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Intel's Xeon Shows Its Stuff in 7 Motherboards

Cooler Installation Is Simple Now, Continued

Both Northbridge and Southbridge can still be operated without active cooling.

The chipset components have been developed in order to bear the heat burden of passive cooling. The Northbridge, for example, will be fine with the air flow of the processor fan only.

Controlling Voltage And Temperature

24 voltage regulators ensure optimum voltage supply for the Xeon processors.

Using two 3.6 GHz Xeon processors, the thermal loss can exceed 200 W with a current of 150 A. Intel had to accommodate the VRM specifications for the increased requirements, going from VRM version 9.0 to 10.1. In addition to these adjustments, the latest version also incorporates a protection mechanism for the voltage regulators.

The bi-directional PROCHOT signal (processor hot) forces the CPU to throttle the clock speed in order to reduce the thermal strain. Apart from that, we noted that most motherboard makers decided to provide their voltage regulators with heat sinks.