Yesterday, Intel announced the newest incarnation of their quad-core Xeon CPUs. The 5400 series is a low-voltage chip designed for tight spaces such as blades and 1U servers. On the very day of the announcement, I was finally firing up a test box running a pair of 5420s. These are 2.5Ghz quad-core CPUs with 12MB cache built on the 45nm die, and I'm running them in an Intel server chassis on the S5000PSL mainboard. These chips aren't designed to be speed demons -- rather, they're designed to be lighter on the power budget while still offering decent performance.
I haven't had a lot of time for testing and benchmarking yet, but I do have some results from basic tests. Some of these tests are threaded and make use of the eight total cores in the box, but others are single-threaded and highlight the performance expected from that type of application. Additionally, most of these tests also reflect disk I/O performance. Essentially, these are real-world tests, not just CPU tests.
All tests were run on my test system, which has 4GB in two 2GB FB-DIMMs, two quad-core Xeon 5420LV chips at 2.5Ghz per core, two Seagate SATA II drives in a hardware RAID1 array built with the Intel embedded RAID controller (which is an LSI chipset) on the S5000PSL mainboard. The OS was a fully-updated CentOS 5 build.
I ran all tests in the sql-bench suite against the local host using sockets. All tests completed in 1435 seconds (23.9 minutes).
I used LAME to encode an 838MB WAV file to MP3 at a 256k bitrate, VBR 2. This is a single-threaded task, and completed in 404 seconds (6m 44s)
Another single-threaded task, but a common one. Calculating the MD5 sum of the same 838MB WAV file took 2.6 seconds.
I ran bzip2 on the same 838MB WAV file. The times were 182s (3m2s) to compress, and 77s (1m17s) to decompress.