Intel Xeon 5100 and 5300 receive minor enhancements

Intel has issued a new product change notification (PDF), or PCN, to partners in regards to dual and quad-core Xeon stepping changes. The stepping change brings the dual and quad-core Intel Xeon 5100 Woodcrest and 5300 Clovertown processors to stepping G0. G0 introduces energy efficiency and virtualization enhancements.

Stepping G0 reduces power consumption during C1E halt states. Intel does not state how much less power stepping G0 processors consume in idle states except “some amount.” Intel improves VT technology in stepping G0.

The enhancements include:
  • APIC Task Priority Register (TPR) Virtualization
  • NMI-window exiting
  • Advanced VM-exit information for INS & OUTS
All stepping G0 processors will receive new CPUIDs. The Clovertown CPUID will change from 06F7 to 06FB while Woodcrest changes from 06F6 to 06FB. Stepping G0 processors will also receive new SSPEC numbers.

Stepping G0 processors will require a BIOS update with new microcode for proper identification. However, with the proper microcode update, users should be able to mix and match processor steppings in multi-processor configurations.

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