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New generation Xeons appear

IDF Spring 007 Two Penryns in a Stoakley, please?
Mon Apr 16 2007, 22:10
NO, THAT IS NOT SOME new Scottish pub drink / meal combo request - Intel's first global IDF held just south of the Great Wall of China has some new stuff showcased.

And, that includes the first working dual-socket, dual-FSB workstations based on the new Stoakley platform, using the FSB1600 Seaberg chipset, a follow-on to the Greencreek. Oh yes, at least two of them ran Penryn-based successors to the current Clovertown quad-core CPU.


The systems (two Intel white / black boxen and two HP xw8600 workstations) ran various apps including 3-D CAD on dual-screen HP setups. I checked one of the machines, and the Properties in My Computer tab gave me this (see photo): 3.2 GHz Pentium III Xeon. Interesting, how it identifies the true roots of Core 2 design, some would say...

There is a massive improvement in PCI-E bandwidth here. The machine demoed had 2 x 16 PCI-E slots, capable of supporting 5 Gbit/s PCI-E v 2 protocol. Good enough for any kind of SLI or Crossfire shot at them, at least this year.

However, looks like FB-DIMMs are still the feature, or burden, of the new chipset. I don't know if that's smart, knowing that besides the latency and power consumption questions, FB-DIMMs don't even have an 800 MHz version suitable for in-sync matching with the FSBs and lower overall latency.


As for the rest, here is the info in pics - interestingly though, Intel is now for the first time unveling brand new product data in Chinese first - so, get ready to pick up the world's next official lingo?


Sources say the chipset latency was nevertheless substantially improved by Intel, so let's see how much real problem is with FB-DIMMs then - if it was me, I'd have four DDR2-800 low-latency channels, with ECC optional. Yes, FB-DIMMs can theoretically give you 128 GB capacity, but I guess, for most workstation users, 16 GB in eight pieces of fast CL3 DDR2 DIMMs would be just the right deal for 2007. µ


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