Intel today unveiled its latest lineup of Intel Xeon W, Core X-series, and enthusiast Core S-series processors. They are heavily discounted from previous models — in some cases as much as 40% to 50% — which reflects new competition from rival Advanced Micro Devices.
The 14-nanometer processors will put new classes of computing performance and AI acceleration into the hands of professional creators and PC enthusiasts, said Frank Soqui, Intel vice president and general manager of desktop, workstation, and channel group, in an interview with VentureBeat.
“This is just about continuing our agenda of improvements on workstation X-series type processors,” said Soqui. “Absolutely, we’re driving platform innovation and technology innovations. But I want to really make sure that we’re anchoring those innovations on being in service of the key customers and users in this specific space.”
The Xeon W-2200 and X-series processors will be available in November, along with a new pricing structure that represents an easier step up from Intel Core S-series’ mainstream products.
“This is for a class of people who want performance no matter what — performance and frequency — almost at the cost of anything else,” Soqui said. “These are the enthusiast overclockers. And in many cases, these people are focusing on content creation.”
Soqui denied that the pricing was based on competition from AMD’s latest Ryzen family of processors. But Intel is feeling the pressure from that competition.
“We have significantly reduced our pricing stack to be a lot more in line with the top portion of our mainstream CPU roadmap,” Soqui said. “And we’ve done this for Xeon processors in the low hundreds all the way to $1300. Roughly, this represents between 40% and 50% price reduction. And we did that because what we’re trying to do is make sure that the people at the top end of our mainstream stack don’t see this as a bridge too far when they want more performance. There was a big gap before, and it was not a rational pricing stack. And that’s why we’ve moved to this new pricing.”
Asked if AMD’s Ryzen threat was the reason for the price changes, Soqui said, “When we took a look at the workloads for the people in this kind of category — from uncompromised frequency to the right balance of cores to even some of the deep learning use technology, in addition to pricing — our user base has been giving us this input. And our desire is to help them move up. But they can’t do that when the gap is so big. So this is all driven by our customer, the end user needs.”
The new Xeon W-2200 and X-series processors target professional creators and enthusiasts who want high-end desktop PC and mainstream workstations. The chips feature AI acceleration with the integration of Intel Deep Learning Boost, or new instructions that enable 2.2 times faster AI inference processing than the previous generation.
Additionally, this new lineup features Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which has been further enhanced to help software — such as that used for simulation and modeling — run as quickly as possible by identifying and prioritizing the fastest available cores.
Xeon W professional creator platform
The Intel Xeon W-2200 platform includes eight new processors (W-2295, W-2275, W-2265, W-2255, W-2245, W-2235, W-2225, and W-2223). They are targeted at data science, visual effects, 3D rendering, complex 3D CAD, AI development, and edge deployments.
The chips can be used in configurable form factors — from small desktops to towers — and can include built-in platform security features and reliability, such as ECC support and Intel vPro. For example, the 3D architectural rendering process on Autodesk Revit with V-Ray accelerates up to 10% faster compared to the previous generation and up to 2 times faster compared to a three-year-old workstation.
New Xeon W prices range from $294 to $1,333, enabling Intel to build the platform and partners to grow their workstation product options.
Intel Core X-Series
Intel Core X-series processors provide performance with the added flexibility of overclocking for enthusiasts. These four new processors (i9-10980XE, i9-10940X, i9-10920X, and i9-10900X) are especially suited for advanced workflows that vary in need for photo/video editing, game development, and 3D animation.
Additionally, they deliver enthusiast-ready enhanced features, like Intel Performance Maximizer, which makes it easy to dynamically and reliably custom-tune the unlocked processors based on the X-series’ individual performance DNA.
New X-series prices range from $590 to $979. With the creator segment’s need for more computing-intensive and specified workloads, the new pricing enables X-series offerings to be more accessible to those looking for even more compute-intensive workloads than Intel’s mainstream desktop processors.
Intel Core S-series
In addition to the Intel Xeon W and X-series, Intel is also introducing new pricing to its Intel Core S-series processors without integrated graphics. The company is committing to these processors in its long-term roadmap, which has given it the opportunity to reset its portfolio and pricing.
The new prices are effective starting today, with the 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processors currently in the market. Exact dates for the processor launches will be announced later.