Asus, best known for its motherboards and Eee PC lineup, doesn't often tout its rack-mount server products, but perhaps it should. The multifaceted manufacturer on Friday added the new RS300-E6 series to its rack-mount family, pairing Intel's Lynnfield platform in the process.
The new servers utilize Intel's 3420 PCH chipset with the chip maker's socket 1156-based Xeon 3400 series of CPUs. Support for both dual- and quad-core processors comes standard, and Asus says the ES300-E6 series can scale up performance immediately to support high-volume workloads.
Other notables include dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory support, 2+1 I/O expansion feature in the slim 1U form factor, PCI-E x16 and x8 slots, and support for the optional Asus Pike card, which allows for a seamless upgrade to SAS storage.
Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
Call it spring cleaning or just the natural progression of things. Either way, it's out with the old and in with the new, says Intel, who updated its product portfolio this week. To make room for its Nehalem core-based Xeons, the chip maker informed its customers it is phasing out both 65nm Xeon processors built around Conroe, and its newer 45nm chips with a Wolfdale core.
Specifically, the company is taking its axe to the Xeon 3085, 3075, 3065, X3350, and X3320. Final shipments for these chips will take place in January 2010, with final orders being accepted up until October 9, 2009.
By getting rid of the its Core 2-based Xeons, Intel is making room for Nehalem-based Xeon chips, the first of which was introduced last week, 17 new chips in all.
Intel this week launched its new Xeon 5500 series, which were previously known as Nehalem-EP, along with a handful of new mobile Core 2 Duo chips built around the 45nm Penryn core. Following the release, Intel has posted an updated price list reflecting the new CPUs.
Pricing for the new Xeon chips range from $188 for the entry-level E5502 (1.86GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 80W) on up to $1,600 for the flagship W5580 (3.2GHz, 8MB L2 cache, 130W). A total of 12 new 45nm Xeons have been added in all, covering just about every price point.
On the mobile front, four new Core 2 mobile chips have been added, starting with the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 5.3W) for $262. Other chips include the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6GHz, 3MB, 10W) for $289, Core 2 Duo SL9600 (2.13GHz, 6MB, 17W) for $316, and Core 2 Duo SP9600 (2.53GHz, 6MB, 25W) for $316.
Speculation around the chip suggests that it will be Intel’s Nehalem EP processor, a chip designed for dual-socket workstations and servers. The EP, which is scheduled for a release in early 2009, will use Intel’s Quick Path Interconnect, removing all need for a front-side bus and letting more data flow between the processor and the system. It will also feature an integrated memory controller.
Intel has come out about the rumor, stating that although they are presenting 16 papers at the Solid-State Circuits Conference, there is nothing more to share regarding a new Xeon processor. Should the chip be revealed, it will be Intel’s first eight-core processor.
Citing un-named sources at server makers, DigiTimes says Intel plans to launch several quad-core Xeon 5500 and Xeon 3500 Nehalem-based server CPUs and one dual-core Xeon chip in the first quarter of 2009. These include:
The Xeon 5500 series will come with 8MB of L2 cache instead of 12MB, but is expected to be negated by Core i7's QuickPath architecture. The Xeon 3500 series will come with 8MB of L2 cache but will only run in single-socket systems. Prices for the new chips will range from $188 (E5502) on up to $1600 (W5580) for thousand-unit tray quantities.
On the chopping block are seven notebook CPUs, including the Core 2 Extreme X7900 an X7800, and Core 2 Duo T7800 and L7700. These are expected to be phased out in January 2009.
Intel today announced the official release of their Dunnington-based Xeon 7400 server CPU. The six-core chip is monolithic, meaning that all six cores are on one die, and is the first Xeon CPU to sport that design. The previous 7300 series CPU, dubbed Tigerton, was a quad-core processor with two dual-core chips on a single module (like existing quad-core consumer chips). As expected, Dunnington is still of the Penryn architecture (45nm High-K manufacturing process), and will be compatible with current Tigerton Socket 604 motherboards.
Speed-wise, Intel claims a 50% performance increase in the 7400 over the 7300 series CPU based on TPC-E database benchmark testing (TPC-E simulates the online transaction workload of a large brokerage firm). More impressive is Intel’s claim that even with the improved performance, Dunnington’s energy efficiency actually means it uses 10% lower power than the previous generation. The gains are largely attributed to the presence of a new 16MB level-3 cache, in addition to the extra compute power of two more cores. Xeon 7400 CPUs will launch at 2.66Ghz with either four or six core, and will be priced from $856 to $2729.
What does this mean for consumers? Unfortunately, not much. Intel has no current plans to release a six-core CPU to the mainstream market, and few applications would be able to scale well enough to take full advantage of the additional two cores. Intel seems to be pushing Nehalem for the consumer market, which will launch as a quad-core. Dunnington customers – large Web 2.0 companies like Myspace – will be the ones who benefit most from the extra performance and power efficiency, which may enable them to develop compute-intensive features like high-definition video sharing.
More pics of the sizable chip and Intel's press conference after the jump.
While the world looks ahead to Core i7, the first processor sporting the Nehalem architecture, Intel continues to tweak its currently shipping CPUs, this time for the server market. The new Xeon X5492 takes its place as the flagship Xeon processor, bumping the clockspeed from the previous high of 3.2GHz to 3.4GHz. The frontside-bus also gets a boost, settling in at 1.6GHz.
Intel also released the X5470, a slightly slower 3.33GHz part on a 1.33GHz frontside-bus. The lower clockspeeds allow the chip to consume a more modest 120W, compared to the X5492's 150W peak power draw. An even lower power L5430 makes a debut too. Aimed at small-profile desktops, the L5430 sips just 50W at 2.66GHz.
All three quad-core chips are available now with large-batch pricing from $562 (L5430) to $1,493 (X5492).
Intel adds a few processors and drops a few prices this month in it’s CPU line up. There doesn’t appear to be any shakeups from Intel’s expected plans.
Intel's Core 2 Extreme Quad Core line remains unchanged, but in the standard line, the Q9650 joins the line up at the top, while the Q9550 drops 40% from $530 to the Q9450 previous level of $316. The Q9400 is also new, and enters at the same price as the Q9300 and Q6700 (a 65nm process CPU) at $266.
The only other prices changes were in the Xeon line, with the new X3370 coming out and the X3360 dropping 40% to $316.
All prices are in 1000 tray units.
We will certainly see more changes when Intel ships Bloomfield sometime in Q4.
Social networking site Facebook finds itself needing to update its data center infrastructure to support new media applications, and Intel will be the one to help them do it. The two companies on Thursday announced a joint agreement that will see Facebook use "thousands" of Xeon 5400 quad-core processors built on a 45nm manufacturing process.
More than just hardware support, Intel will also work with Facebook to optimize its software for use with the bevy of Xeon chips, giving extra focus to making the software take advantage of the additional processor cores. Moreover, Intel will look to send a message that its microarchitecture can support the massive data centers that will support cloud-computing infrastructures.
"It's a big win for Intel in the general category of web infrastructure and by that I mean categories like cloud computing," said John Spooner, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Facebook has a large computing infrastructure that delivers these types of web services on demand and it requires the same level of service and infrastructure as a cloud-computing provider."
Facebook wouldn't comment on which OEMs would build the new servers, but according to eWeek, multiple sources have confirmed Dell and HP would be involved.