New! High-performance, massively expandable Intel Xeon W workstation, supporting up to 3 GPUs
Highly expandable with 5x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (7 slots with upgrade) · Supports multi-GPU accelerated computing and/or fast NVIDIA GPUs for visualization and gaming
All-new Intel Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 workstation processors!
New Intel "Sapphire Rapids-WS" workstation platform: Intel's biggest leap forward for workstations since 2017!
8 June 2023
Our new Stratosphere Evolution X1 Advanced Intel Workstation is powered by Intel's new Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 workstation CPUs. In tandem with Intel's new W790 chipset and associated motherboards, these CPUs form a completely new and formidable high-end workstation platform, known by the Intel codename "Sapphire Rapids-WS."
Workstations go well beyond consumer PCs by supporting much greater expansion (more PCI Express slots with more PCI Express lanes), much more RAM as well as much faster memory bandwidth, and faster CPUs with many more CPU cores. This combination of features enables advanced configurations that are literally impossible to build with a consumer PC platform, such as our Stratosphere Pro with Z790 chipset and Core i9-13900K CPU. That's a superb system and a super-fast CPU, but neither is designed to handle the advanced challenges met by a modern workstation-class platform.
You may configure your new Stratosphere Evolution workstation with any of the following new Intel Xeon CPUs, which you can choose in our configurator:
A big Intel comeback; now at parity with AMD Threadripper workstations
The new Intel Xeon "Sapphire Rapids-WS" platform is by far Intel's most important and complete platform for high-end workstations since 2017, when it introduced the Core X series CPUs and the X299 workstation platform. Intel followed with only minor CPU updates in 2018 and 2019.
In the intervening time and starting in late 2019, AMD has captured a lead in workstation sales with two generations of its powerful Threadripper workstation platform. The latest AMD Threadripper series is the very successful AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX, introduced in 2022. Our AMD Threadripper workstations are Stratosphere Evolution T-series, with new models T1 through T5 announced also today.
AMD certainly upped the ante with its latest Threadripper PRO 5000 WX platform. Intel's new Sapphire Rapids-WS workstation platform manages to square the ledger with AMD, with both platforms offering broadly similar performance and similar advantages over both consumer PCs and servers configured to serve as workstations.
Directly comparing the top CPUs for each workstation platform, we find that the AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX with its 64 CPU cores delivers faster multi-core performance than the Intel Xeon w9-3495X with its 56 cores, an edge that is revealed most clearly with 3D rendering tasks as tested by Cinebench R23. Meanwhile, the Intel CPU with its faster DDR5 RAM and 8 memory channels delivers markedly faster memory bandwidth than the top AMD CPU with its slower DDR4 RAM. In addition, the Cinebench R23 single-threaded test demonstrated 22% faster performance for the top Intel CPU compared to the top AMD CPU.
It's been a long wait for Intel since 2017, but this new generation is fabulous. The new Intel platform enables us to introduce the all-new Stratosphere Evolution X-series workstations based on Intel Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 CPUs. The new models are now shipping and are ready for your order!
Big benefits from the new generation
So, what does the new generation bring? Two big benefits, which amplify each other:
Consider GPU-accelerated computing, where a graphics card is repurposed to become a coprocessor in the system, able to marshal its thousands of cores for computing work instead of creating a 3D virtual world (typically for gaming). Led by NVIDIA, GPU computing is driving AI neural networks and machine learning in general. GPUs are so successful at high-performance computing tasks that NVIDIA now makes 61% of its revenue from data centers. However, a GPU still needs a CPU. Ideally a GPU-accelerated workstation would connect many powerful GPUs to a single CPU, as it is more efficient to have fewer captains and more workers. However, the limiting factor turns out to be the number of available PCIe lanes. A GPU operating at full speed will consume 16 PCIe lanes. Thus a consumer desktop CPU (such as Intel Core i9 with 20 PCIe lanes) doesn't even have enough PCIe lanes to connect two GPUs at full speed.
Now consider these new Intel Xeon W-3400 CPUs with their 112 PCIe lanes: more than five times the number supported by consumer CPUs! Now we are cooking with gas, because there are now enough lanes for six GPUs to connect to the CPU at full speed!
These new CPUs and their massive connectivity make possible a personal supercomputer. Beyond connecting more GPUs, the CPUs can also access up to 16 times more RAM (4TB for Xeon W-3400 CPUs, up from 128GB for consumer PCs) as well as massive NVMe SSD storage. A consumer desktop PC normally can connect to only two or three NVMe SSDs, due again to a shortage of PCIe lanes. Each SSD consumes four PCIe lanes. While three SSDs is plenty of storage for most people, others have much more aggressive storage requirements. A pro photographer can fill up a 1TB NVMe SSD with only 20,000 images. That may sound like a lot, but some photographers take thousands of pictures per day. In only three months, they can fill three 4TB SSDs and be out of space on a typical high-end consumer desktop PC.
Now with Stratosphere Evolution X-series, that same photographer can store 860TB of images on fast NVMe storage, enough for about 2.4 years usage instead of 3 months. The same massive storage capacity can be put to work handling image and video databases, helping international security with applications like facial recognition. With the storage locally connected, it's much faster to access and search than cloud databases, while also saving large carrying costs for massive online storage.
Benefits for regular people
What about regular people? What if GPU-accelerated computing doesn't seem to offer you tangible benefits yet, and your photo library fits comfortably on an iPhone?
First, it's worth pointing out that popular apps such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop already make use of GPU acceleration for faster performance: not just for display, but for rending images that incorporate complex effects and filters. You may be benefiting from GPU-accelerated computing today, and the trend will only grow stronger as new apps and particularly AI-based apps debut specifically to take advantage of GPU-accelerated computing.
Beyond these trends, if you just want the fastest computer as your daily driver for day trading or number crunching, Stratosphere Evolution X-series is up for the task. Benchmark tests show that the top-of-line new Intel Xeon w9-3495X CPU is decisively faster than Intel's fastest consumer CPU, Core i9-13900K, for tasks that can take advantage of multiple CPU cores. Initial tests with Cinebench R23 and PassMark CPU Mark have the Xeon w9-3495X performing about 75% faster in the main multi-core tests, which measure performance using all available CPU cores. In benchmark comparisons that are usually won by less than 20% difference between CPUs of the same generation, 75% faster is a massive edge in favor of the new Xeon flagship.
Whether getting 75% faster performance is worth the significantly higher cost for the Xeon CPU and platform is more of a question for your budget and pride. If you want Intel's very fastest CPU, click here and configure your system today!
The new Xeon W CPUs: technical highlights
If you like charts, specs and numbers, the next three charts are for you. They contain many of the speeds and feeds of the new Intel Xeon CPUs, prepared lovingly by Intel. Click each chart to enlarge.Click to enlarge