The spunky chip designers at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) just launched the company's latest line of GPU work horses, claiming the new FirePro parts are the fastest workstation graphics cards the world has ever seen. Leading the pack is AMD's FirePro W9000, a $3,999 graphics solution that offers 4 TFLOPS of single precision floating point performance, 1 TFLOP double precision, and a GPU that's capable of pumping out 1.95 billion triangles per second.
Hoping to upend Apple’s Mac Pro cart, Dell said its new Precision 7500 dual Nehalem Xeon workstations will pack up to six times the amount of RAM and at higher speeds than are available with today’s hottest Apple machines.
Users can get to the 192GB mark by stuffing 12 16GB DIMMs into the Precision T7500’s chassis. Dell said the RAM speeds are also increased thanks to support for DDR3/1333. The Precision will use registered ECC RAM for high density configurations. The new chips will also mark the end of FB-DIMM in the dual processor Xeon lineup.
FB-DIMM’s, which use a small and wickedly hot memory controller on each DIMM to buffer the signals, have long been dinged for massive thermal issues and latency penalties. Dell officials said people’s feelings on FB-DIMM aside, it did get the previous generation of CPUs to the RAM densities people needed. One of the primary justifications for FB-DIMM was the density issue on DDR2 but Dell officials said the 192GB mark for DDR3 was not a major technical hurdle in itself. Keeping it cool and keeping acoustics acceptable was a problem, but Dell said it has it under control.
Bandwidth and compute performance of the dual Nehalems leave the previous design in the dust, Dell said. Like the Core i7, the top-end Nehalem Xeons will feature 8MB of L3 cache, 6.4GT/s QPIs, and support Turbo Mode and Hyper-Threading. The Xeon’s will also support something called Direct Cache Access which lets single-threaded applications subsume all of the available shared L3 cache when it’s not being used by other threads.
Intel claims that the X25E can increase the performance of servers, workstations, and storage systems by 100 times over hard drives, if measured in terms of Input/Output per Second (IOPS).
The 32GB SSD, which Intel claims can reduce energy costs by five times, boasts of 35,000 read IOPS and 3,300 write IOPS. The official press release pegged the maximum read speed at 250 MB/s and maximum write speeds at 170 MB/s respectively.
The 32GB version is out now and carries a price tag of $695. The production of the 64GB version will begin in first quarter of 2009.