I'll keep it in plain English. The new family of Xeon E5-2600 CPUs now include:
- Data Center Power: These new Xeons can sport up to eight cores per CPU and address 768GB of RAM, making these CPUs especially powerful when placed in dual- and quad-CPU server configurations.
- High Performance Per-Watt Ratio: The Xeon E5-2600 series promises to deliver more than 50 percent power efficiency over its predecessor, the Xeon 5600 series.
- Intel Inside: No surprises here, Intel has included Turbo Boost 2.0, hyper-threading, virtualization and Intel Advanced Vector Extension capabilities, all of which work together to squeeze out as much computing power from each CPU as possible, whether it's hosting a cloud service or crunching financial figures.
- Intel Integrated I/O: When Xeons are placed in servers that use Intel's own Ethernet controllers and other I/O adapters, data can be actively rerouted around the system and CPU, allowing for a more efficient use of data and processing power when dealing with large volumes of network information. Short and sweet: less congestion, larger bandwidth capabilities.
- Integrated I/O with PCI Express 3.0: Xeon CPUs now can handle "triple the movement of data" between the components in a PCI Express slot and the back into the CPU, according to Intel. That means fewer bottlenecks and faster translation of information inside the the guts of the computer. (As a reminder, PCI Express slots can carry everything from advanced rendering graphics cards to Fibre Channel interfaces.)
- Encryption Capabilities: These Xeons feature Intel's Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction, which allows for complex encrypted data to be decrypted in hardware on the fly, allowing for super-speed in either protecting information or making it available once it is encrypted.
When can system integrators and VARs start to see these red-hot chips? Intel is planning 17 different versions of these CPUs, according to Intel, with specifications that put the price at anywhere between $198 and $2,050. Intel hasn't disclosed an official launch date, but most likely they are generally available now. Meanwhile, check out AMD's agressive moves buying SeaMicro, the once Intel-only cloud server company. Can AMD counter Intel with Opteron servers as Intel continually improves its silicon? Let me know how you see it in the comments.