Intel Nehalem Chip Ramps Up Performance, Virtualization Capabilities

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Intel Nehalem Chip Ramps Up Performance, Virtualization Capabilities

by Jeffrey Burt

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The Old and the New

Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, displays Intel's original Pentium Pro processor (left), which debuted in 1995, and the chip maker's new Xeon 5500 series processor.

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All in the Family

The new Xeon 5500 series includes an integrated memory controller, something that rival AMD has been offering in its Opterons since 2003. The integrated memory controller eliminates the need for a front side bus.

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Phased Rollout

Intel is releasing its "Nehalem" architecture over several months. The chip maker rolled out the first chips for high-end PCs and workstations in fall of 2008, and the Nehalem EX chips, for servers with four or more sockets, are expected later in 2009.

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Turbo Boost

A new feature in Nehalem is Turbo Boost, which enables IT administrators to dynamically increase or lower the clock speed of individual processing cores depending on demand.

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High Performance and Energy Efficiency

Intel officials say the Xeon 5500 series offers IT administrators a 9-1 consolidation ratio for servers running older Xeons, and does this while being 18 percent more energy-efficient.