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1 min read

P-states. Stay cool this summer

Reuters/Tokyo reports that Intel is set to announce a new Xeon processor line, to date it has been codenamed Woodcrest. The article reads in part:

Intel executives have previously said the new chip would deliver an 80 percent gain in performance with a 35 percent reduction in power use.

The timing is interesting because I just so happen to be in Dresden, Germany, which is home to AMD’s newest Fab. Fab36 can be seen when landing and while driving into downtown. Let me just say that it stands out. I’ll be visiting Fab36 tomorrow for a customer event for International Supercomputer 2006 conference. I’m told Fab36 is producing AMD’s new Opteron socket 1207, which provides hardware-assist virtualization. I’ll be interested to hear how AMD answers questions tomorrow re: Intel’s new Xeon proc.

For those folks interested in Intel’s and AMD’s newest procs to reduce power consumption, I wanted to remind you about the P-states feature within Windows Server 2003 SP1 and R2. This technology comes from the client (laptop) world to reduce power useage while on battery. Based on the real time utilization of a processor, the P-state is automatically adjusted by the OS to ensure each proc only uses the power it needs to provide real time performance requirements of the workload. A change in P-state lowers the power rails and clock frequency to the processor (Xeon or Opteron x64, to be introduced on Itanium/Montecito) and can save you 30-35% of processor power. There’s a downloadable .ppt presentation from WinHEC 2005 here.

Stay cool.