Revised Xeons hit higher speeds, draw less power


— 12:13 AM on September 8, 2008

Although much of the focus in recent weeks has been on upcoming chips based on the next-generation Nehalem microarchitecture, Intel isn't yet finished advancing its Penryn-based 45nm processors, as witnessed by today's introduction of a new revision of its dual-socket Xeon server/workstation-class CPUs. This new E-stepping silicon brings a bit of a clock frequency increase and some minor reductions in power draw to the Harpertown Xeons.

Those changes, of course, mean the chip giant will be offering several new models in the Xeon 5400 series. The fastest of those is the quad-core Xeon X5492, which has a 3.4GHz clock frequency, a 1600MHz front-side bus, and a 150W power/thermal rating (or TDP). With the fast bus, the X5492 requires the use of the Intel 5400 chipset, part of the Stoakley platform aimed primarily at workstations and HPC clusters. The X5492 takes over the top of the Stoakley-oriented Xeon lineup from the X5482, a 3.2GHz chip with a 1600MHz bus. Thanks to the move to E-stepping silicon, the X5482 also gets a nice reduction in TDP from 150W to 120W.

A half step down the ladder, the Xeon X5470 will take over as the top quad-core Xeon intended for the more server-oriented and broadly available Bensley platform. The X5470 features a 3.33GHz clock speed for its four cores, a 1333MHz FSB, and a 120W TDP. Meanwhile, the low-voltage Xeon lineup gets a bit of a speed boost inside of its tighter 50W power envelope in the form of the Xeon L5430, a quad-core chip that runs at 2.66GHz on a 1333MHz bus.

Those folks who run applications with fewer threads may be pleased to learn that Intel hasn't forgotten them, either. The Xeon X5270 will be coming in October, and this dual-core processor will have the fastest frequency in the Xeon line, 3.5GHz, with a TDP of 80W.

Intel says these new chips are its first Xeons to be free of not just lead, but halogen, too. Since the E-stepping chips will supplant current offerings, the whole dual-socket Xeon universe should get just a little bit greener as a result.

The Xeon X5492 will cost $1493 in 1,000-unit volumes, while the X5470 will list for $1386, the X5270 for $1172, and the L5430 for $562.

Intel is claiming the new Xeons break some records in industry-standard benchmarks, as one might expect given the strong performance of its existing models. Rather than quote you those numbers, though, we'll do one better.

 

The new Xeons have made their way into Damage Labs, and review preparations are underway...

 
   
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