Has Intel Abandoned the HEDT Market?

Zarathustra[H]

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I was thinking about this today.

It's been a while since I heard anything new from Intel on their HEDT platforms.

x299 hasn't had a new CPU since 2019, and from what I can tell there haven't been any announcements regarding a successor to x299.

And it doesn't seem limited to CPU's. I for one was very disappointed when they stopped making non-server Optane drives like the 900p and 905p.

Makes you wonder if they have decided that the top tier HEDT/enthusiast/pro-sumer/workstation market is just too small for them to be bothered with?

Or maybe they have just been distracted by the pandemic, their 10nm production issues, and the recent challenges from AMD?

I'm curious about anyone else's thoughts.
 

FrgMstr

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Outside true workstation products I think we will see that segment cannilbalized by mainstream desktop, which depth is getting tremendously wide in terms of product stack.
 

legcramp

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This whole CPU cycle reminds me of Athlon 64 days... AMD releases something good, Intel releases Core 2 Duo and buries AMD for a while. The 12 gen series is already a great release.... I fear for AMD in the coming years.
 

LukeTbk

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Like said above I think bandwith progressed so much for top of the line video card and what not, that the gap between mainstream desktop and HEDT can be hard to justify and for DDR5 would a ECC version make sense for an HEDT or the regular DDR5 ecc be enough ?

a 12900K with an high end z690 is already quite the high amount of lane, I think it has the equivalent of 36x pci 4.0 lane from the CPU and 20 from the chipset with 2x2 20GBS Hdmi ports, it is what significantly more than the double of a x570 Ryzen platform and getting close to what the Threadripper were not so long ago?

That said isn't there solid rumors that Sapphire Rapids will go down to HEDT and not just data center ?

https://www.hardwaretimes.com/intel...ll-likely-target-high-end-threadrippers-only/

It seem that it would be really high end only:
. The W790 chipset which features an eight-channel memory controller requires all four chiplets to be enabled to function normally unlike AMD’s design which is independent of the dies

Which make sense in that context because the space between the very costly z690 motherboard and a low end hedt would be small if it could exist.
 

ochadd

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What drives someone to a HEDT today? Seems if you have a workload that scales to many cores or you need memory bandwidth or capacity then it's the server route. PCIe 4 and 5 in the mainstream handles network and storage needs for most. I'm genuinely curious.
 

Mchart

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What drives someone to a HEDT today? Seems if you have a workload that scales to many cores or you need memory bandwidth or capacity then it's the server route. PCIe 4 and 5 in the mainstream handles network and storage needs for most. I'm genuinely curious.
Exactly, there isn't much need anymore when you've got a larger enterprise to also worry about. You can give the power users that need it as much CPU/RAM/Storage/vGPU that they want all via Horizon & zero clients.
 

cjcox

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Intel releases Core 2 Duo and buries AMD for a while.
for a long while

As popular as Ryzen is, it didn't do what Core 2 Duo did to AMD at the time. But still, refreshing to see "something" from AMD. Got to remember, AMD took more than 17% of the server market share (where the big money is) against Intel back in the day. And Intel came back and left AMD with less than 1%.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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What drives someone to a HEDT today? Seems if you have a workload that scales to many cores or you need memory bandwidth or capacity then it's the server route. PCIe 4 and 5 in the mainstream handles network and storage needs for most. I'm genuinely curious.

For me it is usually the PCIe lanes, and support for advanced features such as VT-d/IOMMU and Quad or higher channel RAM with optional support for ECC.

But yeah, primarily the PCIe lanes.

I know that with later gen chips you get a lot of bandwidth from being later gen PCIe and a lot of that can be split up by the chipset, but that isn't the same.

Lots of the expansion cards at least I use wind up being older models, where I need the physical lanes in order to get to the bandwidth totals, and cant rely on smaller numbers of later gen lanes. And I really don't want a PLX chip in there messing up latencies and causing other problems.

I want 40+ native PCIe lanes direct to CPU, or I'm not buying.
 

LukeTbk

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Exactly, there isn't much need anymore when you've got a larger enterprise to also worry about. You can give the power users that need it as much CPU/RAM/Storage/vGPU that they want all via Horizon & zero clients.

First in mind would be the typical MacPro type of workload, something that use a ton of high speed connectivity input/ouput of audio-video where it is convenient to do it on the same machine you ran the software has well.
 

Lakados

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I’m not sure abandoned is the right word, Intel still has their Xeon-W lineup it’s certainly an HEDT part but with the bandwidth PCIE 4 and 5 offer and the large thread counts in consumer chips it’s not a market that really commands nearly as much attention as it once did.
DDR 5 on a good board has almost all the features of quad or higher channel ram, you can easily hit the storage speeds and quantities with off the shelf PCIE4 or 5 bifurcation. It’s not uncommon now to see 2.5G or even 10G networking built in. And yeah there are some specific features that are locked to the Xeon lineup but those features tend to be more on the making money side and less of the hobby side at which point that cost difference is pretty minimal if you fall into that category.

Even AMD is abandoning their Threadripper’s for the Threadripper Pro’s which are basically just EPYC’s that didn’t pass their bin tests.
 

Lakados

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For me it is usually the PCIe lanes, and support for advanced features such as VT-d/IOMMU and Quad or higher channel RAM with optional support for ECC.

But yeah, primarily the PCIe lanes.

I know that with later gen chips you get a lot of bandwidth from being later gen PCIe and a lot of that can be split up by the chipset, but that isn't the same.

Lots of the expansion cards at least I use wind up being older models, where I need the physical lanes in order to get to the bandwidth totals, and cant rely on smaller numbers of later gen lanes. And I really don't want a PLX chip in there messing up latencies and causing other problems.

I want 40+ native PCIe lanes direct to CPU, or I'm not buying.
That’s gonna be a hard order to fill with out moving to full enterprise or getting newer models of the expansion cards.
 

cdabc123

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I feel it has to do with how it overlaps the server sockets. Before this xeons shared the same sockets at the "hedt" parts. Those boards were fairly available and popular as well as the chips.

Is lga 3647 a hedt socket? I feel they have the xeons priced pretty high (even compared to am4 hardware) and the motherboard prices have been rising the last few years.

Sp3 is a cool socket with motherboards for a reasonable price ($500). Amd is likewise capitalizing on the server market and most cpus are pretty expensive. For the hedt crowd es chips arnt to bad.

Other then that I feel it's a pretty small portion of intel and amds sales so they are happy to sacrifice it for more profitable markets.
 
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Lakados

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It's what I had with my previous build (x79) and my current build (TRX40) and it will continue to be my no compromise requirement
Not an unreasonable order one just a tall one, I am really hoping that Intel announces a new round of XeonW's to line up with when AMD starts showing off the new Threadrippers. They both have talked them up but neither has shown anything. I'm in a similar boat, I need a new pair of work stations and I need cores and lanes, 48 cores minimum but I don't want to pile in on the old Threadrippers, and the new Epycs aren't out yet, and the existing XeonW range is underwhelming, to say the least.
 

LukeTbk

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Not an unreasonable order one just a tall one, I am really hoping that Intel announces a new round of XeonW's to line up with when AMD starts showing off the new Threadrippers. They both have talked them up but neither has shown anything. I'm in a similar boat, I need a new pair of work stations and I need cores and lanes, 48 cores minimum but I don't want to pile in on the old Threadrippers, and the new Epycs aren't out yet, and the existing XeonW range is underwhelming, to say the least.

What would be missing from the threadripper pro line ?
 

Lakados

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What would be missing from the threadripper pro line ?
I have not had great experiences with Lenovo, and the existing 39x5 would be fine I could get them but I can hold out until July then I have to make a decision. Lenovo already has gotten me quotes for the systems I would need they sit in at 9K a pop so not terrible HP can't get me the switches I need to make the upgrades work until August anyways. So I am not rushed, and my existing EPYC's have been ironed out nicely and are smooth as silk (there were some growing pains with some bios and power issues) so I am not expecting any issues there anymore, but I would hate to drop some 20K on these machines only for them to announce their replacements 2 weeks later.
 

Mchart

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First in mind would be the typical MacPro type of workload, something that use a ton of high speed connectivity input/ouput of audio-video where it is convenient to do it on the same machine you ran the software has well.
Not saying there isn’t a market, but it’s small. Pretty soon Apple is going to ditch Intel even on the Mac Pro anyways.
 

Dan_D

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Outside true workstation products I think we will see that segment cannilbalized by mainstream desktop, which depth is getting tremendously wide in terms of product stack.
And that's exactly what we've seen in the last few years with there being less and less reason to even look at HEDT products. HEDT itself has gotten so expensive as it's really priced about like traditional workstations.
 

ElementDave

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I was wondering that myself. Mainstream platform costs have already redefined absurd at the higher end, leaving HEDT in an awkward place. I'd like to see some additional PCIe lanes beyond current mainstream offerings for more flexible storage configurations, and also support for ECC memory. Waiting...
 

cjcox

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Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but on the Intel side, you usually go with their server/workstation class CPUs. You get high cores, high number of PCIe lanes, ECC, etc.
 

LukeTbk

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I was wondering that myself. Mainstream platform costs have already redefined absurd at the higher end, leaving HEDT in an awkward place. I'd like to see some additional PCIe lanes beyond current mainstream offerings for more flexible storage configurations, and also support for ECC memory. Waiting...

Is it too soon to tell if DDR5 ecc on the memory side make that for something like a workstation (not server) still relevant ?
 

Dan_D

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Is it too soon to tell if DDR5 ecc on the memory side make that for something like a workstation (not server) still relevant ?
I'm sure there is a question here, but I don't understand what it is.
 

cpufrost

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I'm sure there is a question here, but I don't understand what it is.
I think they are wondering if the ECC components in DDR5 are a valid replacement for ECC DIMMs used in server/workstation chipsets.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Is it too soon to tell if DDR5 ecc on the memory side make that for something like a workstation (not server) still relevant ?

I think they are wondering if the ECC components in DDR5 are a valid replacement for ECC DIMMs used in server/workstation chipsets.

It is not.

Yeah, workstation/server ram is typically registered, which means it has a full buffer. This adds some latency (which is why you probably don't want it on a gaming computer) but it allows you to add MUCH more RAM to a system.

Many (most?) workstation and server boards I have used (primarily Supermicro) will allow you to use unbuffered ECC, but if you do, you can only use a smaller number of RAM sticks reducing the max amount of RAM.

I'd imagine the same is/will be true for DDR5 as it was for DDR3 and DDR4.
 

Dan_D

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In gaming computers it comes down to cost of the modules, latency penalties and potential reduction in clock speeds with virtually no benefit. You also don't need as much RAM as you would in a workstation or server, making it unnecessary to use registered modules. Typically mainstream chipsets and CPU's only support 128GB at this point.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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In gaming computers it comes down to cost of the modules, latency penalties and potential reduction in clock speeds with virtually no benefit. You also don't need as much RAM as you would in a workstation or server, making it unnecessary to use registered modules. Typically mainstream chipsets and CPU's only support 128GB at this point.

Yeah, I'd totally use unbuffered ECC in my desktop if I could only buy it in higher speeds. Right now the fastest out there seems to be DDR4-2933. Ideally id like to get to 3600, but I'd settle for 3200. I just don't feel like I can justify the drop to 2933.

Registered ECC RAM though, that belongs in a server or a dedicated workstation.
 

LukeTbk

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I think they are wondering if the ECC components in DDR5 are a valid replacement for ECC DIMMs used in server/workstation chipsets.
Correct with a little difference, I imagined that it would not be for many server scenarios where data integrity is valuable I had only workstation in mind, in the sense if you just want a lot of ram, but it is not data criticital (SFX workload say). would it not work with DDR5 to ram up 512 gig or more without a special ECC board ?

I'd imagine the same is/will be true for DDR5 as it was for DDR3 and DDR4.
According to wiki there will still have ECC DDR5 on the full datapath:
There still exists non-ECC and ECC DDR5 DIMM variants; the ECC variants have extra data lines to the CPU to send error detection data, enabling the CPU to detect and correct errors that occurred in transit
 

ElementDave

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Is it too soon to tell if DDR5 ecc on the memory side make that for something like a workstation (not server) still relevant ?
The on-die ECC is necessary to deal with the increased densities. It's not clear to me how reliability of DDR5 will compare to say, DDR4, but it's not a replacement for traditional ECC that provides protection of the entire datapath and reporting of events to the OS, etc.

See this article re triggering bit flips (Rowhammer):
https://comsec.ethz.ch/research/dram/blacksmith/
 

mjoeTW

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The big.little architecture isn't suitable to the HEDT segment, as it's not good for running all-core parrellism, AVX, or for backwards compatibility.
 

Red Falcon

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Yeah, I'd totally use unbuffered ECC in my desktop if I could only buy it in higher speeds. Right now the fastest out there seems to be DDR4-2933. Ideally id like to get to 3600, but I'd settle for 3200. I just don't feel like I can justify the drop to 2933.

Registered ECC RAM though, that belongs in a server or a dedicated workstation.
Looking on Newegg there are quite a few options of unbuffered ECC DDR4-3200 DIMMs and SO-DIMMs, and even my ARM server uses DDR4-3200 unbuffered ECC SO-DIMMs.
Where are you looking that you are only seeing DDR4-2933?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Looking on Newegg there are quite a few options of unbuffered ECC DDR4-3200 DIMMs and SO-DIMMs, and even my ARM server uses DDR4-3200 unbuffered ECC SO-DIMMs.
Where are you looking that you are only seeing DDR4-2933?

I was looking on newegg.

I went into the Desktop RAM section, and filtered by DDR4 and ECC=Yes.

There was one DDR4-3200 module, but it was Registered, so that was a no go.

Then there was one DDR4-3000 module that was miscategorized. It wasn't ECC at all.

All the unbuffered ECC modules were 2933 or below.

Edit:

Ahh, I think I see what you did. There are more options in the "Server RAM" section. I didn't think to look there.

It's worth noting though, that none of the 3200mhz modules found in the "Server RAM" section are on the Asus motherboard QVL list. :p
 
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evhvis

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AMD pushing the core count up has probably limited the need for HEDT systems. A top of the line consumer segment CPU can now fulfill most of the needs of those who went with HEDT 5-6 years ago. I don't think HEDT will necessarily go away, but launches will most likely be further between in order to get higher sales on each version. The price for HEDT has also skyrocketed. There used to be "cheap" HEDT CPUs for those that just needed the extra lanes, but that space is now mostly occupied by the 5950x and 12900k. The last generation of threadrippers were quite expensive, even on the low end, and I would expect the next gens from Intel and AMD to be similar.

It should also be factored in that Intel's 12xxx series is the first major revision for Intel in half a decade so they are most likely working their next gen HEDT CPUs. My guess is that Intel will launch a new generation of HEDT somewhere between Q3 2022 and Q1 2023.
 

Red Falcon

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Ahh, I think I see what you did. There are more options in the "Server RAM" section. I didn't think to look there.

It's worth noting though, that none of the 3200mhz modules found in the "Server RAM" section are on the Asus motherboard QVL list. :p
Ah, that's exactly where I was looking, and thought you were looking there. :D
Darn, if they aren't on the list, then it is Russian Roulette time!
 

zandor

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And that's exactly what we've seen in the last few years with there being less and less reason to even look at HEDT products. HEDT itself has gotten so expensive as it's really priced about like traditional workstations.
I'm hoping Chiplets will change this. Maybe future HEDT will be a couple of desktop compute chiplets plus a server IO die with not everything connected. Or at least that's what I'm hoping for. What I want is basically a Ryzen x950 or i9-1x900k with lots more PCI-e lanes. Bonus if it also has quad channel ram so I can have more ram slots. That hasn't been a problem for my lately but I did go to 64GB in the DDR3 days because I needed more ram. I'd have been screwed if I wasn't on X79. My basic problem is I do server programming and like to stuff server parts in my desktops so I can play with them. So 8x server NIC, that sort of thing.
 

cjcox

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Personally, CPU wise, I'm not sure there's ever been a huge difference between "HEDT" style CPU SKUs vs. workstation/server class when it comes to price. And, there's been a lot more examples of instability on the "HEDT" side of the fence with regards to implementation (motherboard and chipsets). Maybe the market will return, but my guess is "no". Unless competition really starts to break down again. It's harder to justify buying the new shiny "HEDT" with extreme requirements (sometimes very extreme) when you could get a dual proc with less requirements that's just slightly older and has better support and comparable performance and usually much better multi-threaded performance. Just my observation/opinion. Maybe the dual proc costs a bit more, but it may deliver more and be much more stable and likely will last longer (if that matters).
 

KazeoHin

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To be fair, AMD has abandoned the HEDT market as well.

Threadrippers are now locked, last ones were released on using an older generation nearly two years ago on a OEM-only socket....

I'm pretty sure HEDT is dead. You either get the best single thread performance and overclocking, or the best multi-core performance and platform features.

Fuck you if you want both.
 
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