Intel officially kicked off its quad-core era with today’s launch of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (Kentsfield) and the Xeon 5300 series (Cloverton). We covered the spate of Kentsfield reviews that arrived on the scene a couple of weeks ago when the NDAs on the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 were lifted, so check out that article if you want the scoop on Kentsfield.
Like Kentsfield, the Xeon 5300 combines two dual-core CPUs in a single package. Die-level integration—all four cores on a single die—will come sometime in 2007. Cloverton uses the same LGA771 socket as the dual-core Xeon 5100 series (Woodcrest), which means that it should be a drop-in replacement in many systems, including the Mac Pro. Intel’s 5000P and 5000V server chipsets and its 5000X workstation chipset all support the Xeon 5300s.
The Xeon 5300 series debuts in five flavors ranging from 1.60GHz to 2.66GHz. All of but the fastest have a thermal design power (TDP) of 80W; the 2.66GHz X5335 has a TDP of 120W. Pricing (in quantities of 1,000) ranges from $455 for the 1.60GHz E5310 to $1,172 for the aforementioned X5355.
As one would expect, Intel claims that the Xeon 5300 outperforms the dual-core Opterons in every significant benchmark. There isn’t much in the way of independent benchmarking yet, so take Intel’s claims with a grain of salt. AMD plans to introduce a quad-core Opteron in mid-2007 that will have all four cores on a single piece of silicon, making for a more highly integrated chip than the Xeon 5300.
If you can’t wait to get a Xeon 5300 system into your server rack, HP has joined Dell and IBM in announcing Xeon 5300 servers. The HP ProLiant ML 150 G3 tower starts at $2,039, with the DL 140 G3 rackmount beginning at $2,239, and the BL20p G4 blade priced at $2,629.
Level of integrationPackage (MCM)Package (MCM)FormatFour cores per socketFour cores per socketArrival4Q064Q06MemoryDDR2FB-DIMMClock speed2.66GHz1.60-2.66GHzFSB1066MHz1066MHz (1.60-1.86GHz parts), 1333MHz (2.00-2.66GHz)L2 cache8MB8MB (4MB per pair of cores)TDP130W80-120W