Intel 4th Gen Xeon CPUs Official: Sapphire Rapids With Up To 60 Cores, 112.5 MB Cache, 8-Socket Scalability, 350W TDP, Top SKU At $17,000 US

Hassan Mujtaba
Intel 4th Gen Xeon CPUs Official: Sapphire Rapids With Up To 60 Cores, 112.5 MB Cache, 8-Socket Scalability, 350W TDP 1

Today marks the official launch of the Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable family codenamed Sapphire Rapids-SP for servers and workstations.

The Wait Is Finally Over! Intel Sapphire Rapids "4th Gen Xeon" CPU Family Is Here But Was It Worth The Wait?

Originally planned to launch more than a year ago, Intel's Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs have slipped time after time, facing continued production woes and revisions that were highlighted throughout its production, however, the wait is finally over and Intel finally can call it a day as it launches their full-fledged Xeon chip lineup.

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With today's launch, Intel is boasting some big numbers, utilizing the various built-in accelerators of any CPU on the planet. Intel states that its 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processors codenamed Sapphire Rapids offer (vs 3rd Gen Xeon CPUs):

  • +53% Average Performance Gain in General Purpose Computing
  • Up To 10x High inference & training performance in Artificial Intelligence
  • Up To 2x capacity for vRAN workloads at the same power envelope (Network 5G vRAN)
  • Up To 2x higher data compression with 95% fewer cores (Networking & Storage)
  • Up To 3x higher performance in Data Analytics
  • Up To 3.7x performance on memory-bound workloads in HPC (Xeon Max CPU Series)

Following is a list of all the Built-In Accelerators and Security Engines you would get on the Intel 4th Gen Xeon Sapphire Rapids CPUs:

  • Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX)
  • Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT)
  • Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA)
  • Intel Dynamic Load Balancer (DLB)
  • Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerators (DLB)
  • Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512)
  • Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) for vRAN
  • Intel Crypto Acceleration
  • Intel Speed Select Technology (SST)
  • Intel Data Direct I/O Technology (DDIO)
  • Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX)
  • Intel TrustDomain Extension (TDX)
  • Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET)

AMD EPYC Genoa vs Intel Xeon Sapphire Rapids-SP Server CPU Platforms

Server FamilyAMD EPYC GenoaIntel Xeon Sapphire Rapids-SP
Process Node5nmIntel 7
CPU ArchitectureZen 4Golden Cove
Cores9660
Threads192120
L2 Cache1 MB Per Core (Up To 96 MB)2 MB Per Core (Up To 112 MB)
L3 Cache384 MB105 MB
Memory SupportDDR5-5200DDR5-4800
Memory Capacity12 TB8 TB
Memory Channels12-Channel8-Channel
TDP Range (PL1)320W350W
TDP Range (Max)700W764W
Socket SupportLGA 6096 'SP5'LGA 4677 'Socket P'
Flagship SKUEPYC 9664Xeon Platinum 8480H
Flagship SKU Price$12,000 US$17,000 US
Launch10th November, 202210th January, 2023

Those are certainly some big numbers but we have to see how Intel is achieving these figures and to do that, we have to talk specs. For Sapphire Rapids-SP, Intel is using a quad multi-tile chiplet design which will come in HBM and non-HBM flavors. The HBM flavors will be branded under the new Xeon Max CPU series while the Non-HBM chips will retain the standard Xeon branding. While each tile is its own unit, the chip itself acts as one singular SOC and each thread has full access to all resources on all tiles, consistently providing low-latency & high cross-section bandwidth across the entire SOC.

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We have already taken an in-depth look at the P-Core over here but some of the key changes that will be offered to the data center platform will include AMX, AiA, FP16, and CLDEMOTE capabilities. The Accelerator Engines will increase the effectiveness of each core by offloading common-mode tasks to these dedicated accelerator engines which will increase performance & decrease the time taken to achieve the necessary task.

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In terms of I/O advancements, Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPUs will introduce CXL 1.1 for accelerator and memory expansion in the data center segment. There's also an improved multi-socket scaling via Intel UPI, delivering up to 4 x24 UPI links at 16 GT/s and a new 8S-4UPI performance-optimized topology. The new tile architecture design also boosts the cache beyond 100 MB along with Optane Persistent Memory 300 series support. The lineup will also come in HBM flavors which will be using a different packaging design:

  • Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon (Standard Package) - 4446mm2
  • Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon (HBM2E Package) - 5700mm2
  • AMD EPYC Genoa (12 CCD Package) - 5428mm2

Further detailing the performance and efficiency figures, Intel claims that 4th Gen Xeon customers can expect a 2.9x average performance per watt efficiency improvement with up to 70 Watts worth of power savings per CPU in optimized power mode with minimal performance loss and 55% lower TCO and power consumption.

Sustainability

The expansiveness of built-in accelerators included in 4th Gen Xeon means Intel delivers platform-level power savings, lessening the need for additional discrete acceleration and helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals. Additionally, the new Optimized Power Mode can deliver up to 20% socket power savings with a less than 5% performance impact for selected workloads11. New innovations in air and liquid cooling reduce total data center energy consumption further; and the manufacturing of 4th Gen Xeon, it’s been built with 90% or more renewable electricity at Intel sites with state-of-the-art water reclamation facilities.

Artificial Intelligence

In AI, and compared to the previous generation, 4th Gen Xeon processors achieve up to 10x5,6 higher PyTorch real-time inference and training performance with built-in Intel® Advanced Matrix Extension (Intel® AMX) accelerators. Intel’s 4th Gen Xeon unlocks new levels of performance for inference and training across a wide breadth of AI workloads. The Xeon CPU Max Series expands on these capabilities for natural language processing, with customers seeing up to a 20x12 speed-up on large language models. With the delivery of Intel’s AI software suite, developers can use their AI tool of choice, while increasing productivity and speeding time to AI development. The suite is portable from the workstation, enabling it to scale out in the cloud and all the way out to the edge. And it has been validated with over 400 machine learning and deep learning AI models across the most common AI use cases in every business segment.

Networking

4th Gen Xeon offers a family of processors specifically optimized for high-performance, low-latency networks, and edge workloads. These processors are a critical part of the foundation driving a more software-defined future for industries ranging from telecommunications and retail to manufacturing and smart cities. For 5G core workloads, built-in accelerators help increase throughput and decrease latency, while advances in power management enhance both the responsiveness and the efficiency of the platform. And, when compared to previous generations, the 4th Gen Xeon delivers up to twice the virtualized radio access network (vRAN) capacity without increasing power consumption. This enables communications service providers to double the performance per watt to meet their critical performance, scaling, and energy efficiency needs.

Intel Sapphire Rapids 4th Gen Xeon CPU Platform

The Intel 4th Gen Xeon CPU family is made up of nearly 50 SKUs, offering a wide range of options for customers. The Sapphire Rapids lineup will make use of 8-channel DDR5 memory with speeds of up to 4800 Mbps & support PCIe Gen 5.0 on the Eagle Stream platform (C740 chipset).

The Eagle Stream platform will also introduce the LGA 4677 socket which will be replacing the LGA 4189 socket for Intel's upcoming Cedar Island & Whitley platform which would house Cooper Lake-SP and Ice Lake-SP processors, respectively. The Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPUs will also come with CXL 1.1 interconnect that will mark a huge milestone for the blue team in the server segment.

On Jan. 10, 2023, Intel introduced 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, expanding on its purpose-built, workload-first strategy and approach. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Coming to the configurations, the top part is started to feature 60 cores with a TDP of 350W. What is interesting about this configuration is that it is listed as a low-bin split variant which means that it will be using a tile or MCM design. The Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPU will be composed of a 4-tile layout with each tile featuring 14 cores. The Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPUs will come in six tiers:

  • Xeon Max (9400 Series)
  • Xeon Platinum (8000 Series)
  • Xeon Gold (6000 Series)
  • Xeon Gold (5000 Series)
  • Xeon Silver (4000 Series)
  • Xeon Bronze (3000 Series)

The TDPs listed here are at PL1 rating so the PL2 rating, as seen earlier, is going to be very high in the 400W+ range and the BIOS limit is expected to hover at around 700W+. Furthermore, there are ten segments within the lineup itself that indicate the workload they are aimed at. These are listed as follows:

  • 2S Performance General Purpose
  • 2S Mainline General Purpose
  • Liquid Cooled General Purpose (-Q)
  • Single-Socket General Purpose (-U)
  • Long-Life Use IOT General Purpose (-T)
  • IMDB/Analytics/Virtualization Optimized (-H)
  • 5G / Networking Optimized (-N)
  • Cloud Optimized IaaS (-P)
  • SaaS Optimized (-V)
  • Media Optimized (-M)
  • Storage & Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Optimized (-S)
  • HPC Optimized (Xeon CPU Max Series)

The flagship of the lineup is the Intel Xeon Platinum 8490H which offers 60 Golden Cove cores, 120 threads, 112.5 MB of L3 cache, a single-core boost of up to 3.5 GHz and a 2.9 GHz all-core boost, & a base TDP figure of 350W. Intel is charging a very premium $17,000 US which is over $5000 more expensive than the top Genoa chip that packs 96 cores, 192 threads, 384 MB of L3 cache, and more I/O capabilities. It is likely that Intel is charging more for the expanded scalability that this chip will offer with up to 8S support. This means that customers can go with up to 8 8480H CPUs on a single server, allowing for up to 480 cores, 960 threads, and a pool of 900 MB of cache. That will also have an insanely high price of $136,000 US for the 8 Xeon Platinum chips alone.

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (2S Performance General Purpose)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8480+XCC56 / 112105 MB2.0 / 3.8 GHz3.0 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$10,710
8470XCC52 / 104105 MB2.0 / 3.8 GHz3.0 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$9359
8468XCC48 / 96105 MB2.1 / 3.8 GHz3.1 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$7214
8460Y+XCC40 / 80105 MB2.0 / 3.7 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800300W2S$5550
8462Y+XCC32 / 6460 MB2.8 / 4.1 GHz3.6 GHzDDR5-4800300W2S$5945
6448YMCC32 / 6460 MB2.1 / 4.1 GHz3.0 GHzDDR5-4800225W2S$3583
6442YMCC24 / 4860 MB2.6 / 4.0 GHz3.3 GHzDDR5-4800225W2S$2878
6444YMCC16 / 3245 MB3.6 / 4.1 GHz4.0 GHzDDR5-4800270W2S$3622
6426YMCC16 / 3237.5 MB2.5 / 4.1 GHz3.3 GHzDDR5-4800185W2S$1517
6434MCC8 / 1622.5 MB3.7 / 4.1 GHz4.1 GHzDDR5-4800195W2S$2607
5415+MCC6 / 1222.5 MB2.9 / 4.1 GHz3.6 GHzDDR5-4400150W2S$1066

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (2S Mainline General Purpose)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8452YXCC36 / 7267.5 MB2.0 / 3.2 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800300W2S$3995
6438Y+MCC32 / 6460.0 MB2.0 / 4.0 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800205W2S$3141
6430XCC32 / 6460.0 MB2.1 / 3.4 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4400270W2S$2128
5420+MCC28 / 5652.5 MB2.0 / 4.1 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4400205W2S$1848
5418YMCC24 / 4845.0 MB2.0 / 3.8 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4400185W2S$1483
4416+MCC20 / 4037.5 MB2.0 / 3.9 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4000165W2S$1176
4410YMCC12 / 2430.0 MB2.0 / 3.9 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4000150W2S$563

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (Liquid-Cooled/ Single-Socket/ IOT)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8470QXCC52 / 104105 MB2.1 / 3.8 GHz3.2 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$9410
6458QMCC32 / 6460 MB3.1 / 4.0 GHz4.0 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$6416
6414UXCC32 / 6460 MB2.0 / 3.4 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4800250W1S$2296
5412UMCC24 / 4845 MB2.1 / 3.9 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4400185W1S$1113
3408UMCC8 / 1622.5 MB1.8 / 1.9 GHz1.9 GHzDDR5-4000125W1S$415
4410TMCC10 / 2026.25 MB2.7 / 4.0 GHz3.4 GHzDDR5-4000150W2S$624

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (IMDB/Analytics/Virtualization Optimized)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8490HXCC60 / 120112.5 MB1.9 / 3.5 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4800350W8S$17,000
8468HXCC48 / 96105 MB2.1 / 3.8 GHz3.0 GHzDDR5-4800330W8S$13923
8460HXCC40 / 80105 MB2.2 / 3.8 GHz3.1 GHzDDR5-4800330W8S$10710
8454HXCC32 / 6482.5 MB2.1 / 3.4 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4800270W8S$6540
8450HXCC28 / 5675 MB2.0 / 3.5 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4800250W8S$4708
8444HXCC16 / 3245 MB2.9 / 4.0 GHz3.2 GHzDDR5-4800270W8S$4234
6448HMCC32 / 6460 MB2.4 / 4.1 GHz3.2 GHzDDR5-4800250W4S$3658
6418HMCC24 / 4860 MB2.1 / 4.0 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4800185W4S$2065
6416HMCC18 / 3645 MB2.2 / 4.2 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4800165W4S$1444
6434HMCC8 / 1622.5 MB3.7 / 4.1 GHz4.1 GHzDDR5-4800195W4S$3070

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (Networking / 5G)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8470NXCC52 / 10497.5 MB1.7 / 3.6 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4800300W2S$9520
8471NXCC52 / 10497.5 MB1.8 / 3.6 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800300W1S$5171
6438NMCC32 / 6460 MB2.0 / 3.6 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4800205W2S$3351
6428NMCC32 / 6460 MB1.8 / 3.8 GHz2.5 GHzDDR5-4000185W2S$3200
6421NMCC32 / 6460 MB1.8 / 3.6 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4400185W1S$2368
5418NMCC24 / 4845 MB1.8 / 3.8 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4000165W2S$1664
5411NMCC24 / 4845 MB1.8 / 3.9 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4000165W1S$1232

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs (Cloud / HCI Optimized)

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
8468VXCC48 / 9697.5 MB2.4 / 3.8 GHz2.9 GHzDDR5-4800330W2S$7121
8458PXCC44 / 8882.5 MB2.7 / 3.8 GHz3.2 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$6759
8461VXCC48 / 9697.5 MB2.2 / 3.7 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800300W1S$4491
6438MMCC32 / 6460.0 MB2.2 / 3.9 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800205W2S$3273
6454SXCC32 / 6460.0 MB2.2 / 3.4 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4800270W2S$3157
5416SMCC16 / 3230.0 MB2.0 / 4.0 GHz2.8 GHzDDR5-4400150W2S$944

Intel 4th Gen Sapphire Rapids Xeon Max Series CPUs

SKUDie ConfigCores / ThreadsCacheBase Clock / Boost ClockAll-Core BoostDDR5 Memory SpeedTDPScalabilityPrice (RCP)
9480XCC56 / 112112.5 MB1.9 / 3.5 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$12980
9470XCC52 / 104105 MB2.0 / 3.5 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$11590
9468XCC48 / 96105 MB2.1 / 3.5 GHz2.6 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$9900
9460XCC40 / 8097.5 MB2.2 / 3.5 GHz2.7 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$8750
9462XCC32 / 6475 MB2.7 / 3.5 GHz3.1 GHzDDR5-4800350W2S$7995

It looks like AMD will still hold the upper hand in the number of cores & threads offered per CPU with their Genoa chips pushing for up to 96 cores and Bergamo going up to 128 cores whereas Intel Xeon chips would max out at 60 cores if they don't plan on making SKUs with a higher number of tiles. Intel will have a wider and more expandable platform that can support up to 8 CPUs at once so unless Genoa offers more than 2P (dual-socket) configurations, Intel will have the lead in the most number of cores per rack with an 8S rack packing up to 480 cores and 960 threads. But we have to wait for the reviews on this lineup as AMD may hold a major lead in the efficiency and performance department with its EPYC family.

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