Although most people are looking forward to the Intel Nehalem CPUs, an upgrade that maintains the mPGA604 socket platform is very attractive for many in the server space. Additional cores and performance tweaks can have a significant impact with server operations.
Intel’s Xeon 74xx series processors, formerly known as Dunnington, pack a mighty benefit in just moving up from a quad-core processor to hex-core solution, having six cores on a single die. However, the enormous 12MB to 16MB L3 cache also helps to ensure all six cores can access high performance main memory a lot more effectively. The massive L3 also limits the “cache syncing” traffic required between CPUs, which has been an important bottleneck for prior Intel server platforms.
Boasting a 10% to 20+% performance increase per core, two additional cores per CPU package, and an easy upgrade path that only requires a BIOS update, the newest Xeon 7460 is certainly worth consideration for those that would prefer a simple upgrade for now.