Intel Launches New Xeon CPUs, Mac Pro Refresh Next

Semiconductor giant Intel has released a number of Xeon server chips, which it reckons, could pay back for themselves within five months and boost performance improvements of up to 60 percent compared to the previous generation.

A whopping 15 new processors have been launched in the Xeon 5600 range (ed : we could only see 12 of them on the specs list). The new chips are all built using Intel's 32-nm manufacturing process, the same as the Core iX series that have been recently launched and are based on the same Westmere architecture.

Furthermore, they have 12MB L3 cache, sport the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) which are two widespread server-oriented security solutions that will dramatically improve the speed at which data is encrypted or decrypted.

The top of the range X5680 will have a base frequency of 3.33GHz, going up to 3.6GHz and a TDP of 130W. It will have six cores and will handle up to 12 threads concurrently.

At the other end of the spectrum, the L5630 will feature a clock speed of 2.13GHz but have a TDP of only 40W by reducing the number of cores to four (eight threads).

The new 5600 replace the older Nehalem-based chips - with whom they share the same socket - and use 30 percent less power and the X5670 provides a 40 percent improvement over its X5570 when it comes to performance per watt.

Our Comments

Intel's new processors come ahead of AMD's expected release later this month of the new Magny-cours 12-core Opteron processor and a few hours later, of the more Nehalem-EX Xeon with eight cores and support for up to 16 DDR3 modules per CPU socket.

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