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Upgrades Intel Hardware

8-Core Intel Nehalem-EX To Launch This Month 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the double-the-cores-for-only-twice-the-price dept.
MojoKid writes "What could you do with 8 physical cores of CPU processing power? Intel's upcoming 8-core Nehalem-EX is launching later this month, according to Intel Xeon Platform Director Shannon Poulin. The announcement puts to rest rumors that the 8-core part might be delayed, and makes good on a promise Intel made last year when the chip maker said it would release the chip in the first half of 2010. To quickly recap, Nehalem-EX boasts an extensive feature-set, including up to 8 cores per processor, up to 16 threads per processor with Intel Hyper-threading, scalability up to eight sockets via Intel's serial Quick Path Interconnect and more with third-party node controllers, and 24MB of shared cache."
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8-Core Intel Nehalem-EX To Launch This Month

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  • Balance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:37PM (#31405740)
    Does it have the memory I/O bandwidth to keep up with the CPUs? When will I be able to actually buy a mother board with 8 of these 8 core CPUs, and what kind of a frame rate would Crysis get on that rig?
  • Re:Balance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:46PM (#31405868) Journal

    These are target it the Virtualization and specialized application space. You are not going to put these in your gaming rig, and your not going to use the +4 core models in your tranditional stand alone application server. You could get much better dollar to performance ration elsewhere if those are your intended applications.

    Now slapping two or more of these things on a Linux box with a ton of UMLs running or on VMware ESX, and loading the system up with 128 gigs of ram and a medium business can probalby run their entire datacenter on 2 boxen + an entry level SAN.

  • by karvind (833059) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dnivrak.> on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:49PM (#31405910) Journal
    If it is matter of core-war, IBM's latest Power7 also has 8 cores. It is actually based on 45nm technology compared to Intel's latest 32nm. What makes Power7 exciting is that it has on-die 32MB L3 cache. They achieved this by introducing eDRAM (embedded DRAM) in the technology. Both Nehalem-EX and Power7 are targeting low-end server market, so it should be interesting battle.

    http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/09/ibms-8-core-power7-twice-the-muscle-half-the-transistors.ars [arstechnica.com]

  • Licensed per Core (Score:2, Interesting)

    by merlinokos (892352) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:01PM (#31406162)
    Software developers are going to have to figure out a new approach to licensing many of their products. VMware, for example, allows you to use a single license for every processor of 6 or fewer cores... how many people are going to pay for another license for the 2 extra cores? I see per core licenses coming in the near future.
  • by yuhong (1378501) <yuhongbao_386@NoSPAM.hotmail.com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:22PM (#31406550) Homepage
    In other news, AMD has a blog article on it's soon to be launched competitor to this, Socket G32 8-core/12-core Opterons:
    http://blogs.amd.com/work/2010/02/22/magny-cours-is-right-on-schedule-and-shipping-to-customers/ [amd.com]
  • Re:Balance (Score:2, Interesting)

    by raddan (519638) * on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:57PM (#31407826)

    You are not going to put these in your gaming rig

    I hear this a lot, but in a modern OS (e.g., one with a good scheduler) and with modern applications (ones that use either threading or cooperating processes), you can easily use a handful of processors, and yes, with normal desktop apps. Google Chrome, for instance, uses the cooperating process model, and for security reasons, I think you're going to start seeing [good] programmers divvy up their applications this way. Not only does it make application security a bit easier (separate address space for each code module), but you get real CPU-level parallelism for free. FreeBSD's new scheduler can even put threads running in the same process on different cores in some cases.

    My concern isn't being able to use all those cores-- it's being able to throttle or shut them off when I'm not.

  • Re:Hyperthreading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BostjanSkufca (1596207) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:33PM (#31408738)

    According to my server metric graphs the additional threads are only useful for WIO CPU states.

    For example, on Intel 4core i7 920 processor, enabling hyperthreading impersonates additional four cores. But CPU utilization reported by metrics software shows that USR and SYS cpu times will only go up to 50% and WIO will add another 12%. This corresponds to having a virtual core used for waiting to IO stuff. Additional 3 virtual cores do not serve anything at all.

  • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:28AM (#31410822)

    It will improve gaming performance if you happened to be running something like Quakes Wars in ray tracing [wikipedia.org].

    Intel put together a demo on a workstation system with two Nehalem quad-core CPUs getting about 15 - 20 fps.

    Since ray tracing is embarrassingly parallel [wikipedia.org], all one needs to do to improve performance is to throw more cores at it.

    Keep in mind ray tracing is much more cpu intensive than gpu intensive...

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