Intel Rolls Out 65W, 6-core Xeon 7400 Processors

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Intel this week began rolling out its new line of Xeon processors targeted toward server markets. The new Xeon 7400 series features four- and six-core configurations designed to be used in systems with at least four processors and is targeted largely toward data centers and, in particular, virtualization applications.

The new Xeon 7400 series, based on Intel's 45 nanometer high-k process (PDF), offers both performance improvements and improved energy efficiency, according to information released by Intel. With 16 MB of shared level-3 cache and clock speeds of 2.66 GHz, the 7400 series' performance improvements are up to 50 percent compared with previous-generation chips. A Dell PowerEdge R900 using four 7400s (24 processing cores) running VMware ESX server 3.5 scored a record VMmark result of 18.49. Further performance data can be found here.

In terms of energy efficiency, the processors use as little as about 11 watts per core, or 65 watts total for the six-core version and 50 watts for the quad-core version. In practical terms, this translates to a 10 percent maximum reduction in power consumption for a four-socket design using six-core processors in virtualization applications.

"The arrival of these processors extends Intel's lead in the high-end server segment," said Tom Kilroy, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, in a statement released Monday. "This new processor series helps IT manage increasingly complex enterprise server environments, providing a great opportunity to boost the scalable performance of multi-threaded applications within a stable platform infrastructure. With new features such as additional cores, large shared caches and advanced virtualization technologies, the Xeon 7400 series delivers record-breaking performance that will lead enterprises into the next wave of virtualization deployments."

Intel said that beginning this week, some 50 manufacturers around the world are expected to announce new servers based on the Xeon 7400 series, including Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hitachi, HP, IBM, NEC, Sun, Supermicro, and Unisys in the category of quad-socket rack servers; Egenera, HP, Sun, and NEC in the category of quad-socket blade servers; and IBM, NEC, and Unisys in the category of servers that offer up to 16 sockets, for up to 96 processing cores.

Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, and VMware are supporting the new processors on the software side.

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About the author:David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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