Prior to the release on Monday June 29 there was a lot of press about potential system failures of Pentium II Xeon quad servers based on the 450NX chipset. Intel has so far reported 37 'errata' in the latest specification update. Two of the three latest bugs are already fixed with a new microcode update, the code that's loaded into a small 'programming' area on the Xeon chip, known from the Pentium Pro and Pentium II processor. You should still have a look at the specification update to see what kind of errata were found so far.
The New Chipsets For The Pentium II Xeon
Intel did not only release the Xeon CPU, but had to provide two new chipsets to go with it.
The 440GX AGPset is targeted to the workstation market segment. It is not too different to the 440BX chipset, providing 2 GB of memory support instead of only 1 GB as in case of the 440BX. The 440GX will be compatible with Pentium II Xeon as well as with the Pentium II.
The 450NX PCIset is for Xeon servers. A server doesn't require AGP, so that this chipset doesn't include an advanced graphics port. It supports up to 8 GB of RAM, using Address Bit Permuting and four way interleaving for a high bandwidth. One of the really special features is that it's offering either four 32 bit PCI buses, two 64 bit PCI buses or one 64 bit and two 32 bit PCI buses. The chipset can run in quad CPU configuration on its own, with a special cluster controller it can host even 8 Xeon CPUs.