When most people hear the word “workstation computer” they often think of a system that offers a higher level of performance for professional tasks than mainstream computers would. The thing is, not all professional use cases need a lot of performance. What they do need is high levels of reliability, accuracy and durability. Which is exactly where the recently listed Xeon W-1300 CPUs come into the picture. Users who are looking for professional reliability, adequate performance and a competitive price should sit up and listen right about now.
What’s Inside the W-1300s?
There are currently seven models of W-1300 family processors that have been released. Two of these are hexa-core models, while the other five are all octa-core.
Surprisingly, turbo frequencies are all more or less 5 Ghz, with a range of 4.9Ghz to 5.3Ghz. As such, we expect maximum single-core performance to be pretty similar across the entire family. This should be good news for users who run applications (such as AutoCAD) that mainly hammer one or two cores. It’s a smart move by Intel, since workstation CPUs in this class are most likely to be used for these types of professional software.\
However, the hexa-core CPUs only have 12MB of cache, whereas the octa-core models all offer 16M. That can have a noticeable effect in applications that are cache dependent.
Special Features of Rocket Lake
If you didn’t know, until their release these processors were listed under the code name Rocket Lake. Which means we can expect some improvements and new features compared to previous architectures.
These CPUs notably come with the new Xe-LP GPUs. In mainstream computers, Intel has been selling these new GPUs (found in Tiger Lake chips) as Iris Xe. We’ll probably see benchmarks for the specific implementations in these CPUs soon, but benchmarks of Iris Xe have shown it equalling or beating integrated GPUs from AMD. This means that some users may not need a dedicated GPU at all in a workstation using a W-1300 CPU. Which could represent a significant cost saving and allow for smaller, simpler PCs. The Xe-LP also has professionally-certified drivers, but we would expect no less from a workstation product.
In addition, the W-1300 line offers 20 PCIe lanes, support for DDR4-3200 and ECC memory as well as the latest AVX-512 instructions.
Power and Motherboard Support
The T-series models all fall within a 35W power envelope, with P-series chips ranging from 80W to 125W. That should make it easy to build quiet, power-efficient workstations. It also makes it more impressive that the T-series models still hover around 5Ghz turbo frequencies.
You’ll need a motherboard with an LGA1200 socket and either a W480 or W580 chipset. Just ensure that you’ve running the latest BIOS version before you swap chips.
Overall we’re excited to see what fantastic value-for-money workstations we can build using these Rocket Lake CPUs!