Intel boosts cache on Gallatin Xeon Processor MP

Intel Corp. released three new chips for multiprocessor server environments Monday, updating its Xeon line of processors with a larger level 3 cache and faster clock speeds.

The Xeon Processor MP, formerly code-named Gallatin, will be used mainly in four-way servers for both middle-tier and back-end applications, said Lisa Graff, director of enterprise processor marketing at Intel.

The new processor is Intel's first Xeon Processor MP built on its .13-micron chipmaking process. This allowed the company to incorporate a 2M-byte Level 3 cache on the chip, an 1M-byte increase over the previous family of Xeon Processor MPs built on a .18-micron process, code-named Foster, Graff said.

A cache is a pool of memory close to the processor that allows the same instructions to be accessed many times, which is necessary in most processing tasks. It uses SRAM (static RAM), which can be accessed more quickly than DRAM (dynamic RAM), the main memory type used in PCs.

Intel took a step backward when moving from the older Pentium III Xeon to the Foster processors, decreasing the cache from 2M bytes to 1M byte, said Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. As it added new components from its Netburst architecture to the Foster Xeon chip, the company wasn't left with enough room on the die to include the larger cache. Now that Intel is making the Gallatin Xeon chip on its smaller .13 micron process, it can add that cache back in, he said.

"Having these larger caches provides a significant performance jump" over older Foster Xeons, Haff said.

The new Xeon Processor MPs will be available in three clock speeds, 2GHz, 1.9GHz, and 1.5GHz. The 2GHz chip will be the only one to include the 2M-byte cache, and will be priced at US$3,692. The other two chips will feature a 1M-byte cache, and be priced at $1,980 and $1,177, respectively. All prices are in 1,000-unit quantities, and all the chips are available immediately worldwide.

"Even though the (2.0GHz) processor is significantly more expensive, you'll get value from the larger cache," Haff said.

The chip includes hyperthreading, which allows a processor to queue up one software thread while processing a different one. Hyperthreading can be found on older versions of the Xeon Processor MP, and Intel is bringing the technology to its desktop processors with the upcoming release of its 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is expected to release a four-way server containing the chip now that Gallatin has made it to the market. The ProLiant ML570 is considered a high-end machine within HP's ProLiant line. Other systems vendors will soon release servers using the technology, Graff said.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, will be coming out with new Xeon processors for small servers and workstations later this quarter, as part of a company-wide trend to accelerate the introduction of its technology, Graff said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Krazit

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?