The Best Server CPUs part 2: the Intel "Nehalem" Xeon X5570by Johan De Gelas on March 30, 2009 3:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- IT Computing
Pricing steers most of the purchasing decisions so let's look at how the best server CPUs from Intel and AMD compare. We compare the 45nm "Nehalem" Xeon with the 45nm "Shanghai" Opteron.
|Intel Xeon model||Speed (GHz) / TDP (W)||Price||AMD Opteron model||Speed (GHz)||Price|
|X5570||2.93 / 95W||$1386|
|X5560||2.80 / 95 W||$1172|
|X5550||2.66 / 95W||$958||2389||2.9 / 75-115W||$989|
|2387||2.8 / 75W||$873|
|E5540||2.53 / 80W||$744||2384||2.7 / 75-115W||$698|
|E5530||2.4 / 80W||$530||2382||2.6 / 75-115W||$523|
|L5520||2.26 / 60W||$530||2376 HE||2.3 / 55-79W||$575|
|L5510||2.13/ 60W||$423||2374 HE||2.2 / 55-79W||$450|
|E5520||2.26||$373||2380||2.5 / 75-115W||$377|
|E5506||2.13||$266||2378||2.4 / 75-115W||$255|
|E5502||1.86||$188||2376||2.3 / 75-115W||$174|
A few interesting observations can be made. First, AMD's 45nm process is a lot healthier than the 65nm process. Only a few months after the introduction of a 2.7GHz part, AMD is not only capable of boosting the clock speed to 2.9GHz but it does so without increasing the TDP. It is also interesting that AMD CPUs are covering a very narrow clock speed band at 75W from 2.4GHz to 2.9GHz. This indicates that AMD is really getting some good clock speeds out of the 45nm CPUs. This is a huge contrast with what we saw in 2007 and the first half of 2008. We were used to seeing AMD stuck at 2.3GHz, and those clock speeds are now all low energy parts.
AMD recognizes that Intel has the faster micro architecture and positions the 2.9GHz Shanghai at the level of the X5550. Intel is untouchable at the high-end but leaves AMD some chances at the low end. It positions a 1.86GHz without any Hyper-Threading or Turbo mode against a 2.3GHz chip. Unfortunately, those chips are not in our lab so we can't draw any conclusions.