Intel Debuts New Xeon 5500 Series Processors

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News Posted: Tue, Mar 31 2009 7:42 AM

Apple may have secured them first, but Intel's 17 newest enterprise-class processors are finally available for all that care to grab them. As we saw yesterday with Lenovo's announcement, Intel's freshest Xeon chips (previously referred to as "Nehalem") are now available to other OEMs and channel partners, and given the depth and breadth of this new class, it'll probably take awhile for you to fully digest the news. Led by the Xeon 5500 Series, these new chips are hailed as the outfit's "most revolutionary server processors since addressing the market with the Intel Pentium Pro processor almost 15 years ago" -- a pretty bold statement.



Just how exactly are these things revolutionary? For starters, they can automatically adjust to specified energy usage levels, not to mention Turbo Boost (which increases system performance based on the user's workload and environment, dynamically boosting the clock speed of one or more of the individual processing cores), Hyper-Threading, integrated power gates and Next-Generation Intel Virtualization Technology (VT). The new 5500 Series has already set 30 new world computing records and established new standards for two-socket performance while delivering gains of more than double the previous-generation Intel Xeon processor 5400 series. These also offer triple the memory bandwidth of previous server processors, and on the green front, they offer automated energy efficiency enhancements, providing users with greater control of their energy expenditures.



For server applications, processor frequencies peak at 2.93 GHz with DDR3 memory speeds up to 1333 MHz and power levels of from 60 to 95 watts. Throw in Turbo Boost, and you could see operating frequencies up to 3.33 GHz, depending on the processor and system configuration.  Starting today, more than 230 unique systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series are expected to be announced by more than 70 system manufacturers around the world -- including a new Intel customer, Cisco, along with Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems and others.

Curious about those dollar signs? The 5500 line ranges from $188 to $1,600 in quantities of 1,000, while the single-socket Intel Xeon processor 3500 series ranges from $284 to $999 in quantities of 1,000. Have a look at an introductory video below, and click each of the thumbnail images for a larger rendition.



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Wow, that Pentium Pro brings back old memories. I had one of those in a desktop running Windows 95 way back in the day.

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djw746 replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:22 PM

Talk about your server upgrades.  Considering there are yeilds as much as 93% faster than last generations intel server while using much less energy.  This is a monster upgrade, but for a pretty penny (or several hundred thousand).  Props to Intel for manhandling the performance crown and leaving AMD to shout that performance is not the only thing...

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ice91785 replied on Wed, Apr 1 2009 12:25 AM

93% can't be real world performance increases -- that is just TOO good to be true.

But really every generation will be the the "greatest and most important release ever!"

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