What Intel is Offering

So what are Intel newest offerings and how do they compare to AMD? First, since power consumption is more important in servers than in high-end desktops, Intel selects the 2.93GHz Nehalems with the lowest power consumption (less than or equal to 95W TDP) and sells them in the server market. The 95W-130W TDP parts are for the desktop market. There is a 3.2GHz Xeon W5580 at 130W, but it's only targeted at the workstation market.

Processor Speed and Cache Comparison
Xeon model Speed (GHz) Max. Turbo Max. Turbo
4 cores busy
L3 Cache (MB) TDP (W)
X5570 2.93 3.33GHz 3.2GHz 8MB 95
X5560 2.8 3.2GHz 3.066GHz 8MB 95
X5550 2.66 3.066GHz 2.93GHz 8MB 95
E5540 2.53 2.8GHz 2.66GHz 8MB 80
E5530 2.4 2.66GHz 2.53GHz 8MB 80
L5520 2.26 2.4GHz 2.33GHz 8MB 60
L5510 2.13 No turbo No Turbo 4MB 60
E5520 2.26 2.4GHz 2.33GHz 8MB 80
E5506 2.13 No turbo No Turbo 4MB 80
E5504 2 No turbo No Turbo 4MB 80
E5502 1.86 No turbo No Turbo 4MB 80

Notice that the fastest 95W parts are able to boost their frequency with two 133MHz increments even if all four cores are busy. In reality, we have noticed that with most business workloads a 2.93GHz Xeon X5570 is running at 3.066 most of the time and from time to time even at 3.2GHz, but relatively rarely at 2.93GHz. In other words, you get a bit more clock speed than advertised. In rendering we noticed that peaking at 3.2GHz was rather rare, so the workload really determines how high the CPU will clock.

 


1366 pads make contact with the new Xeon motherboards

 

The E5520 to E5540 Xeons boost their clock speed by only one increment if all cores are busy. The E550x versions are really the low end: they get no Hyper-Threading (SMT) nor are they able to boost their clock speed (Turbo mode).

Index Testing Methodology
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  • usamaah - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Is it me or is page 2 of this article missing some information? The title of that 2nd page is "What Intel and AMD are Offering," but in the body of the text there are only descriptions of Intel's Xeon chips? Perhaps a new title to reflect the body, or add AMD info? Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    I moved the AMD vs Intel pricing data to the back of the article as the pricing info is more interesting once you have seen the results. But forgot to change the title.. fixed. Thanks. Reply
  • usamaah - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Cool, thank you. Next time I'll finish reading the article before I make a comment, sorry ;-) Anyway wonderful article. Reply
  • Ipatinga - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Very nice to see a comparison over some generations of Xeon platform, including the new one (yet to be released).

    I would like to see a new article with Core i7 vs Xeon 5500... to check out if my Core i7 @ 3,7GHz is good enough in Maya 2009 (Windows XP 64bit, 12GB DDR3), or if a Xeon 5500 (each at 2,4GHz, for instance) in dual processor configuration will be a much better buy.
    Reply

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