Nehalem's next step
With desktop performance cornered by its Core i7 processors, Intel has turned the attention of its Nehalem architecture to the enterprise with the launch of its Xeon 5500 series.
Armed with all the goodness found in the desktop Core i7 variants, along with a few added extras, the Xeon 5500 series promises "groundbreaking advances in performance, virtualisation and workload management", with Intel's Patrick Gelsinger adding that these very chips will lay "the foundation for the next decade of innovation".
Unlike the desktop launch of its Nehalem-based Core i7 processors, Intel has opted not to stray from the tried-and-trusted naming associated with its server parts. You'll see no mention of Core anything here, as the all-new range will be denoted simply as the Xeon 3500 and Xeon 5500 series - for single- and dual-socket systems, respectively.
Topping the range is Intel's Xeon W5580 - a 3.2GHz part that, given the show-stopping performance of Core i7, should leave other enterprise processors wanting. Let's take a closer look.