UPDATED 14:46 EST / OCTOBER 07 2019


Intel unveils new workstation processor chips for data scientists and developers

Intel Corp. has a new family of desktop processors aimed squarely at data scientists, architects, developers and other power users who work with hardware-intensive applications.

The W-2200 series, unveiled today, consists of eight 14-nanometer central processing units ranging in price from $294 to $1,333. The CPUs cost between 40% and 50% less than their respective predecessors in last year’s W-2100 lineup, while providing about 10% better performance. 

The drastic price drop is likely a response to the pressure Intel is facing from Advanced Micro Systems Inc. in the desktop CPU market. AMD has been steadily chipping away at the company’s industry leadership with its Threadripper processors, some of which outperform their Intel counterparts. Its most recent win came last week when Microsoft Corp. announced that AMD silicon will be included in the new Surface Laptop 3.

Intel is counting on the W-2200 series to preserve its lead back in the desktop market. The flagship chip in the series, the $1,333 W-2295, packs 18 processing cores that can run 36 threads at a speed of up to 3.8 gigahertz. Single-core performance maxes out at 4.8GHz, while the base clock speed is 3.0Ghz.

The W-2295 and the seven other chips in the series benefit from the inclusion of Intel’s Deep Learning Boost instruction set. Thanks to the technology, they run artificial intelligence models up to 2.2 times faster than last year’s CPUs, which major will be a boon for developers building AI software. It should also translate into a speed boost for users whose work applications employ machine learning under the hood.

The W-2200 family is set to become available in November. The series’ debut comes just days after Intel unveiled four new Core X chips that are likewise designed to power high-end desktops but target video game enthusiasts rather than knowledge workers.

The processors are nearly identical to the top four CPUs in the W-2200 family at the hardware level. The difference is they lack the W-2200’s support for ECC RAM, a type of highly reliable memory popular in professional workstations, and they don’t ship with Intel’s vPro remote desktop management software. Instead, the chipmaker has equipped the Core X series with overclocking tools that let users boost performance past the default limits to improve game experiences. 

Image: Intel

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