The Woodcrest platform performed very well, exceeding our initial expectations. It is the fastest in all of the tests and completely dominates our benchmarks. The new Xeon 5100 series helps Intel to get back on track, providing class-leading server/workstation processors. The now older 5000-series (Dempsey) Xeon, based on the Netburst architecture, is often last in the competition and merely serves as a point of reference in our tests.
Intel has retaken the throne from AMD in the server/workstation sector and sent AMD back to the drawing board. Next month Intel will release the quad core Clovertown CPU with 2 combined Woodcrest cores. AMD is ready for this threat with the introduction of their X4 Opteron, which is reported to have a L3 cache. Servers will benefit more from these quad core processors than desktop users due to the limited deployment of multithreaded-capable applications in the desktop sector in comparison to the server sector.
In mid-2007 AMD is expected to answer Intel's new threat with a line of faster Opterons utilizing the new Socket F, as well as support for DDR2 memory. Whether or not this will be enough to regain the performance lead has yet to be seen, but with no major architectural changes, it is expected that Intel will still retain the overall better performance per watt status.
In all, both platforms perform quite well, but the nod goes to the Xeon 5100 series for its superior performance and greater efficiency.
Friday, October 27, 2006