Performance: Who would have thought that an Intel 28 core CPU wouldn't be anything but a beast? It has four fewer cores than the higher-end ThreadRipper, but that wasn't enough to leave the CINEBENCH crown with AMD. Overall it did quite well performance-wise, but we expected that as it's basically a supercharged version of Intel's best Xeon offering.
Overclocking: Even though it uses paste instead of solder thermal interface material, it still did a decent job of clocking up. We also used normal UDIMMs for overclocking, and it handled them with ease at 3200MHz, and we have heard it can do 4GHz pretty easily as well. While we typically use standard AIOs except for our ThreadRipper systems (we use Enermax's TR4 one), Intel did ship this system in this configuration for a reason. They wanted the system to be in a very well ventilated case and use a cooler rated to cool 500W, while they gave us another cooler for overclocking, and we won't speculate how much that can handle. I would have never thought the system could be cooled on air over 4.4GHz, but I was wrong.
Platform Expansion : We think 48 PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU and another 20 from the PCH are pretty nice. While there aren't more than two options out there for your motherboard, both options are total beasts and offer the best technologies both ASUS and GIGABYTE have to offer. It's kind of like a tax you have to pay to run this CPU, but it gives you one really nice platform, albeit you are stuck with a huge case.
Ecosystem: Intel says you can get this CPU through a system integrators like Boxx or from a few OEMs worldwide. So, you won't be able to go down to Microcenter and pick one up with one of the two motherboards in the world that support it.
Power: Like we mentioned in our power section, we believe the CPU pulls around 300W at stock. It's kind of how more expensive cars require better, more expensive gas.
If you are going to buy this system from an SI, which is the main buying option, then you will get performance similar to what you see in the charts compared to if you went to a store and bought the other parts. The CPU is more than a CPU, it's pretty much a system going up against our standardized test systems, and you will end up with something similar if you get this CPU in your home or office. What's clear is that it's either as good as or better than its 32 core AMD counterpart. However, costs are higher for sure.
Not only in the CPU price that is $2999 (which is much better than expected), but in system and power cost. While you can only buy this CPU in a properly configured system, we do believe that to be somewhat of a good thing. For starters, you are dealing with a $3,000 CPU and a motherboard that probably costs over $1,000, and I bet neither Intel nor the two partnering motherboard vendors want a ton of RMAs. It's essentially a server system not dumbed down for consumers, the CPU isn't the easiest to install, RAM compatibility is probably a bit limited, and you will need to properly power and cool the machine.
It's not time for amateur hour, where you might get away with buying a cheaper AIO or saving money and mixing and matching RAM. In fact, Intel knows exactly who this is for. They know the content creators and producers out there just want a rock solid system that just works and that they don't need to tinker with, and that a lot of those people buy from system integrators like Boxx. The Xeon W-3175X system is next level impressive, but it's not cheap, and that's the point we are making. If you want the best of the best for content creation and production, then this is the clear winner if you are willing to deal with the value proposition.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: If you want the best of the best for content creation and production, a W-3175X system is what you want, but it will cost you a pretty penny.
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