Intel today unveiled the newest member of the Intel Xeon family: the 5600 series. The Xeon family of processors is the traditional processor of choice for Apple in its Mac Pros and Xserve line of computers.
The Xeon 5600 family is based on Intel's new 32nm Nehalem (microarchitecture) technology and will be offered in both four-core and six-core varieties. Along with the 5600 family, Intel also introduced the 3600 series, which, while having much of the same capabilities as the 5600, only allow a single processor in a system. The 5600 series can have two distinct processors per computer system.
The Xeon 5600 processors are the ones I expect to see showing up in new Mac Pros sometime this spring. They offer better performance potential than the i7-980x that some believe will be the basis for new Mac Pros.
Xeon 5600 Features
- Turbo Boost: Increases core speed when fewer threads are being executed.
- QuickPath: High-speed memory architecture provides point-to-point interconnect for shared memory cache.
- Large Memory Capacity: Up to 192 GB of memory.
- Automated Energy Efficiency: 45% more performance per watt of power than earlier generations of the Xeon processors.
- Power Gates: Allows idling internal cores to have power reduced to near zero.
- Intel Hyper Treading: Each core can run two threads at once, effectively allowing the four-core model to run 8 threads, and the six-core model to execute 12 threads at once.