Back in January at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Intel was showing off a rig in their booth dubbed the "V8". It was essentially a dual-socket workstation platform outfitted with a pair of quad-core Xeon processors for a total of eight cores - hence the 'V8'. In their demo, Intel ran the CPU benchmark built into 3DMark06 and as was evident in the signage over the rig, proudly boasted that it was capable of a CPU score of 6,089 points. Today we've actually got the parts in house to assemble a similar rig, but ours is configured with considerably more powerful hardware...
What you're looking at here is one of Intel's workstation-class S5000XVN dual-socket motherboards, coupled to a pair of Xeon X5365 processors, 4GB of Samsung DDR2-667 FBDIMMs, and a GeForce 8800 GTX. The motherboard is based on Intel's 5000X chipset and the processors are clocked at 3.0GHz a piece, riding on a 1.33GHz front side bus. We did some preliminary testing on this rig and wanted to share some of the juicy details with you before our full article is complete. These tests were run on Windows XP Professional SP2, with the latest Intel chipset and NVIDIA Forceware graphics drivers installed.
If you flip through the SiSoft SANDRA screenshots above you see just how much raw horsepower is lurking under this rig's hood. The Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia benchmark scores are more than double those of a Core 2 Duo QX6800. And the Memory Bandwidth benchmark reported maximum bandwidth scores in the neighborhood of 4GB/s, which is low by today's standards and about 1GB/s off the mark set by the QX6800.
We also ran a default 3DMark06 test and a multi-threaded Cinebench v9.5 benchmark on this rig and were thoroughly impressed. The overall 3Dmark06 score was 13,002 (SM2.0=5,104 / HDR & SM3.0=4,932); the CPU score was 6,556 - almost 500 points higher than the rig Intel was showing off at CES. And the rig completed the Cinebench rendering pass in only 10 seconds, which is about 4-5 seconds faster then a quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6800.
We'll be doing more extensive testing in our full evaluation, but couldn't resist putting up some of these images and benchmark scores to whet all of your appetites. A rig like this is probably outside the realm of what most enthusiasts think about when designing their own systems, but Content Creation and Multimedia Production professionals would be chomping at the bit for this puppy.