The Best of Both Worlds: Asus PC-DL with 875P Chipset for Intel's Xeon

Xeon Board With 875P Chipset: The Best Of Both Worlds

That's always the problem with high-end equipment - the processors are fast enough to take your breath away, but the platforms are always one step behind the cutting edge. The reason for this is that server users prefer high reliability over high performance. However, Asus still believes that there is a demand for fast workstation boards that don't slow down the new Xeon like other platforms do. As a result, it came up with a dual Xeon board based on Intel's best chipset for desktop systems.

But it was about more than just giving the Xeon a platform on which it could really shine. Intel's E7505, or ServerWorks' Grand Champion Series for that matter, are nothing if not expensive. They come with complex components such as PCI-X, fat memory controllers and powerful connectors between individual components.

The big bucks don't stop there, either: ServerWorks' chipsets require you to have registered DIMMs with ECC. While Intel's E7505 doesn't balk at unbuffered RAM, the memory manufacturers will often close that open window in a flash, citing - déjà vu - reliability concerns. And it's true - registered memory helps to keep signal quality high.

However, your requirements are bound to be less stringent if you have a PC workstation or a low-traffic server. In that case, hardware problems won't be making the lives of hundreds of users difficult or impossible. They may just delay the project one lone user is working on until you fix the problem. And, if you only need 4 GB of main memory to boot, you may find the PC-DL is an ideal substitute for an expensive workstation board.