HP have recently announced the release of the new Intel Xeon 5600 (Nehalem) series CPU into 16 models of their Proliant server range. The new Intel Xeon 5600 series CPU’s (LGA 1366 socket) otherwise known by its codename of Gulftown or Westmere-EP is based on the 32nm Nehalem micro-architecture with six hyper-threaded cores providing the ability to run up to 12 threads in parallel. Anyone using VMware vSphere will appreciate this as it means they will potentially get more bang-for-buck on their per socket vSphere licensing.
So is this worth getting excited about?
In short, yes. The 32nm architecture used with the Intel Xeon 5600 uses Intel’s 2nd generation high-k metal gate transistors which helps increase the speed of the processor whilst decreasing the power consumption – double win. Intel are claiming up to 60% faster performance than in the Intel Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) CPU series and with up to a 30% saving in power when running the 5600 against a 5500 series CPU at the same clock speed. As such HP also claim that the “HP ProLiant G6 platform with Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series delivers a 27 times improvement in performance per watt compared to previous generations”.
This extra performance provided by the Xeon 5600 will allow for more or heavier workloads to be run in particular in virtualized environments which can only be a good thing.
The HP ProLiant G6 platform, with the new Intel Xeon 5600 processor will be available from March 29th 2010 and will be included as an option in the following HP Proliant series of servers:
It should also be noted that both Dell with their PowerEdge blade servers (M710, M610),rack servers (R710, R610, R510, R410) and three tower servers (T710, T610, T410) along with IBM and their 3650 M3 and the x3550 M3 rack servers and two enterprise tower servers, the x3500 M3 and x3400 M3 will also be available with the Intel Xeon 5600 shortly.
I’m curious to know what the price difference will end up being between an Intel Xeon 5500 and a 5600 – hopefully not too much.