Intel Xeon W-1390P and Supermicro X12 Motherboard Review

Intel's Xeon W1390P processor and Supermicro's X12SAE-5 motherboard make a great combo. In this review, we check them out.

@TylerBernath
Published Thu, Sep 23 2021 8:55 AM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel (Intel Xeon W-1390P and Supermicro X12 Motherboard)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Late Q1, Intel launched its Rocket Lake platform desktop CPUs that included a sizable refresh from Core i3 through Core i5, i7, and i9 lineups. Following this launch, Intel pushed to market the Xeon W, its desktop socket Xeon built on the same Rocket Lake platform.

I was lucky enough to get Intel to send over a sample of its new Rocket Lake W1390P, so we dialed up our friends at Supermicro to see about a supporting motherboard. Supermicro ended up offering its X12SAE-5 for this review and sent along 32GB of ECC memory as well.

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VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

Specifications of the Intel Xeon W-1390P are nearly identical to the Core i9-11900K. Differences include ECC memory support for the Xeon platform and the device ID. Functionally, we have eight cores with sixteen threads, base clock at 3.5GHz with three levels of "boost." Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 will push the CPU to 5.1GHz, while Turbo Boost Max 3.0 will go to 5.2GHz. We then have Intel Thermal Velocity Boost to reach a peak clock of 5.3GHz. TDP is 125W with a configurable TDP-down to 95W.

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For the Supermicro X12SAE-5, we have an LGA1200 platform built on an Intel W580 chipset. This supports both 10th and 11th Gen CPUs and 128GB of 3200MHz Unbuffered ECC or standard DDR4 across four slots. We have PCIe 4.0 support with a Single x16 or 8x8 configuration on the slots and a single Hyper M.2 at the top for your Gen4 storage, and two more Ultra M.2 for Gen 3.

Rear I/O offers connectivity via USB 3.2, DisplayPort, and HDMI alongside 2.5Gbe.

Pricing

The Intel Xeon W-1390P carries an MSRP of $539.99, while the Supermicro X12SAE-5 can be had for around $350.

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Packaging, Accessories, and Overview

Packaging and Accessories

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Packaging is basic with no enhanced marketing like we see with desktop motherboards.

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Included with the X12, we have the Rear I/O cover and a set of SATA cables.

Supermicro X12SAE-5 Overview

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The X12 offers an ATX form factor platform, green PCB with a pretty standard board layout. Up top, we have the CPU power next to the socket and to the right of that four DIMM slots and board power. Down below, we have a set of x16 PCIe slots that operate in a single x16 or 8/8 configuration, a few x1 separating them, and Legacy PCI at the bottom. To the right, the chipset heat sink, and SATA ports.

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The backside of the board is clean with a Super I/O chip at the bottom left.

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Running around the board, we start with the front panel audio and PCI slot. To the right, we have USB headers.

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Further down the line, we run into a TPM header, front panel connections, and LED header.

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Around the corner, we have an Ultra M.2 slot followed by six SATA ports.

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Further up the side, the USB 3.2 headers for both Gen 1 and 2 followed by the 24pin power.

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At the top, we have a set of fan headers and eight-pin power.

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Centered in the upper area of the board is the LGA1200 socket with our Xeon W1390P installed.

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Rear I/O on the X12SAE-5 includes a host of display outputs on the left. We then run into a set of USB 3.2 ports, four type-A, and one Type-C. The two RJ45 ports include one 2.5Gbe and one 1Gbe, both Intel designs. Audio rounds out the rear I/O with 3.5mm and Optical.

UEFI, Software and Test System

UEFI

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The Supermicro X12 EFI platform is nearly identical to the SuperO Z590 we looked at a few months back. The main menu offers insight into the installed memory alongside the BIOS version and date/time.

Advanced opens up the platform for configuration, including CPU, Chipset, and Networking. Further down the list, you will find options for storage setup and USB as well. The HW monitor tab will show the current board temps, including CPU, Chipset, and Motherboard; down below, you will find system voltages.

The boot menu includes several options for loading your operating system of choice, and you can add/delete options as you see fit as well.

Intel Xeon W1290P Test System

Intel Xeon W1390P Test System

Cinebench, Realbench and AIDA64

Cinebench, Realbench, and AIDA64

Cinebench R23

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

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Comparing our W1390P to its last generation offering, the core count separates the CPUs at the top, 1390P offering 15226 over 16 threads, to the 16077 of the 1290P with 20 threads. Core for core, the 1390P, offers a considerable advantage of nearly 400 points.

Realbench

Realbench uses both video and photo workloads to benchmark your CPU. We use all three workloads in this scenario.

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Realbench showed a remarkable improvement in Image editing while Encoding was nearly the same.

AIDA64 Memory

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Memory bandwidth was slightly higher on the 1390P, 48K across the board compared to 44K on the 1290P.

PCMark10 and PugetSystems Benchmarks

PCMark 10

PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.

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PCMark 10 scored slightly higher with the 1390P in all workloads.

PugetBench

PugetBench comes from the fantastic people over at Puget Systems that have done countless hours and years benchmarking hardware. For our testing, we will utilize their Davinci Resolve, Photoshop, and Lightroom benchmarks, you can look into them more here.

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Puget for Photoshop was slightly higher on the 1390P, 1054 vs. 1047 despite the lower core count.

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Davinci Resolve gave us a score of 1204, nearly 100 points ver the 1290P.

3DMark Firestrike and Timespy

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We ran through two of 3Dmarks gaming workloads, the first being Firestrike. The 1390P won the battle overall with a higher combined score than the 1290P.

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Timespy showed similar results; this time, the higher core count helped the 1290P have the slight edge.

System I/O, Power Consumption, Final Thoughts

System I/O Benchmarks

Storage with CrystalDiskMark

Storage tests are all handled by our Sabrent Rocket Plus NVMe 4.0 SSD.

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Storage testing with the 1390P and X12SAE-5 showed solid performance, 6916 MB/s read, and 5211 MB/s write.

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Q1 Random showed 90 MB/s reads, and 327 MB/s write.

Power Consumption

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System power consumption was equal at idle, though higher for the 1390P at full load with R23.

Final Thoughts

Like its desktop counterpart, the Xeon W1390P offers a sizable IPC gain over its 10th Gen counterpart and, despite the differences in core count, is able to compete directly in the same market space without much of an issue. Memory performance in our testing was slightly better on the 11th Gen part, reaching upwards of 48K across the board in AIDA64.

Pairing this CPU with the Supermicro X12SAE-5, we were able to test Gen4 storage performance up to 7000 MB/s in sequential with an equally solid performance in 4KQ1, where it counts. Connectivity is excellent on this board with a full complement of display outputs, even DVI for legacy monitors. USB 3.2 is plentiful on the rear I/O, four type-A and a single Type-C that operates on the Gen2x2 spec. Additional USB ports are available via internal headers and would require your chassis to support them, but they include two USB 3.2 Gen 1 and a second Gen2x2.

Network connectivity has this board outfitted with 2.5Gbe and 1Gbe, both Intel chipsets, which are really the bare minimum for any homelab machine.

Performance

90%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

85%

Overall

91%

The Bottom Line

The Supermicro X12SAE-5 is built on reliability while offering cutting edge connectivity in USB 3.2 and 2.5GBe, it also pairs well with the Xeon W1390P to offer Gen4 PCIe connectivity.

TweakTown award
91%

Intel XEON Gold 6226R Processor

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$1299.99$1299.99-
* Prices last scanned on 10/18/2021 at 9:58 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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