Dell Precision Tower Workstations Introduce Intel Xeon 3600/5600 Processors

Today is
an exciting day for workstation users as we learn more about the introduction of
Intel's new Xeon
3600/5600 Series (Westmere-EP) processors
on our T3500,
and T7500
single and dual-socket workstations. 
These new processors are designed to improve the productivity of our customers
with a variety of applications by delivering higher performance – which is the
#1 Dell Precision design goal. 

I have
had a chance to work with the new Xeon 3600 and 5600 Series for a while
now.  Key features include support for up
to 6 cores, increased on chip Level 3 shared cache memory to 12MB, and higher
frequencies – especially with Turbo mode.

more processor cores come in handy when you are running digital content
creation applications and you have very compute intensive rendering operations.
Mechanical and electronic designers will find that they can also analyze
their designs faster using threaded analysis applications which can scale
across multiple processor cores, improving time to market for design projects.
With Intel's HyperThreading
feature on the dual-socket T5500 and T7500 workstations, a well threaded
application can run on up to 24 cores – 12 physical and 12 virtual cores.  

The larger (12MB) Level 3 (on processor chip) cache
memory on Westmere -EP can improve application performance when data is located
in fast on chip memory vs. having to search standard memory or the hard drive.
And if only one core is active, that core can have access to all 12MB of cache

The new processors are available with speeds up to 3.46GHz for
a quad core and 3.33GHz for the 6 core version. Since many workstation
applications are not multi-threaded, they perform best with the highest clock
speed CPU (core) available.  Intel's
Turbo mode dynamically increases the clock speed of active core(s) when not all
cores are active or when the processor is operating below its thermal and power
consumption thresholds.  So, an application
running on a single core could scale upward by two or three processor speed
bumps (processor dependent) delivering maximum performance for its happy user.

In addition, T3500 and T5500 systems equipped with the Xeon
3600/5600 Series CPUs will have an improved hard drive tray design which can
better accommodate third party graphics cards that have a supplementary power
connector on top of the card. This modification was made as a direct result of
customer feedback.

About the Author: Don Maynard