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CPU Core Details

CPU Codename Nehalem-WS Santa Rosa
MoBo Socket LGA 1366/Socket B Socket F
Notebook CPU no no
Release Date 29 Mar 2009 15 Aug 2006
CPU Link GD Link GD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

{
CPU Cores 2 2
CPU Threads 2 -
Clock Speed 2.4 GHz 2.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency - -
System Bus - 1000 MHz
Max TDP 130 W 68 W
Lithography 45 nm 90 nm
Bit Width 64 Bit -
Voltage Range - 1.20 V/1.25 V KB
Max Temperature - 55°C
Virtualization Technology no yes

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size 256 KB 128 KB
L1 Cache Count - 2
L2 Cache Size 1024 KB 1024 KB
L2 Cache Count - 2
L2 Cache Speed - 2600 MHz
L3 Cache Size 8 MB -
Memory Types
Max Memory Size 24 GB -
Memory Channels 3 -
ECC Memory Support no no

CPU Graphics

Integrated Graphics no no
Base GPU Frequency - -
Max GPU Frequency - -
DirectX - -
Displays Supported - -

CPU Mini Review

Mini Review Xeon Processor W3503 is a Dual Core server processor. Offers very modest gaming performance. Opteron is AMD's x86 server and workstation processor line, and was the first processor which supported the AMD64 instruction set architecture (known generically as x86-64). It was released on April 22, 2003 with the SledgeHammer core (K8) and was intended to compete in the server and workstation markets, particularly in the same segment as the Intel Xeon processor. Processors based on the AMD K10 microarchitecture (codenamed Barcelona) were announced on September 10, 2007 featuring a new quad-core configuration. The most-recently released Opteron CPUs are the Piledriver-based Opteron 4300 and 6300 series processors, codenamed "Seoul" and "Abu Dhabi" respectively.

Gaming Performance Comparison

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon Processor W3503 is noticeably better than the AMD Opteron 8218 HE when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

Both the Xeon Processor W3503 and the Opteron 8218 HE were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

{ The Xeon Processor W3503 and the Opteron 8218 HE both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, theXeon Processor W3503 and the Opteron 8218 HE may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Xeon Processor W3503 and Opteron 8218 HE are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Opteron 8218 HE has a 0.2 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Xeon Processor W3503 and the Opteron 8218 HE have the same L2 cache size, but the Opteron 8218 HE does not appear to have an L3 cache, so the Xeon Processor W3503 definitely wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.