We’ve been waiting ages for Intel to add 64bit support to its arsenal (AMD has had it for over 18 months), but once it began the changeover last month boy has it spread like wildfire. Consequently, just 34 days since its first 64bit enabled products hit the market, the CPU giant has completed its offerings today with a new 64bit server platform called “Truland”.
Truland is Intel’s first multiprocessor (MP) server platform to support Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T - its version of 64bit), but that is not all it brings to the table. Other innovations include PCI Express and DDR2-400 memory support and the incorporation of its power saving SpeedStep technology.
The first chipset to be based on the Truland specification is the E8500 (see diagram below) which has support for dual core processors (including “Paxville”, the upcoming dual core Xeon MP CPU), a 667MHz front side bus and is designed with 10.6GB of system bandwidth (roughly triple the amount of the previous generation). Among the software instructions included on the E8500 is the company’s own Virtualization Technology which allows a system to run multiple operating systems and applications on independent partitions.
As for the first Truland designed processors, Intel has two new lines: The Performance and Value ranges. Looking at the high end, Intel claims we can expect to see performance increases of up to 70 per cent (see below). The switch over to 64bit will have a big influence on this, but another key factor is the potential to ramp up Level 3 (L3) cache to a massive 8MB.
These speed increases come with a significant price to pay, however, with the top level 3.33Ghz and 3GHz, 8MB L3 Xeons coming in at $3,692 and $1,980 respectively (and that is in 1,000 unit quantities). This drops to $1,177 in the same numbers if you pick up the 2.83GHz CPU with 4MB L3.
For those with shallower pockets, the Value range (1MB L2 cache) will set buyers back $963 and $722 for 3.66GHz and 3.16GHz models respectively in identical quantities. Intel did not specify what performance gains we can expect from these.
Like just about everything Intel announces, it's all scooting out the door as we speak.