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Intel Xeon 5500

Intel Xeon W5580 workstation desktop processor

Worth sticking in your PC?

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We used SiSoft Sandra 2009 to test the bandwidth and latency of the memory. It came as no surprise that the new triple-channel DDR 3 memory controller in the Xeon W5580 delivered enough bandwidth to make the other Xeons look silly. Part of this advantage is lost thanks to the latency of the 1066MHz DDR 3 memory but nonetheless the Xeon W5580 looks mighty impressive.

SiSoft Sandra Results
Memory Bandwidth

Intel Xeon W5580 - SiSoft Sandra

Bandwidth in Gigabytes per Second (GB/s)
Longer bars are better

Memory Latency

Intel Xeon W5580 - SiSoft Sandra

Latency in Nanoseconds (ns)
Shorter bars are better

Intel Xeon W5580 - Chart Key

HandBrake 0.9.3 threw up something interesting as the time taken to recode an AVI file was essentially identical on the Xeon 5580 and 3.2GHz Skulltrail systems. Both systems have eight physical processor cores but Xeon W5580 has HyperThreading. We can only conclude that HandBrake doesn’t take advantage of the virtual cores.

The addition of SSE 4.2 in Xeon W5580 doesn’t bring anything to the table in this test. Judging by the way that the SSE 3 Xeon X5365 takes 50 per cent longer to complete the task we can see that support for a minimum of SSE 4.1 is a very good thing indeed. The Prestonia Xeons suffer from a combination of their slow speed, lower number of cores and support for SSE 2, and limped along, taking an age to recode our test movie file.

Handbrake Results

Intel Xeon W5580 - Handbrake

Encoding time in Seconds (s)
Shorter bars are better

Autodesk 3DS Max Results

Intel Xeon W5580 - 3DS Max

Rendering time in Seconds (s)
Shorter bars are better

Intel Xeon W5580 - Chart Key

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