Although the next-generation HEDT platform has not yet surfaced, Intel has listed a workstation SKU called “W790” in a document titled “Intel 600 Series Chipset Family PCH”. Compared to the W680 motherboard for the 12th generation Alder Lake processor, the “W790” is clearly a more high-end workstation platform.
VideoCardz points out that the W790 chipset’s Q-Spec designation is also SRL02, and that the step has reached B1, in line with the current 600 series of consumer motherboards.
However, in this document, Intel is also confirming the existence of this W790 chipset for the first time. Even though the HEDT platform is not yet listed for those CPU SKUs that will be supported, this is not the first time we hear its name.
Documentation (from: Intel official website)
As early as last year, it was announced that the W790 would underpin the Sapphire Rapids HEDT platform. The Sapphire Rapids-X, as it is often called, is the successor to the long-unrefreshed Glacier Falls and Cascade Lake-X CPUs.
"By shifting the naming architecture from X-series chipsets to W-series chipsets, Intel is sort of indicating that these systems will be designed for workstations, not just desktop enthusiasts. Similar to AMD's non-Pro 'Threadripper' line, the real Core-X series is probably already buried in the dirt."
It was originally rumored that the W790 motherboard was expected to launch in Q4 2022 with the 13th generation Raptor Lake desktop CPU product line.
Unfortunately, the Sapphire Rapids-SP data center processor issue may have forced the legendary Sapphire Rapids-X series to be delayed as well.
Last month, the HWiNFO hardware monitoring tool mentioned in the changelog an ASUS Pro WS W790E-SAEG motherboard, which is known to be a product line designed for server/workstation systems.
However, it has been a long time since the chip giant has updated the product line since Intel’s second generation Xeon Scalable CPU (205W) and C621 chipset.
In terms of specifications, the W790 motherboard will not only support DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 interface, but may also support Intel Sapphire Rapids-X CPUs with up to 350W TDP.