Intel already announced a few weeks ago that in the second half of 2007, Intel Xeon processors with 1600MHz FSB will be available. In November of last year, Intel announced that the Greencreek chipset (the workstation version of the Blackford chipset we tested) would be succeeded by the Seaburg chipset. At that time, Seaburg was shown with a 1333 MHz Dual Independent Bus (DIB), but Intel has raised that speed to 1600 MHz.

It seems that the 1600 MHz FSB Xeons and the Seaburg chipset are targeted mostly towards HPC and workstation use. We would expect the 3.2 GHz Xeons to have a higher TDP (120W) than the typical Intel quad core server chips (80W).

Seaburg also supports up to 128GB of RAM, so it is a bit weird to target mostly HPC and workstation application. However, one of the most important improvements compared to Greencreek is the larger, more efficient snoop filter (and more associativity to provide better coverage) in Seaburg. A snoop filter only helps in bandwidth intensive apps as it lowers the amount of bandwidth that cache coherency traffic needs, thus freeing more bandwidth for bandwidth intensive apps. So basically a snoop filter helps in FP and I/O intensive applications.

With a 1333 MHz DIB and 2.66 GHz quad core Xeon x5355, Seaburg is about 5% faster in SpecFP 2000 (base), and about 4% faster in LS Dyna and Fluent. This snoop filter is not available in Blackford, so it shows that Seaburg not only has a faster DIB but also a more efficient one. Another indication that Seaburg is targeted towards the workstation world is that Seaburg supports up to 44 PCIe lanes.

So the newly announced 3 GHz quad core Xeon is a server chip intended to make the life of AMD's Barcelona a bit harder, but the 3.2 GHz Xeons with 1600 MHz DIB will probably be mostly HPC/workstation CPUs. As Intel has decided to increase the DIB speed of their HPC/Workstation chipset and CPUs to 1600 MHz, we may assume that Intel feels that AMD's Barcelona will be a bigger threat as an HPC CPU than as a server CPU.

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  • BikeDude - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I've tried to use SuperMicro's management software in the past and quite frankly it is pure and utter c---.

    Last week I tried HP's management software, and could install the entire OS from a remote location. I could map a .iso image to the blade in question and it booted right up.

    OTOH, as I recall, SuperMicro's remote desktop solution is based on VNC. Where HP lets you remotely access the console from before POST is even run, SuperMicro forces you to first install the OS.

    (We have lots of Tyan and SuperMicro servers, but of course we might've missed something fundamental along the way -- but... HP has a very nice package once the hardware has been hooked up to the power outlet and your network switch)
  • Xenoterranos - Friday, March 30, 2007 - link

    "Enermax showed how much hardware its Galaxy 1000W can power. According to Enermax, the PSU delivered 933 W to 24 80GB hard disks, four Opteron 8212 CPUs, four 3Ware 9650 drive controllers, a GeForce 7600GX and 8GB of RAM (16 x 512MB)."

    ...or 2 GeForce 8800's.
  • yyrkoon - Friday, March 30, 2007 - link


    The only thing missing is an internal SAS controller; the internal disk bays only support SATA. A positive is the fact that two USB ports are available on the front of the server.

    So now we 'need' usb ports on the front of a rack mount server ?! I'd rather have onboard SAS to be honest ;)

    Interresting toys, no doubt.
  • JohanAnandtech - Friday, March 30, 2007 - link

    Well, I find sometimes very handy for installing quickly a driver or a small testprogram etc. Or in some cases to add a USB CDROM, or to make a quick backup on a USB harddisk.

    Do you feel that USB has no use on the front of a server?
  • neogodless - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    I've heard of Home Theatre PC (HTPC) but HPC... is...? Reply
  • laok - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    High Performance Computing Reply
  • Desslok - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    Tyan should have taken the silica bag off that system before showing it off. Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    Hellz no! The silica bag and the inanimate carbon rod are the main reasons people flock to these shows. Reply
  • ravedave - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    So the Barcelona is no longer known as the K8L and is now again being called the K10? When is the launch for this part? Last I saw it was Q1, which is almost over...

  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    AFAIK, the K8L name was never used by AMD: it was invented on the Internet. THe K10 will be launched mid 2007 (that is all AMD says), probably the Summer of 2007 Reply

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