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Intel Xeon 5500

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

Breathtaking performance

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Review Intel’s new Xeon 5500 series uses the chip giant's 'Nehalem' architecture to effectively put a pair of Core i7 CPUs on a workstation motherboard.

Intel Xeon 5500

Intel's Xeon 5500: scorcher

That news should come as a pleasant surprise, but of course Apple ruined our fun when it launched its new Mac Pro a couple of weeks ago, which appears to be based on the new chips. And, try as we might, we can't think of another company that would so wantonly shred an Intel NDA without so much as a blush.

The speeds and feeds of the new Xeons cover a total of nine models, although we hear there will be other variants including dual-core and low-voltage models. There are five mainstream E5500 CPUs with a TDP of 80W and clock speeds that start at 2GHz and go up to 2.53GHz. Three X5500 models have a TDP of 95W, starting with the X5550 at 2.66GHz which makes it the equivalent of the Core i7 920. The X5560 runs at 2.8GHz and the X5570 runs at 2.93GHz, just like the Core i7 940.

At the top of the tree we have the Xeon W5580 with a clock speed of 3.2GHz and a TDP of 130W which is the equivalent of the Core i7 965 Extreme. Clock speed is a moving target with Nehalem as Turbo mode varies the speed of the CPU dynamically depending on heat, power draw and CPU load. It's quite likely that your 3.2GHz Core i7 965 Extreme or Xeon W5580 will run up to 3.6GHz when the going gets tough.

Intel has also announced a single-socket Xeon 3500 which is nothing more than a rebadged Core i7.

Intel Xeon Specs

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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