More processing power has long been the focus of the processor giants, but times are changing. Performance per Watt is the focus for both AMD & Intel for the foreseeable future.

In October of this year, Intel invited AnandTech to its Jones Farm Campus in Portland Oregon. The purpose of the visit was to get a detailed overview of their roadmap for the next year, and to take a close look at the Bensley platform. Bensley is the code name for Intel's new Xeon platform, which will support both Dempsey and Woodcrest processors and a new chipset, code-named Blackford. Demspey is going to take us well into Q2 of next year, and Woodcrest will appear sometime in the second half of next year. Woodcrest will be a lower wattage part that is focused on performance per Watt.

Dempsey is the processor that we're going to take a look at in this article. What we'll be showing benchmarks on is a pre-production Bensley platform. Performance may differ once the platform reaches production status. The key features of Dempsey are: dual-core support, 65nm fabrication and an Independent L2 2MB Cache (2x2MB). Intel will release three variations of the Dempsey processor: a 1066 MHz FSB (130W) version that is the "Performance" version, a 1066 MHz FSB (95W) version that is a rack-optimized part (perf/power for rack density) and a 667 MHz FSB (95W) value version.

The Blackford chipset is all new for Xeon, and addresses one of the main bottlenecks that we've seen in previous Xeon chipsets, front side-bus. Blackford uses a dual independent bus architecture operating at 1066MHz. Memory is now FBD-DDR2 (Fully Buffered DIMM) running at 533MHz, which offers up to 17GB/s of memory bandwidth.

Bensley Platform Diagram

The future is performance per Watt.
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Furen - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I must say that performance is very good on these (seriously). The cost may be a bit prohibitive (then again, decent servers are always expensive as hell) since it introduces FB-DIMMs (and 4 channels for this performance). Also, I would like to see someone test these at a 667 FSB just to see how much of a choke point it becomes, since every Dempsey besides the top end 3.46GHz one will use this (I think).
  • Beenthere - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Intel holds a Dog & Pony Show for some hand picked journalists it feels will be "Intel friendly" as a result of getting the "scoop" over the mainstream PC media on Intel products as far as three years off. Then Intel proceeds to provide prototype CPUs for testing months if not years before they will actually be available. What a manipulation of the media and public opinion.

    This is damage control in action folks. Intel is desperate to save face and as many customers as it can while it hopelessly tries to deliver some competitive product in a year or two. The problem is AMD is so far ahead in technology, they can just release better CPUs any time they desire and Intel has nothing to counter AMD's superior products. Even the Intel fanboys and "media friendly journalists" have had to admit that purchasing an Intel product now or in the foreseeable future would be a very poor investment.

    The bad situation Intel is in couldn't happen to a nicer, more deserving company IMNHO.
  • ElJefe - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Bensley. thats a gay name.

    The chip does nicely though.

    i hope opteron makes something nicer. i mean, just increase the speed .2ghz on the chip and it will most likely blow it away and still not be power hungry.


  • Brian23 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The cost per month is wrong.


    The intel chip pulls 479W at 100% load.
    In 24 hours, that's 24*479 = 11496W/d
    Assume 31 days in a month, thats 11496*31 = 356,376W/m = 356kWh/month
    Assume 14 cents per kWh 356*0.14 = $49.89 dollars per month
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Actually I think I agree with you.

    1 kWH = 3,600,000J

    Worse Case Scenario
    479W = 479J in 1 Second, 1,724,400J in 1 Hour, 41,385,600J in 1 Day, 1,282,953,600J in 31 Days.

    Divide by 1 kWH = 3,600,000
    = 356.376kWH

    Multiply by 0.14/kWH
    = $49.89 Per month, the above poster is correct.
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The actual difference between running 40 Opteron Systems & 40 Bensley Systems for 1 Year @ 40-60% Load comes to a difference of $5890.4 ~ 1/10 the amount Anandtech reports.
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Disregard, used money figures of 172 and 292 for Wattage Oops :P.
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    In regard to $5000 ish figure.
  • Furen - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The difference is around $8140 for 40-60% load (which is realistic) and around $10,500 ($23,500 compared to around $13,500) for full load.

    The problem, however, is that the system's power consumption is not the only thing a data center deals with. The more power the system uses, the more heat it throw off. Energy consumption for cooling can match the system's power consumption. Another thing to take into account is the AC-DC and DC-AC power conversion inefficiencies (this is before even hitting the system's power supply, which will lead to even more inefficiency) which will probably add another 20-30% to the real power consumption. So instead of having a difference of $8140 you end up with a difference of $19,536, and that's assuming that you don't need to purchase any new equipment aside from the 40 servers themselves. Another VERY important thing is power density. You could conceivably throw 64 1U systems onto a single rack using Opterons, with a ~17KW peak power draw, but 64 1U Benseley systems would require a peak power draw of ~31KW, not to mention that it's probably very stupid to stick 2 Dempseys into a 1U system (but hey, I'd say the same thing about sticking 4 dual-core Opterons onto a 1U system but people still do it).

    That is not to say that Anandtech's data is right, 'cause it isn't. I just wanted to point out that though measuring power consumption in itself is important, trying to draw conclusions from the power consumption BY ITSELF is not very useful, since it ignored all other related costs and limitations.
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    How does a difference of $8140 increase to $19,536 which is an increae of over 130%?

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now