We tested the Intel Xeon W-2295 in the Puget Systems workstation configuration on 120V power at 21C using our Extech TrueRMS power meter. Here is what we saw:
- Standby: 7w
- OS Idle: 131W
- 70% Load: 228W
- 100% Load: 255W
- Max: 287W
Overall, this was gentle on the power side compared to many of the chips we have seen recently. Although this is the higher-end of the Xeon W-2200 range, there are now several options for higher power parts available from Intel and AMD which makes this relatively lower-power.
Intel Xeon W-2295 Market Positioning
Thes chips are not released in a vacuum instead, they have competition on both the Intel and AMD sides. When you purchase a server and select a CPU, it is important to see the value of a platform versus its competitors.
Intel Xeon W-2295 v. Intel Alternatives
Competition in the SKU stack comes in a number of forms. Here is a chart from our Intel Xeon W-2200 Series Launch SKUs and Value Analysis piece. As you can see, Intel has a different pricing methodology with these parts than it does with the Xeon Scalable line.
When we look at the above competition with the Xeon W-2200 series on a straight cost-per-core basis, the Intel Xeon W-2295 is a halo part that is actually discounted on a cost-per-core basis versus its stablemates.
Even adding threads and frequency into the mix, we see that the Intel Xeon W-2295 may actually be the best value in the line, despite being a halo part.
There is more competition in the Intel stack than just Xeon W-2200 series processors. If you need lower amounts of RAM, memory bandwidth, cores, and PCIe, then the Intel Xeon E-2288G is an interesting option. At that point, you need a different class of system.
As a direct alternative, the Intel Core i9-10980XE is a very similar processor. One buys the Xeon W-2295 for features such as four times the RAM support and ECC memory support. One buys the Core i9-10980XE unless the Xeon’s features are necessary. Intel needs to stop with their ECC segmentation for Core and Xeon. Even lowly Intel Core i3 CPUs have ECC memory support and AMD has ECC UDIMMs support. These are good chips, but the product segmentation needs a refresh for the 2020s.
The higher-end Intel Xeon W-3275 makes a strong case as being the next major step up from this line. We wish Intel would add DCPMM support to the Xeon W series and give the chips an enormous differentiator in the market.
Perhaps the most intriguing competition now comes from the 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Refresh CPUs. In this price range, we have chips like the Xeon Gold 5218R, Gold 5220R, and Gold 6226R. Those are all dual socket capable chips that support Intel Optane DCPMM and range from 16-24 cores. While they are not hitting the same single-thread speeds, they can potentially offer more cores at a similar price point and then scale to two chips per system lowering system costs even further.
Intel Xeon W-2295 v. AMD Alternatives
This is a very tough comparison at the moment. AMD has a more modern architecture on a more modern process. AMD is also using extremely aggressive pricing. While the Xeon W-2295 can hit higher clock speeds, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X has 33% more cores, about 5x the L3 cache, more PCIe lanes, and PCIe Gen4 support. While the Core i9-10980X was a significantly lower cost part, the Xeon W-2295 is priced directly in this range. Effectively, one buys the Xeon W-2295 over the Threadripper 3960X if they need more than 256GB of memory support, Intel specific features, or the W-2295 is better for licensing.
The AMD EPYC 7402P is perhaps the most fascinating comparison, even beyond what the Threadripper series offers. Although we would suggest Threadripper over EPYC “Rome” for workstations as we discussed in AMD EPYC 7002 Rome v Threadripper for Workstations, there is a segment of the market that wants solid CPU, but also more expandability. For that segment, the AMD EPYC 7402P now offers a very unique alternative to the Xeon W-2295.
What is clear is that the Intel Xeon W-2295 performs well, and is an enormous upgrade over the Xeon E-2200 line. It also has perhaps one of the best pricing models of any recent top-bin part in an Intel Xeon series. At the same time, it is in the unenvious position of being besieged as a mid-range part in today’s market.
There is now a market dynamic that simply did not exist a few years ago. Direct competitors to the Xeon W-2295 include parts such as the less expensive Core i9-10980XE, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, EPYC 7402P, and no less than three Xeon Gold “R” SKUs along with the existing Xeon “U” single socket parts. We mentioned this in our Xeon Scalable Refresh piece, but we think that the Xeon W-2295 is a part impacted by the refresh and Intel needs to adjust its pricing to compete better with AMD and other Intel offerings.
Using the Intel Xeon W-2295 one will have a great experience either in a workstation or in a server. 18 higher-frequency cores ensure that is the case. If the chip offers the right level of expandability and features for your application, it is absolutely a great part. On the other hand, if you need a different feature set, one would be wise to survey alternatives as AMD and Intel now have so many offerings in the $1000-$1600 price bracket making it an extremely crowded space for the Xeon W-2295 to play in. At $975-$1050 it would be much more competitive but that is a delta Intel can easily bridge with discounts to systems builders.