Intel’s latest doomsday weapon in the CPU core-count arms race will release before the end of the year in the form of the Xeon W-3175X, which will be one of the most capable chips the company has ever created. Set to sport 28 cores and the ability to overclock to 5GHz (if industrial cooling is applied), it doesn’t come cheap. The price tag looks set to be an eye-watering $4,000, at least.
In the past, Intel has been no stranger to expensive CPUs. Its Xeon range, which is aimed at high-end workstations and data centers, can cost as much as $10,000 for the most powerful models. So in some cases, the W-3175X, which has the same number of cores as the Xeon Platinum 8180, is rather affordable. Especially since it can hit higher clock speeds too.
The $4,000 price tag hasn’t been confirmed by Intel, but a number of retailers — via WCCFTech — now have listings online pricing it between $4,200 and $6,700. It’s possible it will be toward the higher-end of that pricing spectrum, but that may not matter too much. The important point to remember about this CPU is that it isn’t just competing with Intel’s other high-end CPUs, such as the consumer-facing 9900K. It’s also got to deal with AMD’s core-heavy Threadripper range.
As is typical of AMD, Threadripper is exceedingly affordable in comparison. The top chip, the 2990WX, has 32 cores, supports 64 threads, and can hit a clock speed of 4.2GHz. It even holds the world record in a number of multithreaded benchmarks when it too is given access to impractical cooling solutions. The kicker, though, is the price, which is around $1,700 at the time of writing.
Intel’s new Xeon CPU will undoubtedly be powerful, and it will likely offer credible competition to AMD’s top Ryzen CPUs, even in excess of them in settings with lower thread count requirements, as Intel chips are wont to do. However, AMD’s second-generation Ryzen CPUs are already heading to pseudo-retirement, because Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs are just around the corner.
We don’t know much about them yet, but they are coming in early 2019, and if any of the rumors we’ve heard to turn out to be remotely true, they could make Intel’s superpowered CPUs look far less impressive in comparison. If AMD can keep costs down too, a third-generation Threadripper part may blow away even Intel’s 28-core behemoth.