This announcement is by a Canadian retailer, which listed Supermicro’s yet-to-be-announced X13SWA-TF motherboard based on the Intel W790 chipset, but the rumor is yet to be revealed. which is designed for those workstations, including Intel’s Xeon processors in LGA4677 packaging, which is also called the Sapphire Rapids series of processors. The Supermicro X13SWA-TF motherboard comes in an E-ATX form factor and is used in workstations, desktops, and servers. The price of this motherboard is 1290 $ CAD, which is almost 6,907.40 $ American, but it is not mentioned whether it is available or not.
The Intel W790 chipset was discovered in a desktop CPU roadmap published last year, which gave us the first proof of its existence. In the beginning of this year, Intel confirmed that the W790 is a workstation-grade chipset and not an entry-level workstation-grade chipset, and the W790 chipset is part of the 600-series chipset family, which is mentioned within their own official documentation. Unusually, it feels like the W790 chipset is part of the existing 600-series PCH family and using a 700-series naming scheme because, technically, the 700-series family has not many big features and IO capabilities anyway.
But it was never mentioned which processor it worked with. The Intel W790 chipset is a part of the “Fishhawk Falls” platform, which will be incorporated into a series of high-end workstations, and it has an LGA4677 socket; therefore, it can support Intel’s Xeon Sapphire Rapids-WS CPUs such as the Xeon W-3400 and Xeon W-2400.
We can think that we discussed a special version of Sapphire Rapids CPUs that is tailored for workstations. (whose feature set is less than 60 cores but with higher clocks). or the 34 core Raptor Lake-S processors that Paul Alcorn identified at the start of this year. The Sapphire Rapids and Raptor Lake-S both have heavy features and a high-performance core that is based on the Golden Cove microarchitecture, among many other things that are similar. We cannot say that Intel’s 34-core Raptor Lake processors (also called RPLS-34C) will be marketed under the Xeon brand because Intel has not discussed anything publicly about this.
The X13SWA-TF Motherboard contains two 10GbE connectors (Intel X550), six PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, and an Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) for remote management, which is used for both workstations and servers. In the basic description, there is no mention of PCIe 5.0 support or M.2 slots. though it is not surprising because it is an early representation of the X13SWA-TF’s capabilities.
For many years, the news about a Sapphire Rapids-based platform for high-end desktops and workstations has been floating, but Intel has not publicly confirmed any plans to address the client PC market with its SPR processors because it is fully focused on releasing the Sapphire Rapids for servers. This announcement is essentially the first confirmation that Intel’s W790 platform supports the company’s processors in LGA4677, pointing to Intel’s Xeon Sapphire Rapids-WS CPUs such as the Xeon W-3400 and Xeon W-2400.