Intel Xeon Gold 6246 Review

High-end server processor released in 2019 with 12 cores and 24 threads. With base clock at 3.3GHz, max speed at 4.2GHz, and a 165W power rating. Xeon Gold 6246 is based on the Cascade Lake 14nm family and part of the Xeon Gold series.
Price 14.3%
Speed 82%
Productivity 93%
Gaming 92%
Category Server
Target high-end
Socket Compatibility 3647
Integrated Graphics
Cooler Included
Overclock Potential 0 %
Year 2019 Model
Price 3286 USD
Number of Cores 12 Cores
Number of Threads 24 Threads
Core Frequency 3.3 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.2 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.2 GHz
Power Consumption 165 W
Manufacturing Process 14 nm
L3 Cache 24.75 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 1024 GB
Price-Value Score 14.3 %
Speed Score 82 %
Productivity Score 93 %
Gaming Score 92 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 20 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 10 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 5 %
Overall Score 53/100

The Xeon Gold 6246 is one of Intel's high-end Server processors. It was released in 2019 with 12 cores and 24 threads. With base clock at 3.3GHz, max speed at 4.2GHz, and a 165W power rating. The Xeon Gold 6246 is based on the Cascade Lake 14nm family and is part of the Xeon Gold series.

Xeon Gold 6246 is also the successor of Intel's last gen Xeon Gold 6146 processor that was based on the Skylake SP and 14nm process and was released in 2017.

The Intel Xeon Gold 6246 is an absolute behemoth of a processor, as it absolutely should be with its 12 cores, 24 threads and high price tag. If you’re looking for the absolute best processor money can buy on a mainstream processor, then look no further. Whether you’re playing PC games or even doing hardcore video and 3D work, the Intel Xeon Gold 6246 can handle them with ease.

That something is the Xeon Gold 6246. Intel cranks the TDP dial up to 165W on this 12-core 24-thread chip, making it the high-performance counterpart to the 150W Xeon Gold 6244, which is basically the same 14nm chip built with the Cascade Lake microarchitecture, but with a lower TDP rating. That chip came away from our first look at the Cascade Lake series with an Editor's Choice award, going toe-to-toe with AMD's Epyc 7302P, so it's fair to say we have high hopes for the higher-performance model. Intel still hasn't sampled the chip to the press, so we bought one at retail to put it under the microscope.

The Xeon Gold 6246 slots in beneath the Xeon Gold 6248, which comes with 14nm compute die to yield a 20-core 40-thread part. Intel has worked wonders to reduce the impact of this sort of multi-chip arrangement, but it's fair to assume that the Xeon Gold 6246s single-compute-die design, paired with a higher TDP rating that facilitates more aggressive boost clocks, could actually rival the Xeon Gold 6248 in some applications – games included.

We covered the deep dive details of the Cascade Lake chip design in our Intel Xeon Gold 6248 and Xeon Gold 6244 review, so head there for more information on the Xeon Gold 6246's architecture, which is identical to the Xeon Gold 6244.

What this all means is that the Intel Xeon Gold 6246 is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Xeon Gold 6246.

The gaming tests with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti installed in the test system showed the Intel Xeon Gold 6246 was more capable than many might have expected. The basic high-end processor from Intel that can be picked up for $3286 was able to out perform the Epyc 7351 that runs $1100 shipped in the three games we tested on. We know that you can’t test on just three games and declare something the overall victor, but it just goes to show that 12-core processors can still manage to get by today. Being able to play current game titles and stream to Twitch on the Xeon Gold 6246 was something we give playable results, but we were pleasantly surprised. As games become more threaded the ‘value’ in a 12-core processor continues to go down, but you can still get by with something like the Xeon Gold 6246 in a pinch.

With Xeon Gold, Intel continues to innovate on its new architecture and 14nm process. Like Xeon Gold, Intel has engineered Xeon Gold to operate on a 3647 chipset with all the modern amenities of computing. This includes support for DDR4 RAM, the fastest NVMe SSDs and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Now the biggest question is can Intel’s Xeon Gold processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 92% in our benchmarks.

Regardless of those external factors, the Xeon Gold 6246 proves it has the chops to be your main gaming system and a just as effective media creation platform – two things that are becoming intrinsically connected in this age of live-streaming, eSports and uploading gameplay videos.

Which GPU to Pick for Intel Xeon Gold 6246

Below is a comparison of all graphics cards average FPS performance (using an average of 80+ games at ultra quality settings), combined with the Intel Xeon Gold 6246.

GPU Price Cost/Frame Avg 1080p Avg 1440p Avg 4K
NVIDIA TITAN RTX 24GB $2,499 $16.6 150.9 FPS
129.4 FPS
82 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB $1,299 $8.8 146.9 FPS
126 FPS
79.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB $699 $5.2 133.3 FPS
113.2 FPS
71.4 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN V 12GB $2,999 $23.5 127.8 FPS
109.6 FPS
70.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB $699 $5.5 126 FPS
105.9 FPS
66.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB $759 $6.4 118.1 FPS
101 FPS
63.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB $499 $4.3 117.4 FPS
97.5 FPS
61.3 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB $1,199 $10.4 115.8 FPS
97.5 FPS
62.8 FPS
AMD Radeon VII 16GB $699 $6 115.8 FPS
96.8 FPS
60 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB $399 $3.5 112.8 FPS
94.2 FPS
58.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB $499 $4.5 111.3 FPS
91.1 FPS
58.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB $400 $3.8 105.3 FPS
84.8 FPS
53.1 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB $349 $3.4 103.4 FPS
86.4 FPS
53.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB $499 $5 100.4 FPS
82.6 FPS
51.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB $350 $3.5 99.1 FPS
78 FPS
47.9 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB $279 $2.9 97.5 FPS
80.8 FPS
49.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 4GB $1,499 $15.9 94 FPS
76.3 FPS
50.4 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB $499 $5.3 93.8 FPS
78.4 FPS
48.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB $409 $4.4 93 FPS
76.5 FPS
47.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB $999 $11.1 90.4 FPS
73.5 FPS
45.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB $279 $3.2 88.4 FPS
72.8 FPS
45 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB $399 $4.5 87.9 FPS
73.3 FPS
45.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB $399 $4.7 85.6 FPS
69.8 FPS
42.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB $229 $2.7 83.4 FPS
68.7 FPS
42.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB $649 $8.2 78.7 FPS
64.4 FPS
39.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB $220 $2.8 78.5 FPS
64.6 FPS
39.9 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB $279 $3.7 74.5 FPS
59.5 FPS
36 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY X 4GB $649 $9.1 71.5 FPS
61.2 FPS
38.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB $160 $2.3 68.4 FPS
56.1 FPS
34.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 8GB $199 $2.9 67.7 FPS
54.1 FPS
32.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB $549 $8.1 67.5 FPS
54.6 FPS
34 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB $229 $3.5 66 FPS
52.7 FPS
31.7 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB $649 $10 65 FPS
54.7 FPS
34.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK 6GB $999 $15.9 63 FPS
50.6 FPS
32.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY 4GB $549 $8.9 61.4 FPS
51.5 FPS
32.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB $254 $4.2 61.2 FPS
49.3 FPS
30.5 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 4GB $169 $2.8 60.7 FPS
48.6 FPS
29.2 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390X 8GB $429 $7.3 59.1 FPS
49.4 FPS
30.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB $170 $2.9 58.1 FPS
46.9 FPS
29 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB $329 $5.8 57.2 FPS
45.6 FPS
29.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB $400 $7.2 55.6 FPS
46 FPS
29.1 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390 8GB $329 $6 55.2 FPS
45.1 FPS
26.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB $169 $3.1 54.5 FPS
44.5 FPS
26.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB $149 $2.9 52.1 FPS
42.5 FPS
26.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB $179 $3.7 48.6 FPS
39.9 FPS
24.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380X 4GB $229 $5.6 40.9 FPS
33.2 FPS
20.9 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB $249 $6.8 36.7 FPS
29.9 FPS
17.7 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB $199 $5.5 36.4 FPS
29.6 FPS
17.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB $169 $4.7 35.9 FPS
29.3 FPS
18.1 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB $279 $7.8 35.6 FPS
29.2 FPS
17 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB $199 $5.7 35.1 FPS
28.4 FPS
17.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB $169 $5.5 30.6 FPS
24.7 FPS
15 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB $99 $3.5 28.3 FPS
22.6 FPS
13.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB $159 $5.7 27.7 FPS
22.1 FPS
13.9 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB $149 $5.5 27.2 FPS
20.8 FPS
13.2 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB $149 $5.5 27 FPS
20.1 FPS
12.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB $140 $5.6 25 FPS
20 FPS
12.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB $149 $6.2 24.1 FPS
17.2 FPS
11 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB $79 $4 19.7 FPS
15.9 FPS
9.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB $79 $4.2 18.8 FPS
15.1 FPS
8.9 FPS
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