updated 10:25 am EDT, Tue March 25, 2008
Intel 45nm LP Quad Xeons
Intel today used little fanfare to introduce new Xeon 5000-series quad-core processors that promise lower power without the accompanying drop in performance. The 2.33GHz L5410 and 2.5GHz L5420 are built on the smaller 45 nanometer Penryn architecture that underpins most of Intel's lineup but are tuned to consume much less power than standard Xeons: at their thermal design limits, both of the new Xeons consume no more than 50 watts, Intel says. The advancement allows for smaller, more efficient workstations and servers that can still handle heavy-duty tasks.
Accordingly, both chips come with the same 12MB of Level 2 cache as newer full-power Xeons -- 50 percent more than earlier models -- and run on a 1.33GHz system bus. Several PC builders plan to support the new Xeons, which will be available shortly and will sell for $320 and $380 each in 1,000-chip batches destined for resellers. Prices for users at stores are expected to climb higher.
The semiconductor firm also expects to launch a 3GHz dual-core processor, the Xeon L5210, which shares the same 1.33GHz bus while reducing the cache to 6MB to reflect its use of half the cores. The processor will only consume 40 watts of power and is due in spring with a price to be set later.