GIGABYTE teased all with their huge motherboard capable of overclocking Intel's 28-core monster CPU to 5GHz, let's see what was hiding under the heat sinks and find out more about the CPU and motherboard.
There has been a lot of chatter about Intel's debut of their 5GHz 28-core beast, and while that CPU is probably a modified Xeon Platinum 8180, Intel nor the vendors would give us any information on the CPU or even motherboard. However, we can learn a lot from the motherboard used to demo the chip to the world. For starters, let's get this out of the way; yes, that chip was without a doubt overclocked. The VRM on the motherboard is a monster, and designed to support much more than Intel's "300W" TDP number (the Platinum 8180 is rated for 205W TDP).
For reference, Intel's 18-core 7980XE can easily pull 500W when overclocked to 4.5GHz. So add the increased leakage from taking more than 50% more cores all 500MHz higher, and add to that the decrease in VRM efficiency due to increased phase count, and we think the VRM could be pulling 1.2-1.8 KW. We heard rumors of the 7980XE pulling up to 1000W under LN2, so we don't think our numbers are too far off. We also heard that Intel was hitting the limits of physics, and we aren't just talking about upgrading their circuit breakers.
We believe that both the GIGABYTE and ASUS motherboards that demoed the CPU used a PCB meant for dual socket motherboards just so the copper plane was big enough to handle the increased current, we also believe the motherboards are using increased copper in the PCB. We also see double the ATX 8-pin power connectors, for a total of four. These power connectors are isolated for CPU power only, and by standards they should each supply up to 300W. However, we have seen more than 300W go into them with ease.