AMD might be the CPU community's new darling, but Intel is fighting back. The company announced this week the official launch of its Xeon W-3175X processor, which is designed for high-intensity workloads. The W-3175X is Intel's first unlocked 28-core processor with 56 threads, which may bring it more in line with the performance of AMD's Threadripper processors. However, despite similar specifications to its competitor's devices, Intel's 3175X couldn't be further away from Threadripper chips in terms of price: the 3175X will run you about $3,000.
Though that cost is pretty high, Intel is undoubtedly hoping the chip's specs will make up for the investment. Based on the company's 14nm Skylake architecture, the 3175X boasts a base clock speed of 3.1GHz (boostable to 4.3GHz), a TDP of 255W, as well as support for up to 68 PCIe lanes and up to 512GB of DDR4, 2666MHz RAM.
Intel also promises other improvements, claiming that the 3175X has "hardware-enhanced security, identity protection, and remote manageability."
Unfortunately, unless you want to run the CPU naked -- which is obviously a very bad idea -- you're going to need a cooler for it, and one isn't included in the box. As such, you'll have to shell out hundreds of additional dollars for a compatible aftermarket option; Intel recommends Asetek's $400 690LX-PN AIO liquid cooler.
If you're feeling particularly crazy, you might be interested to hear that (despite its high price tag) Intel's latest workstation chip has already been de-lidded - and by the same man who showed us how he cleans his motherboards in the dishwasher, der8aeur.
So, the main question on your mind is probably one of value: is the W-3175X worth the money?
Reviews from outlets like Anandtech do show that the 3175X is putting out better performance numbers than AMD's top-tier alternative (the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX) across several tests, but that boost comes at a hefty premium.
If you are a professional or a business owner who might get value out of the extra power the 3175X offers, you can snag it from system integrators that "develop purpose-built desktop workstations," according to Intel.