Pedal to the Metal:By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-11-05 Email Print
The Intel Core i7 CPU and X58 Chipset arrive at the end of the month and should power IT solution providers into the next generation of the workstation market.
Intel sent over a reviewer’s kit, which included a Nehalem CPU (the $999 Core i7-965), an Intel DX58S0 Motherboard (Smackover chipset) and an Intel SSDA2MHO80G solid state hard drive. We added four gigabytes of Corsair DDR3 RAM (four 1GB Modules), a NVidia Quadro FX1700 display adapter and a NZXT high performance PSU. To test performance, we installed Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit and used PassMark Performance Test (64Bit).
On our first test pass, with everything set to factory defaults, the system scored a passmark rating of 2412.2, which is quite impressive. For reference, we compared the performance to a recently tested HP XW6600 Dual Xeon workstation , which scored a 2892.6 Passmark rating. The HP system used the same video card, but had 8 Gbytes of RAM. That shows the Nehalem and Smackover combo comes within 17 percent of the performance offered by a dual Xeon setup.
For solution providers, Nehalem should become the CPU of choice for high performance systems and should bring higher margins to system builders, thanks to the new Intel Chipsets and the use of DDR3 RAM.