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Intel’s forthcoming dual-core processor as well as chipset internally called Mukilteo for uni-processor servers may offer performance inline with current 2-way systems based on Intel Xeon processors, recent benchmark results at show. This confirms earlier assumption that dual-core central processing units may redesign the outlook of the server market.

Later during the year Intel is expected to release its 1P server platform based on its dual-core processors code-named Smithfield (Pentium D, Pentium Extreme Edition) and a chipset called Mukilteo. The platform will sport technologies like DDR2, PCI Express, Serial ATA with RAID support as well as a number of others and will succeed uni-processor server platforms featuring Intel Pentium 4 processors and E7221 chipsets.

Intel recently submitted SPEC CPU2000 benchmark results of Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor 840 and D955XCV mainboard to web-site. The dual-core Pentium-based system scored 30.5/30.5 base/peak CFP2000 rates and 33.1/33.3 base/peak CINT2000 rates. By contrast, HP’s ProLiant DL360 G4p server with Intel Xeon 3.60GHz processors scored 30.2/30.9 base/peak in CFP2000 and 39.9/40.5 base/peak in CINT2000. HP’s ProLiant machine was equipped with 4GB of PC2-3200 (CL3) memory, while Intel’s machine was equipped with 1GB of PC2-5400 (CL5) memory. The results emphasize that thanks to higher-speed memory sub-system on Intel’s latest 955X chipset floating point performance of a 3.20GHz dual-core processor with 2MB of cache in total is higher than that of two single-core 3.60GHz chips with 4MB of cache in total. Integer performance, however, is higher on 2-way system due to higher clock-speed.

While Intel’s dual-core chips consume up to 130W each, Intel’s latest Xeon processors with 2MB of cache have thermal design power of 110W, which means that Intel Pentium Extreme Edition processor 840 has higher performance per watt compared to the modern Intel Xeon chips.

Provided that Mukilteo chipset supports DDR2 memory at 667MHz, Intel’s forthcoming server platform consisting of Intel Smithfield processor and Intel Mukilteo chipset will offer higher performance per watt and higher overall floating point performance compared to Intel Xeon-based 2-way servers. That, however, is unlikely to last long as in 2006 Intel Corp. aims to release its dual-core Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon processors MP code-named Dempsey and Paxville respectively in 2006. But those chips are projected to reshuffle the market of multiprocessor servers, for instance, HP already rejected plans to make 8-way servers based on the recently unveiled Intel Xeon processors MP.

Intel’s arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices did not provide any benchmark results for its recently formally announced dual-core Opteron and dual-core Athlon 64 X2 microprocessors. The firm said it would do it later without providing further guidance. It is unclear whether AMD has already started commercial volume shipments of its dual-core server chips, but the company’s reps said the company would initiate revenue supplies at the day of the formal announcement.


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