TechRadar reports the new Intel dual-socket Nehalem EP platform is blazing fast. They ran SPEC CPU2006 on a pre-production system system with 2.8GHz Nehalem EP processors, Tylersburg chipset and 24GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory and got a SPECfp base rate of 160:
The really important figure for Intel here is the base floating point metric. That's a test existing Xeons struggle with largely thanks to the weaknesses of their ancient front side bus and discreet memory controller architecture.
All of that is gone with Nehalem EP, replaced with the sleek new Quick Path Interconnect and on-die memory controllers. The result is truly epic bandwidth and performance scaling. The big number many will be waiting for is the SPECfp base rate. So here it is: 160.
To put that into context, the Intel's current Penryn-based Xeon dual-socket platform fails to hit 90, even running at 3.4GHz. Perhaps even more significantly, AMD's shiny new 45nm Shanghai chips in dual-socket 2.7GHz trim score just 105 points. Even a four-socket Shanghai rig is only good for just under 190.
And remember, Nehalem EP's 160 point score is for a pre-production system running at 2.8GHz. Models humming a 3.2GHz tune will be available when the chip launches early next year. What's more, our testing was carried out on Windows Server 2008.
Run the same benchmark courtesy of the leaner, meaner Linux OS and you'd be looking at an even higher score.
In other words, as good as AMD's new Shanghai chip is, it appears that Nehalem EP will slap it around with a wet fish.