Closer Look at Intel V8
As you may remember, AMD developed special processors for their Quad FX platform and also had core logic and mainboard developers introduce their special solutions for this platform. Unlike AMD, Intel took another much simpler route. V8 platform physically is none other but a traditional workstation based on quad-core Xeon Clowertown processors installed into a mainboard on i5000X Greencreek chipset. From this standpoint, Intel’s solution is not too innovative. Apple has long been offering systems built using the same principles, which are known as Mac Pro. By the way, a new solution using a pair of high-speed quad-core processors on Core micro-architecture has recently appeared in Mac Pro product line.
Intel recommends using top-of-the-line Xeon processors as a basis for their enthusiastic platform. These CPUs are also known as Clowertown. They are based on Core micro-architecture and feature quad-core internal structure. In other words, they are very similar to quad-core Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors aka Kentsfield. However, since Xeon processors are intended to work in servers and high-performance workstations, their socket design is slightly different from that of the desktop CPUs – they are designed in LGA 771 form-factor. These processors can work in dual-socket systems and require special chipsets and as a result, special mainboards.
Xeon has been chosen for this advanced platform not only because it can work in dual-socket systems, unlike Core 2 Extreme. One more reason lies with the fact that as of today Xeon processor family managed to outpace their “desktop” counterparts in many essential parameters, including clock speeds. The top Xeon (Clowertown) model marked as X5365 works at 3.0GHz clock speed and uses 1333MHz bus that is scheduled to arrive into desktop systems only in summer. These are exactly the CPUs that were used in the Intel V8 eight-core personal computer for media content creation we are talking about today.
The diagnostic CPU-Z utility reports the following info about these processors: