64-bit Xeon MP and Intel E8500 Chipset
By Gabriel Torres on April 28, 2005


The 64-bit Xeon Processor

One month ago Intel officially released their last processor that hadn't a 64-bit version: Xeon XP. Xeon MP is a processor target to multiprocessor servers with four or more CPUs, based on Pentium 4 microarchitecture.

This new Xeon MP model is also known by its code-name Truland and Intel also has released a new chipset for it, Intel E8500. This new CPU has some new features if compared to the previous Xeon MP model:

Performance

In Figure 1, you can see a chart provided by Intel comparing a 3.33 GHz 64-bit Xeon MP with 8 MB L3 memory cache performance with a 3.66 GHz 64-bit Xeon MP with just 1 MB L3 memory cache. As you can see, for applications that really need Xeon MP processors, like SAP and Oracle, it is better to have a bigger L3 memory cache than a higher clock rate.

64-bit Xeon MP
click to enlarge
Figure 1: 3.33 GHz 64-bit Xeon MP with 8 MB L3 memory cache vs. 3.66 GHz and 1 MB L3 memory cache.

Another advantage of this new Xeon MP model is its scalability. When we install more than one processor in a server, the server performance is not multiplied by the number of available processors. I.e., a system with two Xeon processors isn't twice faster than a system with just one. According to Intel, the performance will increase between 1.59x and 1.92x, depending on the software used. In the case of four CPU configuration, the increase in performance varies between 2.14x and 3.52x, once again depending on the used software.

But with 64-bit Xeon MP the performance gain when we install more than one CPU is greater than the one obtained with the previous Xeon MP generation, reaching up to 3.96x in a system with four CPUs and up to 1.99x in a system with two CPUs, so with this processor the idea of the performance to be multiplied by the number of CPUs available is more likely. We show this in Figure 2.

64-bit Xeon MP
click to enlarge
 Figure 2: Increase in performance due to the increase on the number of processors on the system.

Intel E8500 Chipset

Let's talk now about the new Intel E8500 chipset and its new features.

This chipset has the following basic specs:

Intel E8500 Chipset
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Intel E8500 chipset dual bus architecture.

Intel E8500 Chipset
click to enlarge

Figure 4: Intel E8500 chipset summary and comparison with a ServerWorks GC-HE chipset solution.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/64-bit-Xeon-MP-and-Intel-E8500-Chipset/130


2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Total or partial reproduction of the contents of this site, as well as that of the texts available for downloading, be this in the electronic media, in print, or any other form of distribution, is expressly forbidden. Those who do not comply with these copyright laws will be indicted and punished according to the International Copyrights Law.

We do not take responsibility for material damage of any kind caused by the use of information contained in Hardware Secrets.