Feeds
90%
Intel Xeon 5500

Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

Breathtaking performance

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Intel sent us an S5520SC motherboard - estimated price £450 - with a pair of W5580s. That's jolly nice of the chip giant as the new CPUs have an official price of $1554 each in batches of 1000 which is about £1200 per CPU. That’s the thick end of three grand for two processors and a motherboard. We didn’t get a pair of CPU coolers in the package which would usually pose a problem, but the new Xeons use the same LGA1366 socket as Core i7 so you can employ regular desktop coolers in your Xeon 5500 workstation. No doubt there will also be low profile wind-tunnel coolers for rack-mounted servers with the new CPUs.

Intel S5520SC motherboard

Intel's S5520SC: dare we say it: an uninspiring mobo?

The chipset on the S5520SC motherboard is an Intel 5520 - aka 'Tylersburg'. When we reviewed Core i7 we said: "In addition to the X58 chipset, we noted that the Intel INF driver also applies to chipset models 5520 and 5550 so it seems that there are more Nehalem chipsets in the works." That’s the 5520 accounted for so we can only guess that the 5550 chipset will support 5500 Xeons in a four-way configuration.

The major changes from the Core 2 technology in 5400 Xeons to the new 5500 models are the adoption of QuickPath Interface (QPI) and the integrated DDR 3 memory controller, which has moved from the chipset to the CPU core. This means that one of the biggest jobs for Tylersburg is to supply PCI Express and it does this in spades, with six lanes of original PCIe and 36 lanes of PCIe 2.0 for graphics. We have no doubt that Xeon motherboards will appear from Asus, SuperMicro and Tyan with four graphics slots and full support for SLI as well as CrossFire.

The S5520SC motherboard has six DDR 3 memory slots for each of the two sockets and it did a solid job for us. But it's an uninspiring motherboard for a reviewer working with a new processor. The twin graphics slots support CrossFire but not SLI, the Bios doesn’t have any overclocking features and some of the more funky features, such as the ServerEngines SM4210 KVM chip, played no part in the proceedings.

It may seem unfair for us to accuse a workstation motherboard of being dull but we almost inevitably regard the new Xeons and 5520 chipset as the natural successor to Skulltrail.

Intel S5520SC motherboard

Nehalem has its fans

Skulltrail joined two processors with plenty of PCI Express and a choice of CrossFire or SLI to deliver what you might term ‘an ultimate gaming experience’ provided you could put up with the racket from all the cooling fans and the heat from the FB-DIMM memory.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.