Leak suggests Intel’s new Xeon CPUs suffer from more than just delays

A prominent leaker by the name of YuuKi_AnS has published benchmark data that appears to offer a glimpse at the performance of Intel’s upcoming Sapphire Rapids server processors.

As reported by our sister site Tom’s Hardware, the leaked data paints a troubling picture for Intel, whose next-generation processors are apparently unable to compete from a performance standpoint with AMD EPYC chips already on the market.

Supposedly based on tests of new 52- and 60-core Sapphire Rapids CPUs with high-bandwidth memory (HBM) onboard, the leaked materials highlight a sizeable generation-on-generation performance increase (particularly for workloads bottlenecked by bandwidth). But nonetheless, AMD’s top-of-the line models still hold the lead. 

Intel Xeon Sapphire Rapids delays

As AMD and other rivals continue to accelerate in the data center market, Intel’s new line of Sapphire Rapids processors has suffered setback after setback and the company is still wrestling to bring the chips to mass market.

The rollout of Sapphire Rapids has been punctuated by repeated delays. Originally slated to launch in 2021, the new Xeon chips were first pushed back to early 2022, then to the middle and end of the year. 

The company delivered on its promise to put the new chips in the hands of select customers in Q1, but it now appears that most will have to wait until the end of Q1 2023 to gain access to the silicon.

The news that next-generation Intel Xeon chips, when they do arrive, may fail to outperform existing chips from AMD is the icing on the already unappetising cake. 

Last week, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger gave an interview that suggested he is acutely aware of the struggles his company now faces in the data center market, where he expects to continue to lose share for the next few years.

Gelsinger suggested that, although Intel’s products will continue to be competitive, the company won’t recover true leadership status until the arrival of its Sierra Forest processors in 2024. 

The new line will benefit from a high level of power-efficiency and greater core count, which Intel hopes will help to fend off the advance of Arm-based chips (like AWS’ Graviton series), as well as processors from its x86 competitors.

TechRadar Pro has asked Intel to confirm the accuracy of the leaked performance data for the upcoming line of Sapphire Rapids CPUs.

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