Intel rolled out today a new range of Sandy-bridge based Xeon processor, the E5-2600, aimed at data centers and boosts what Intel says, is the best "data center performance per watt".
The company claims that the E5-2600 performs on average 80 per cent faster than the previous generation Intel Xeon processor 5600 series thanks to a series of tweaks (remember that the E5 series is a Tick in Intel's lingo, rather than a Tock).
The E5-2600 family consists of 17 SKUs with clock speeds ranging form 1.8GHz to 3.3GHz with TDP's going form 70W to a rather warm 150W, scaling from four cores to eight cores and from 10MB L2 cache to 20MB L2 cache.
All the chips support AES-NI encryption/decryption on the chip itself, Virtualization Technology (VT) and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT); the two cheapest parts (E5-2609 and E2603) do not support Turbo Boost or HyperThreading.
Intel also shipped a new server dual socket platform called Romley - with a new C600 Series chipset - to make the most out of the E5-2600 series; the new platform supports up to 16 cores (on two sockets), 768GB RAM, up to ten x8 PCI-Express 3.0 slots and what the Register called "core-to-memory bandwidth ratio" which allows a dual socket Xeon E5-2600 to be pushed 50 percent higher when it comes to memory bandwidth, using memory modules that are 20 per cent slower (1.07GHz vs 1.33GHz).
Johan from Anandtech has put together an excellent article with a battery of benchmarks that show how it fares against the Xeron X5650 and the Opteron 6276.
To paraphrase the reviewer, "it is the fastest server CPU you can get in a reasonably priced server and it blows the competition and the previous Xeon generation away".