + your X299 motherboard is no bueno). This socket is needed to wire out the 28-core Skylake XCC (extreme core count) silicon, which has a six-channel DDR4 memory interface. The company put up a live demo at the teaser of this unnamed processor, where it was running at 5.00 GHz, which led many to believe that the processor runs at that speed out of the box, at least at its maximum Turbo Boost state, if not nominal clock. Intel admitted to "Tom's Hardware," that it "forgot" to mention to the crowds that the chip was overclocked.
Overclocking the 28-core chip was no small effort. It took an extreme cooling method, specifically a refrigerated heat-exchanger, coupled with a custom motherboard (we suspect GIGABYTE-sourced), to keep the processor bench-stable at 5.00 GHz. Intel's defense to Tom's Hardware was that "in the excitement of the moment," its on-stage presenter "forgot" to use the word "overclocked." Gregory Bryant, SVP client-computing at Intel not only omitted "overclocked" from his presentation, but made sure to stress on "5 GHz," as if it were part of the chip's specifications.

"What's amazing is that trade-off, this actually being a 5 GHz in single-threaded performance frequency and not...having to sacrifice that for this kind of multi-threaded performance, so you've got kind of the best of both worlds. So, you guys want to see us productize that thing? Tell you what, we'll bring that product to market in Q4 this year, and you'll be able to get it," he said.

Rival AMD, meanwhile, showed off its 24-core and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper II processors, with its 24-core part beating Intel's i9-7980XE 18-core chip under ordinary air cooling.

Intel used a multiplier-unlocked derivative of the Xeon Platinum 8180 "Skylake-SP" processor in this demo. The Xeon Platinum 8180 "Skylake-SP" is a $10,000 processor with a 205W rated TDP at its nominal clock speed of 2.50 GHz, with a Turbo Boost frequency of 3.80 GHz. The company achieved a 100% overclock to 5.00 GHz, using extreme cooling, and considering that TDP is calculated taking into account a processor's nominal clock (a clock speed that all cores are guaranteed to run at simultaneously), the company could have easily crossed 350W to 400W TDP stabilizing the 5.00 GHz overclock. If a 205W TDP figures in the same sentence as 2.50 GHz nominal clocks, it doesn't bode well for the final product. It will either have a very high TDP (higher still taking into account its unlocked multiplier), or clock speeds that aren't much higher than the Xeon Platinum 8180.

Consider the AMD EPYC 7601 for a moment, which is the fastest 32-core 1P EPYC SKU. It ticks at 2.20 GHz, with a boost frequency of 3.20 GHz, but has its TDP rated lower, at 180W. Now consider the fact that AMD is building the 32-core Threadripper II with more advanced 12 nm "Zen+" dies, and it becomes clear that the 24-core and 32-core Threadrippers are the stuff of nightmares for Gregory Bryant, not because AMD will make more money out of them than Intel makes out of its 28-core G-man in a football jersey, but because AMD's offering could be cheaper and more efficient, besides being fast. An overall superior halo product almost always has a spillover PR to cheaper client-segment products across platforms; and the client GPU industry has demonstrated that for the past two decades.

AMD is already selling 16 cores at $999, and beating Intel's $999 10-core i9-7900X in a variety of HEDT-relevant tasks. The company has already demonstrated that its 24-core Threadripper II is faster than Intel's $1,999 18-core i9-7980XE. It would surprise us if AMD prices this 24-core part double that of its 16-core part, and so it's more likely to end up cheaper than the i9-7980XE.

Intel cannot beat the 32-core Threadripper II on the X299/LGA2066 platform, because it has maxed out the number of cores the platform can pull. The Skylake HCC (high core count) silicon, deployed on 12-core, 14-core, 16-core, and 18-core LGA2066 processors, is already motherboard designers' nightmare, many of whom have launched special "XE" variants of their top motherboard models that offer acceptable overclocking headroom on these chips, thanks to beefed up VRM.

Coming up with a newer platform, namely revising the Purley 1P enterprise platform for the client-segment, with its large LGA3647 socket and 6-channel memory interface, is the only direction in which Intel could have gone to take on the new wave of Threadrippers. AMD, on the other hand, has confirmed that its 24-core and 32-core Threadripper II chips are compatible with current socket TR4 motherboards based on the AMD X399 chipset. It's possible that the next wave of TR4 motherboards could have 8-channel memory interface, wider than that of Intel's Skylake XCC silicon, and both forwards and backwards compatibility with current-generation Threadripper SKUs (at half the memory bus width) and future Threadripper chips.

PC enthusiasts nurse an expensive hobby, but the commercial success of NVIDIA TITAN V graphics card (or lack thereof) shows that there are limits to how many enthusiasts have $3,000 to spend on a single component.
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160 Comments on Intel's 28-core HEDT Processor a Panic Reaction to 32-core Threadripper

#1
kastriot
Long live competition , death to monopolisation!
Posted on Reply
#3
TheGuruStud
Probably the same type of guy to pretend play a game on Intel gpu, but the CPU is such junk that the video freezes for several seconds and everyone can see that it's vlc.

Where does Intel find these losers? Rejected sperm donor database?
Posted on Reply
#4
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
28 core= platform change, 32core TR+=TR4/Sp3r2 X399 platform.

Intel being dishonest is shameful. Waiting for the blue oval defenders to try and minimize their dishonesty.
Posted on Reply
#5
Prima.Vera
Scambag practices at their finest. Nothing new for Intel unfortunatelly...
No wonder we are getting max 5% perf increase only of every new CPU release for the past 7 years.
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#6
mac007
as expected of intel
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#7
Hood
"eidairaman1 said:
Intel being dishonest is shameful. Waiting for the blue oval defenders to try and minimize their dishonesty.
What lies, they just forgot! The excitement of the moment, etc. Anyone can make an honest mistake! (BTW, blue oval typically refers to Ford Motor Company, not Intel). Being dishonest is shameful, a shame shared by every person, corporation, and organization in the world. Why should Intel be different?
Posted on Reply
#8
Totally
"Hood said:
What lies, they just forgot! The excitement of the moment, etc. Anyone can make an honest mistake! (BTW, blue oval typically refers to Ford Motor Company, not Intel). Being dishonest is shameful, a shame shared by every person, corporation, and organization in the world. Why should Intel be different?
What are they referred as I know whatever it is has the word blue in it and 'Big Blue' is IBM.
Posted on Reply
#9
dj-electric
"dishonest about clock speed"

Dishonesty about clock speeds is the very least that is worrying here.
What about the Frankenstein boards? the use of yet another socket? The cooling? The knee-jerk reaction?
Posted on Reply
#10
yeeeeman
Why dishonest? Did they say they will sell a 28 core processor with 5Ghz frequency in the future? Or did they clearly say that it is a demo?
Please, lets use our brains, it is easy to understand, given current performance in CPUs that it is not possible to sell that kind of a processor.
I hope we are not as dumb as the americans that put a cat in the microwave oven and then complained that it is manufacturers fault that it didn't say it is not safe for cats... Come on...
Posted on Reply
#11
Imsochobo
"yeeeeman said:
Why dishonest? Did they say they will sell a 28 core processor with 5Ghz frequency in the future? Or did they clearly say that it is a demo?
Please, lets use our brains, it is easy to understand, given current performance in CPUs that it is not possible to sell that kind of a processor.
I hope we are not as dumb as the americans that put a cat in the microwave oven and then complained that it is manufacturers fault that it didn't say it is not safe for cats... Come on...
They never said it was overclocked, they said 28 core 5 ghz cpu at the same time they said 5ghz 8086 and people thought Intel had new architecture to get 5ghz everywhere (Mainstream that is)
Posted on Reply
#12
Vayra86
Isn't this old news by now? It was already out the same day that this was all fake, or at least 'creative'.

Then again if you ever believed 5 Ghz all core boost was ever going to happen...
Posted on Reply
#13
RejZoR
They can't get their 8 core CPU's to 5GHz and people really believed a 28 core CPU would run on all its cores at 5GHz. All I can say is LOL.

Intel, if they weren't dishonest fuckers as they always are, they could showcase a stock 28 core and then say, but there is more. We also hooked it up to phase change unit and clocked it to 5GHz. And I'm pretty sure many would be genuinely impressed. Instead, most now only remembers the lame deception.
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#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
AMD has Intel running scared. This is good news for competition.
Posted on Reply
#15
theGryphon
"Hood said:
What lies, they just forgot! The excitement of the moment, etc. Anyone can make an honest mistake! (BTW, blue oval typically refers to Ford Motor Company, not Intel). Being dishonest is shameful, a shame shared by every person, corporation, and organization in the world. Why should Intel be different?
I hope this is nothing less than pure sarcasm... otherwise, I hope you enjoy your kool-aid... you know, to help you kool your parts after Intel is done with them ;)
Posted on Reply
#16
First Strike
I thought "dishonest" refers to that Intel photoshoped their clockspeeds or cheated on their CB score.
It seems quite easy to dishonestify someone just by an improper demonstration.

"Imsochobo said:
They never said it was overclocked, they said 28 core 5 ghz cpu at the same time they said 5ghz 8086 and people thought Intel had new architecture to get 5ghz everywhere (Mainstream that is)
They never said 5GHz is their base clock either. If someone can convict by what "people thought", well.......
Posted on Reply
#17
TheGuruStud
"First Strike said:
I thought "dishonest" refers to that Intel photoshoped their clockspeeds or cheated on their CB score.
It seems quite easy to dishonestify someone just by an improper demonstration.


They never said 5GHz is their base clock either. If someone can convict by what "people thought", well.......
It was advertised as 5ghz multiple times and billed to be a real consumer part. It was pure lies over incoming TR destruction.

This is actually the truth. How low are you when a parody is more accurate than your demonstration?
<div class="youtube-embed" data-id="ozcEel1rNKM"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ozcEel1rNKM/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozcEel1rNKM" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
Posted on Reply
#18
ShurikN
I can bet this cpu will never see consumer light of day... It'll have a paper launch at the end of the year and that's it. Something similar to the Titan Z. It exists but barely anyone saw it.
And i'm actually interested what would the price of this be. Because the 8180 is a $10k cpu. On the other hand AMD will probably position the 32 core TR at about $2200.
Posted on Reply
#19
Jimster480
"First Strike said:
I thought "dishonest" refers to that Intel photoshoped their clockspeeds or cheated on their CB score.
It seems quite easy to dishonestify someone just by an improper demonstration.


They never said 5GHz is their base clock either. If someone can convict by what "people thought", well.......
They did actually say 5ghz on all cores, didn't mention over clock. Talked about the "advantages" of the "same performance in all workloads" and it being the "best of both worlds". Basically every bit of marketing they can do to make those who are not tech savvy believe this is a real part and something new they have uncovered.
Posted on Reply
#20
Assimilator
Of course it was dishonest, that's how marketing works. I'm more interested in knowing who believed that a current-gen 28-core could do 5GHz stock - especially when the demo machine required 1700W of cooling capacity.

Either way, some fanboy idiots will buy this, just like the idiots who bought the FX-9590.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheGuruStud
"Assimilator said:
Of course it was dishonest, that's how marketing works. I'm more interested in knowing who believed that a current-gen 28-core could do 5GHz stock - especially when the demo machine required 1700W of cooling capacity.

Either way, some fanboy idiots will buy this, just like the idiots who bought the FX-9590.
I think only overclockers interested in clock speed bought the 9590. If you didn't care about power consumption, it was also a viable streaming CPU for gaming at 5 ghz at the time.
Posted on Reply
#23
_Flare
4x 8Pin for the CPU ... are we talking about a 600W Minimum Consumption here ? Aircooler anyone ?
Posted on Reply
#24
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
"Xzibit said:
They pitched the entire presentation of the 28core as a coming soon in Q4 2018

Here is the entire presentation on the 28core - its 2mins long

Shame really i was getting my PSU off the shelf

Jeez, what kinda monster PSU is that?! :eek: 3300W is more than you can pull from the wall here in the UK with its 240V mains, let alone the USA with its 120V mains.
Posted on Reply
#25
las
"qubit said:
AMD has Intel running scared. This is good news for competition.
I would not be so sure about that. Most businesses do not even consider AMD as an option.
Posted on Reply
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