REVIEW: INTEL XEON E5 CHIPS: FIRST WORKSTATIONS TESTED
pros Exceptional performance; Armari especially suited to CG rendering; Workstation Solutions boasts video-focused drive system; cons Very expensive
Intel’s new Xeon E5 processors boast all the technological improvements the chipmaker debuted in its latest line of Core i7s. The Sandy Bridge architecture underpinning them has smaller components than the previous generation (using a 32nm production process rather than 45nm), so it’s possible to get up to eight processor cores on a chip rather than six.
There’s more cache, four memory channels instead of three for faster memory access, and support for faster memory to boot. There's also support for soon-to-appear graphics cards that use the PCI Express 3.0 bus, plus other innovations, but the bottom line is more power for your creative applications. The new chips come at quite a price, though, so they’re best suited to high-end CG/VFX projects (indeed they don’t offer much extra bang for your buck over Core i7s in applications such as Photoshop).