Xeon Chipsets Intel E7525 And Intel 875P
When the current Xeon Nocona core was introduced, Intel was able to stimulate interests of many motherboard makers with a FSB clock increase to 200 MHz (FSB800). Also, the current chipset family finally supports PCI Express both for graphics and I/O components, making the core logic products rather attractive today.
When it comes to professional chipsets, server and workstation versions are not too far away from each other. Thus the server chipsets E7520 and E7320 are based on the same architecture, while offering three x8 PCI Express ports rather than one x16 port for graphics and one x8 one for I/O components.
The 875P can definitely be called a peculiarity in the workstation market, as this chipset had already been introduced some 18 months ago, back when Intel launched its Pentium 4 processors running at FSB800. Luckily, the Pentium 4 and the Xeon are highly related to each other, making it relatively easy to operate Xeons using the 875P chipset. Reasons for taking this tack are obvious: the chipset memory controller's performance is superior by around 30% while the total chipset cost is about 50% less compared to the E7525 workstation chipset.
Of course, Intel was pretty well aware of this circumstance, which is why they launched the Southbridge alternative 6300ESB. This device offers all the basic features and adds two 64 Bit PCI slots on top of it. Eventually, motherboard makers can build a workstation product using two chipset components only. Asus and Intel today offer two motherboards, while Supermicro is offering an impressive amount of 10 different motherboards.