More efficient quad-core Xeons coming Monday

Intel quad-core microprocessors that work at an energy-efficient 50 watts per processor will officially be on the market starting Monday, according to the company.

Each of the four cores in its new Xeon L5320 and L5310 will consume just 12.5 watts of electricity, according to Intel. The company claims the new Xeons use between 35 percent and nearly 60 percent less power than its existing 80-watt and 120-watt quad-core server products.

The L5320 operates at 1.86 GHz and the L5310 at 1.60 GHz. They both feature 8MB of on-die cache for faster memory data communication. In quantities of 1,000 units, the L5320 is priced at US$519 and the L5310 at $455.

The new Xeons can be coupled with Intel’s existing Bensley server platform, replacing existing dual-core or quad-core Intel processors.

There’s no indication from Apple as of yet if they will use new processors in their Mac Pros, which use Xeon hardware. Apple does not typically discuss plans to use specific chipsets in its system designs.

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices are locked in competition for dominance in the quad-core chip market, as enterprises demand more performance out of servers. Meanwhile, customers are demanding greater energy efficiency as data center electrical costs rise.

AMD in February released details of its coming new quad-core chip, code-named Barcelona, at a technical conference in San Francisco.

Barcelona, due to be released midyear, improves performance and energy efficiency over the competition and over AMD’s own dual-core processor, the Opteron, which it introduced in 2003, said Brent Kerby, product marketing manager for Opteron, in an earlier IDG News Service interview.

Servers based on the new Xeons are expected to be available worldwide over the next few months from such server manufacturers as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others.

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