Intel does not publish any public documentation indicating whether I can enable an arbitrary number of cores on the following Intel workstation motherboard.
If I plug a 4-core processor into the above motherboard, can I arbitrarily activate any one of the following number of cores?
Many readers in this forum have a WX58BP. If you have this motherboard and are using a 4-core processor, could you please check whether you can arbitrarily enable the above numbers of cores?
Can the Xeon L5630 run on the following Intel workstation motherboard?
A motherboard by SuperMicro uses the same chipset, X58, and can run the L5630. I am guessing that this processor should run on the WX58BP even though the L5630 is not in the list of approved processors for the WX58BP.
For question #2, the answer is probably "Yes". However, this info is on the Intel website that warns....
Warning: Processors not specifically listed by type and rated speed may have requirements that are not supported by the workstation board's design. Use of unsupported processors may result in improper operation, damage to the workstation board or processor, or reduced product life.
Looks like the CPU family is supported so I can't imagine it would be a problem. If you can find someone with your config to verify, that would help. But it does appear that the config you are asking about will work.
The operating system that I will use is Windows 7 (64-bit). Although it and other operating systems (OSes) provide a way to disable an arbitrary number of cores upon startup, this method is much less reliable than the method via the BIOS. On some Dell computers, the method via the OS does not work.
Also, even within the same family of processors, different processors may require difference BIOSes in order to run. That is a concern for me. I do not want to spend $400 on a Xeon L5630 and discover that it fails to run.
I have this board with a Xeon W3520 CPU and the (BPX5810J.86B.0034.2010.0414.1511, Release Date: 04/14/2010) BIOS. Under number of cores, the options are "All, 1, or 2" I just tried the other two settings (1 & 2 cores), and they do work.
You can also enable/disable HT. I didn't try all the possible combos, but that appears to work as well.
All this was tested with Ubuntu 10.04, x86_64 version.