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Intel announces 10-core CPU at IDF

Intel announces 10-core CPU at IDF

You can never have enough cores...

As rumoured earlier this this year, Intel has just announced that its next-generation server CPU, code-named Westmere-EX will include ten physical cores.

Unusually for Intel, this monster server CPU will not require you to build a new system from scratch. Instead, Westmere-EX is socket-compatible with the existing Xeon 7500-series, so you should be able to drop one Westmere-EX, or more realistically four CPUs into your existing servers. You will probably have to update the BIOS of your server's motherboard, however.

The increase in core count is mainly possible because, unlike the Xeon 7500-series, Westmere-EX is built using a 32nm, rather than a 45nm manufacturing process. This means it should have a similar TDP to the older CPUs, although this hasn't yet been confirmed by Intel.

Intel hasn't just bumped up the core count from eight to ten though, it's also doubled the amount of addressable memory from 1TB to 2TB. That might sound excessive, but the huge databases that quad-processor servers are designed to run are fast approaching this size. Being able to run the whole database from memory, rather than a non-volatile storage device, is a huge benefit to responsiveness and speed, especially if a whole company's worth of users are trying to access the data simultaneously.

The one slide on Westmere-EX that Intel showed also stated that it has some 'Enhanced Security' features, but we've been unable to dig out any more details about this particular aspect of the CPU.

Intel reckons Westmere-EX servers should hit the market in the first half of 2011.

Are you excited by the possibility of a 10-core CPU? Let us know your thoughts in the forum.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
scott_chegg 14th September 2010, 14:03 Quote
Great for Server Virtualisation!
PT88 14th September 2010, 14:09 Quote
Not great for my wallet!
CAPSLOCK 14th September 2010, 14:14 Quote
Great for servers I guess. Would be interesting to see some games that uses more than 4 cores though.
yakyb 14th September 2010, 14:21 Quote
will they release a patch for task manager to make things a little clearer
B1GBUD 14th September 2010, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAPSLOCK
Great for servers I guess. Would be interesting to see some games that uses more than 2 cores though.

Fixed that for you ;P
Unlinked 14th September 2010, 14:47 Quote
Imagine the folding performance!

*drool*
Tattysnuc 14th September 2010, 14:50 Quote
Will these be supported by the eVGA SR-2 board?
scott_chegg 14th September 2010, 14:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PT88
Not great for my wallet!

The 64 quad core Xeon's my 360 VM's run on don't get funded from my wallet. ;-p
TWeaK 14th September 2010, 15:14 Quote
'Enhanced security features' - could this be what they bought McAffee for?

I can see it now: you drop a few of these into your servers, call Microsoft to authorise the hardware change then BAM the processor breaks your Windows server install for running 'malicious files'. And just to be extra secure, the chips short themselves so no one can even see what got into the cache, let alone use them.
Omnituens 14th September 2010, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattysnuc
Will these be supported by the eVGA SR-2 board?

No, they use the LGA1567 socket, not the 1366 the SR-2 has
Gunsmith 14th September 2010, 18:07 Quote
UNLIMITED POWAAAHHHH
bamboosensei 14th September 2010, 19:25 Quote
interesting; how necessary would this be for gaming though? it would be pretty cool to see this as mainstream cpus .. but tbh it seems like it's a pretty small niche ..
The_Beast 14th September 2010, 19:30 Quote
Why ten? shouldn't it be 12 considering the last i7 were hex-core (6)
V3ctor 14th September 2010, 19:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAPSLOCK
Great for servers I guess. Would be interesting to see some games that uses more than 2 cores though.

Fixed that for you ;P

Battlefield BC2 uses my 4 cores of my Q6600... he's always at 60% or more to play the game at 1920x1200 all maxxed... There are some games, not many though...
HourBeforeDawn 14th September 2010, 19:34 Quote
useless for gamers but great for people doing rendering type work.
Farfalho 14th September 2010, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
will they release a patch for task manager to make things a little clearer

Loved to see what will be done about that matter
Zephyr 14th September 2010, 20:33 Quote
Anyone commenting about gaming possibilities belong in a different hole on the interwebs... Gaming, even desktop applications, were not even considered in the design of this chip - anyone with two living brain cells should be able to figure that one out.
iggy 14th September 2010, 20:56 Quote
just play multiple games at the same time. core utilization problem solved.
Snips 14th September 2010, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Why ten? shouldn't it be 12 considering the last i7 were hex-core (6)

I think it may be something to do with the size of the overall processor. Let's not forget, AMD's 12 core is the size of 2 processors stuck together which basically what it is. Intel look to have shrunk everything down but until its down to 22nm then maybe this is the limit on a normal sized processor?
cgthomas 14th September 2010, 23:12 Quote
Good news, finally something that can play Crysis.
Now I just need to complete that 2nd mortgage application
dark_avenger 15th September 2010, 00:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
will they release a patch for task manager to make things a little clearer

+1 looks messy enough even with a i7
perplekks45 15th September 2010, 07:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iggy
just play multiple games at the same time. core utilization problem solved.
WIN!

It's great for virtualization and addressing 2 TB sure seems nice but what about databases like ours at up to 120 TB?
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