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Dual-core, quad-core and processors with 24MB of cache; Intel is determined to take the top spot for servers

At the Intel Developer Forum a few weeks ago, Intel got the attention of the PC community by demonstrating its next-generation CPU architecture: Core. It almost seemed as though Intel's other products and technologies were being overshadowed by Conroe and Core, which won't be released for several months still.

On the server-side, Intel has an equally impressive lineup. For the enterprise segment, Intel's dual-core Itanium 2 MP is currently taking the top spot. Based on the Montecito core, the Itanium 2 9000 family brings 533MHz FSB to the table, which is less than the Itanium 2 9M, but with L3 cache options all the way up to a whopping 24MB. All Itanium 2 9000 series support Virtualization technology. The Itanium 2 9000 family is reserved for situations where clustering and mainframe environments are needed. Supporting up to 512-way configurations, Intel is hoping that Itanium 2 9000 will keep it leading in the high-end enterprise market.

Intel Itanium Processor Roadmap
Processor
Brand
Processor
No.

Core /
FSB
Cache Launch
Date
Price @
Launch
Itanium 2 (Dual Core)
(Montecito)
9050
1.60GHz /
533MHz
24MB Q2'06 $3,690
Itanium 2 (Dual Core)
(Montecito)
9040
1.60GHz /
533MHz
18MB Q2'06 $1,980
Itanium 2 (Dual Core)
(Montecito)
9030
1.60GHz /
533MHz
2MB Q2'06 $1,550
Itanium 2 (Dual Core)
(Montecito)
9020
1.42GHz /
533MHz
12MB Q2'06 $910
Itanium 2 (Single Core)
(Montecito)
9010
1.60GHz /
533MHz
6MB Q2'06 $700

For entry level and mid-range configurations, Intel is letting its dual-core Xeon family drive the market through into 2007. Running at 800MHz FSB, current Xeon processors are based on the Paxville core, which supports 4-way and 8-way system configurations. In Q4'06, Intel will be introducing Xeon processors based on the Tulsa core. The new core will support the same configurations as Paxville but offer 16MB L3 cache options.

Intel Xeon Processor Roadmap
Processor
Brand
Processor
No.

Core /
FSB
Cache Launch
Date
Price @
Launch
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-0)
5160   3.0GHz /
1333MHz
4MB Q3'06 $850
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-1)
5150   2.66GHz /
1333MHz
4MB Q3'06 $690
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-2)
5140   2.33GHz /
1333MHz
4MB Q3'06 $455
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-3)
5130   2.0GHz /
1333MHz
4MB Q3'06 $320
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-4)
5120   1.86GHz /
106MHz
4MB Q3'06 $260
Xeon Processor DP
(Woodcrest Bin-5)
5110   1.60GHz /
1066MHz
4MB Q3'06 $210
Xeon Processor DP
(Dempsey Bin-0)
5080   3.73GHz /
1066MHz
2x2MB Q2'06 $850
Xeon Processor DP
(Dempsey Bin-??)
5070   3.46GHz /
1066MHz
2x2MB Q2'06 $690
Xeon Processor DP
(Dempsey Bin-3)
5060   3.2GHz /
1066MHz
2x2MB Q2'06 $455
Xeon Processor DP
(Dempsey Bin-5)
5050   3.0GHz /
667MHz
2x2MB Q2'06 $320

The Xeon MP 7000 series, Paxville based CPUs, will be also coexist with the new Xeon 5000 family, which is based on the Dempsey core. Dempsey focuses more on power usage, especially that now a lot of companies are talking about performance-per-watt. Xeon processors based on Bensley platform  (Xeon 5000) will be introduced in Q3'06, with support for 1333MHz FSB and will be stacked under the Xeon 5000 family. 
The push to the 1333MHz FSB will also coincide with platform adoption of FB-DIMM and Core.

Coming in Q1'07, Intel will introduce Kentsfield, a quad-core processor for the desktop segment, which will actually be close to the same time that Merom is released. The server version of this CPU, Clovertown, appears on the roadmaps at the same time; Q1'07. Our Intel roadmaps seem to hint that Kentsfield may also make an appearance as a workstation CPU and not just an ultimate gamer "Extreme Edition" processor. 

Both AMD and Intel will be doing a lot of work on multi-core processors in 2007, but clearly the interest lies in what happens near the end of 2006. After all is said and done however, 2007 will ultimately determine whether or not the announcements made this year are worth waiting for.


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RE: Why dont you buy one
By hstewarth on 4/1/2006 4:07:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And tell me if it's conroe or not?


The woodcrest Xeon 51xx are the server versions of conroe.. but they should not be exactly the same as the desktop chips. They support dual CPU configurations and conroe does not all. Also they have 771 socket which I believe is different than the conroes. Also support dual-independent bus. The bus also appears faster on the Woodcrest 1333Mhz instead of 1066mhz. Also I believe the conroes don't support same ram - which means that woodcrest system should allow more ram than the conroe system.

Woodcrest is NOT Netburst.. but use the same technolog as the conroe. Much lower power and faster performance for speed on the clock. Woodcrest is suppose to be 80% (1.8x) then 2.8Ghz dual core Xeon.

I believe the Conroe XE ( Extreme edition ) is basically a Woodcrest processor fitted for desktop. So in some ways you can think of dual woodcrest system as 2 conroe XE working together.


RE: Why dont you buy one
By francism on 4/2/2006 7:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe the Conroe XE ( Extreme edition ) is basically a Woodcrest processor fitted for desktop. So in some ways you can think of dual woodcrest system as 2 conroe XE working together.

The same way Dempsey resembles Presler XE... both are almost identical except that the former is validated for DP config. By employing an agressive pricing structure Intel has made its upcoming DP offerings more attractive than ever. Its current dual-core server cpu lineup is simply pathetic and has eased AMD in justifying charging a premium on the Opterons. The Woodcrest will most likely offer a superior price/performance ratio (as well as performance/watt) and help Intel turn the table around.


RE: Why dont you buy one
By hstewarth on 4/2/2006 12:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. I believe a more agressive prices will allow more people that would not normally purchase Xeon class would do so now. I have other reason why I am planning on it, but it sure helps.

Also more competive pricing and performance in the long term should lower the price even more.

I hope this pricing is not just the cpu, but the moterboards and other components. The SAS document on Supermicro site is really exciting.. I hope it means that Serial SCSI will be lower in price. Lower price will surely mean that more people would thinking about purchasing it.


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