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Intel Xeon 5500

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

Breathtaking performance

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Of course, the choice of software is critical and we note that Apple lists four apps to show the merits of its new Mac Pro. These are Maxwell Render 1.7.1, Modo 302, Cinebench 10.1 and RealFlow 4.3.8.0123, so we downloaded the demo of Cinebench 10 and ran the CPU benchmarks. The figures for a single CPU render show that the new Xeon architecture has the edge over the Skulltrail to the tune of 12 per cent and in a multiple CPU render the gap jumps to 26 per cent.

Cinebench 10 Results

Intel Xeon 5500 - Cinebench 10

Longer bars are better

Intel Xeon 5500 - Crysis 2

This leap in performance would doubtless also be observed in the Maxwell Render, Modo 302 and RealFlow, just as Apple claims. It's noteworthy that the rather aged POV-Ray (now on Beta 30) had exactly the same performance on Xeon 5500 as it did on Skulltrail.

That was the point where our opinion about Xeon 5500 changed from mild scepticism to an air of deep wonder.

By the end of our time with the Xeons, we were completely won over and are full of praise for every aspect of their performance. They deliver the goods in terms of raw computing power, DDR 3 memory bandwidth, SSE 4.2 instructions, Turbo dynamic overclocking and low power usage.

Power Draw Results

Intel Xeon 5500 - Power Draw

Power draw in Watts (W)

Throughout our testing the Xeon W5580s were amazingly cool and quiet, and the two CPU coolers barely reached 30°C.

Verdict

The new Nehalem Xeons deliver a level of multi-threaded performance that is breathtaking. And that pretty much describes the price too. ®

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90%
Intel Xeon 5500

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

Intel’s 'Nehalem' technology delivers the goods in the new Xeon.
Price: $1554 each in batches of 1000. Approx £1200 per CPU RRP

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