Intel Stoakley Xeon platform - 1600MHz FSB

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 18 2007 @ 00:06 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel revealed more details about its plans for the Xeon server platform.

One of the things they are working is dual-socket, dual-FSB workstations based on the new Stoakley platform, which uses the 1600MHz FSB Seaberg chipset.
The systems (two Intel white / black boxen and two HP xw8600 workstations) ran various apps including 3-D CAD on dual-screen HP setups. I checked one of the machines, and the Properties in My Computer tab gave me this (see photo): 3.2 GHz Pentium III Xeon. Interesting, how it identifies the true roots of Core 2 design, some would say...
There is a massive improvement in PCI-E bandwidth here. The machine demoed had 2 x 16 PCI-E slots, capable of supporting 5 Gbit/s PCI-E v 2 protocol. Good enough for any kind of SLI or Crossfire shot at them, at least this year.
However, looks like FB-DIMMs are still the feature, or burden, of the new chipset. I don't know if that's smart, knowing that besides the latency and power consumption questions, FB-DIMMs don't even have an 800 MHz version suitable for in-sync matching with the FSBs and lower overall latency.

Sources say the chipset latency was nevertheless substantially improved by Intel, so let's see how much real problem is with FB-DIMMs then - if it was me, I'd have four DDR2-800 low-latency channels, with ECC optional. Yes, FB-DIMMs can theoretically give you 128 GB capacity, but I guess, for most workstation users, 16 GB in eight pieces of fast CL3 DDR2 DIMMs would be just the right deal for 2007.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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