Xeon E7 (aka Westmere-EX) specifications revealed

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There have always been processors that make you dream. These processors, destined for the professional/server markets, use the latest technologies but are prohibitively expensive for most people on the street.

The specifications of the Xeon E7 revealed today most certainly put this series of processors in the "dream" class. These chips are intended to replace the Xeon 7000 series and should become available in the second quarter of 2011.



These processors are manufactured at 32nm and feature between 6 and 10 physical cores depending on the model, most augmented with HyperThreading. Their stock clock speeds range between 1.73 and 2.67GHz, with nearly all models able to turbo boost to higher speeds if the chip is not fully loaded. There will be between 18 and 30MB of cache onboard and multiple QPI links to communicate with RAM and the other processors in the system.

The names are fairly simple: E7-2000 series is a dual-socket processor, E7-4000 for quad-socket systems and E7-8000 for eight-socket systems (potentially 160 threads in one machine).

TDP for each processor ranges between 95W and 130W.

Prices are not yet known, however it is reasonable to assume that with this level of power available they will be mildly ridiculous.

If you wish to run Folding@home on such machines, you may get a nasty surprise: for a given size in simulation there comes a point where adding more threads can in fact slow down progress rather than increase it (due to the increased time spent exchanging data between the different threads). Currently the recommended maximum is 24 threads for regular SMP and 64 threads for bigadv, for maximum performance.

Source: CPU-World