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The Server Primer, Part 1

Intel Xeon

Intel’s Xeon is available in various flavors, with prior versions using Socket 604. The current platforms are based on Socket 771, which is a modern LGA socket. There are various Intel Xeon processors available; again, we recommend going at least for a dual core processor. The table at http://www.intel.com/products/processor_number/chart/xeon.htm has a comprehensive listing of processors.

The models 5030 to 5080 are 90 nm processors based on the outdated NetBurst architecture. We clearly recommend Woodcrest-type Xeon processors, which can be identified by their model numbers ranging from 5110 (1.6 GHz) to 5160 (3.0 GHz). These are manufactured using newer 65 nm technology, require less power, yet deliver high performance. The E53xx series are Clovertown quad cores, ranging from 1.6 GHz to 2.66 GHz.

Xeon processors do not come with an integrated memory controller; instead, a quad channel DDR2-667 memory controller can be found on the motherboard. To provide sufficient bandwidth between the two or four core processors, the current Socket 771 platform (Blackford) provides dual independent front side busses (DIB), one for each processor.

Intel is the first processor company to deliver quad core processors. The Clovertown is assembled by placing two dual core Woodcrest chips into a processor package.

Intel Xeon Dempsey (65 nm NetBurst), Woodcrest (65 nm Core 2 dual core) and Clovertown (65 nm Core 2 quad core).