updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue September 5, 2006
Intel "Tulsa" Xeon CPU
Intel is trying to regain marketshare from rival AMD with higher-performance Xeon chips, although the new chips are not quite as power-efficient as its AMD rival's Opteron or as its previous-generation "Woodcrest" chips used in Apple's recently announced Mac Pro workstations. Introduced last week, the eight new dual-core Intel Xeon 7100 series processors are specifically designed for performance-oriented multi-processor servers, although the line does include a lower-power, 95 watt options that can reduce associated energy costs. Intel says the Dual-Core Intel Xeon 7100 processor series offers up to twice (2x) the performance and nearly three times (3x) better performance per watt over previous Intel Xeon MP processors--in part because of its large 16MB Level-3 cache. Intel said that servers based on the Dual-Core Xeon 7100 series processors are expected to be available from more than 40 system manufacturers worldwide now; however, Apple previously announced that its new Intel-based Xserve server platform, due in October, will use the 64-bit "Woodcrest" Xeon processor.
The "Tulsa" Xeon is based on Intel older NetBurst architecture, while the recently announced "Woodcrest" Xeon used Intel's newer Core architure. The NetBurst architecture includes features such as "Hyper Pipelined Technology" and "Rapid Execution Engine." Intel has previously said that the Tulsa chips will be the last chips to use the legacy architecture.
Using the SPECjbb 2005 benchmark, the Fujitsu-Siemens PRIMERGY RX630 S3 server--based on the Dual-Core Intel Xeon 7140M processor--broke the previous record with a score of 178,201 business operations per second, while the Dell PowerEdge 6800 server based on the Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor 71400M also broke another world record by scoring 16,320 QphH4 using the TPC-H benchmark, which measures database performance.
Built on Intel's 65nm manufacturing process, the Dual-Core Intel Xeon 7100 series processors boast more than 1.3 billion transistors and 16MB of shared cache in an architecture that features Intel Cache Safe Technology for optimal reliability. The architecture supports systems with up to 32 processors.