Intel has swung ahead
in the performance world versus Opteron with the release of the Bensley platform, designed for the Dempsey and Woodcrest Dual Core Xeons. Using the new Blackford chipset, it is designed to support 1066MHz FSB for the fastest Xeons. Dempsey will come in 1066 and 667MHz FSB varities, with a TDP of 130W on the faster parts and 2MB independent L2 cache (For a total of 4MB). A big bottleneck on Xeons has been the 533MHz FSB for a long time, which has now been doubled, giving the Xeons a lot of headroom. While the Xeons most definitely are able to achieve the highest levels of performance, they do so at a great cost in power. Though Intel has promised us much more power efficient chips next year, that time has not yet come and the Dual Core Dempseys are some of the most power-greedy CPUs in the server market, at 130W. The comparable Opteron is at 95W, a mere 15W above the “future” Woodcrest Xeon. Both aspects of performance and power are important, so it is still a “best fit” scenario, which may change in the future. Check the full article for performance and power details.