updated 11:00 pm EDT, Sun September 7, 2008
Intel Xeon 5400 at 3 4GHz
Intel today set a pair of new speed records for its Xeon 5000 processors ahead of the introduction of their eventual Core i7 successors. The update pushes the quad-core Xeon 5400 series from its previous 3.2GHz limit up to 3.4GHz with the new Xeon X5492; the new flagship also climbs up to the maximum 1.6GHz front side system bus speed. Intel characterizes the processor as intended for performance-driven, full size workstations and servers with a peak 150W of power.
Other introductions trade speed for power savings. A next step down, the X5470, drops to 3.33GHz and a slower 1.33GHz bus while using a more modest 120W of power; a single low-power L5430 entry is aimed at very small-profile desktops and servers and consumes just 50W at its 2.66GHz clock speed, or just a fraction of what a 2.66GHz Xeon processor consumed two years ago. One dual-core Xeon 5200 update has also been added and sees the X5270 set a new high of 3.5GHz with a 1.33GHz bus and 80W of power.
All of the quad-core processors are shipping now and will be available in systems through several large PC makers, including Dell and HP, and range in large-batch prices from $562 for the 2.66GHz part to $1,493 for the 3.4GHz Xeon. The dual-core 3.5GHz chip sells for $1,172 but will be available later this fall.