Our experience with Intel V8 platform made an unforgettable impression. The obtained benchmark results are so high that we do not hesitate to call it the today’s world’s fastest system for multi-threaded work. This desktop and workstation platform with two quad-core Xeon processors demonstrates unattainable performance in all SMP optimized applications.
However, everything we have just said is true mostly because there are no other eight-core systems in the market today that could compete with Intel V8. Therefore, when the new AMD FASN8 with quad-core CPUs on K10 micro-architecture comes out, situation may change. Especially, since Intel V8 has a few disadvantages originating from its server roots.
First of all, the FB DDR2 memory subsystem in the eight-core monster from Intel is implemented in not the most optimal way. Its latency is too high, which affects the system performance in some widespread applications. Secondly, i5000X based workstation mainboards used for Intel V8 systems cannot suit enthusiasts in the best possible way. They have a lot of functions that no enthusiasts will ever use, but at the same time offer nothing for processor overclocking. And thirdly, Intel V8 platform limits the user’s ability to create a high-performance video subsystem. There are very few mainboards on i5000X chipset that offer slots for two graphics cards, but even they do not allow to use SLI and Crossfire configurations in full power, only as PCI Express x16 + PCI Express x4.
That is why before we make any final conclusions about the future of Intel V8 platform as a great eight-core solution for enthusiasts, we would like to wait a little bit until we get a chance to test the AMD FASN8 platform featuring two next-generation quad-core processors. New Phenom FX CPUs (known under Agena FX codename) are expected to arrive in Q3 2007, so there is not much waiting left. Besides, from what we know already we can say that AMD Quad FX as well as the upcoming FASN8 will be more enthusiast-friendly judging by their features.
Anyway, we will be able to dot all i’s only when we get our hands on the new competitor in this segment, and right now Intel V8 deserves the laurels of an ultimate leader.