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Nehalem EP (Xeon) Processors 'Ridiculously fast'


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
11,810 reports on some preliminary benchmarks on Intel's upcoming Nehalem EP chips which they say will be sold as the Xeon X5560 CPUs in the 1st quarter of 2009. Apple has traditionally used the Xeon processors for the Mac Pro line.

Based on their early benchmarks of dual-processor configurations, TechRadar found that the new Nehalem Xeon scored favorably in SPECfp benchmark with a score of 160 as compared to a score of 90 for Intel's current Penryn-based Xeons running at 3.4GHz.
And remember, Nehalem EP's 160 point score is for a pre-production system running at 2.8GHz. Models humming a 3.2GHz tune will be available when the chip launches early next year
The current Mac Pro uses the Xeon ("Harpertown") 5400 series processors in dual-processor configurations. It has been speculated that Apple will be migrating the Mac Pro to these Nehalem Xeon processors which are due in the first quarter of 2009.

Article Link: Nehalem EP (Xeon) Processors 'Ridiculously fast'


macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2005
Palo Alto CA.
I hope they don't go for the desktop line.

With the amount of stress. And the hours I log. And plan to log on my mac pro. It is very comforting to know. That I do have a server class chip in my mac. That I don't have to worry about stressing her.


macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
Hmm... when deciding what to spend my money on... I think I'll go for 'ridiculously fast'... yes, I like the sound of that. :)


macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
those specifications are incredible.... i sure hope that these CPU's hold up in real world tests, not just the one they have done here.


macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2008
I hope they don't go for the desktop line.

With the amount of stress. And the hours I log. And plan to log on my mac pro. It is very comforting to know. That I do have a server class chip in my mac. That I don't have to worry about stressing her.

Unless you're running a server, you don't really need a server class chip. You don't need to worry about stressing it out or wearing it out either. A server class CPU isn't going to last any longer than a normal CPU, they're not made "tougher" or anything of the sort.


macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2003
That's outstanding! Just think how fast we'll be able to watch our stocks depreciate! ;)


macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
Given the clear bias in the article. I would give odds of 2 to 1 that the author is taking it up the chuff from Intel.

All the reports so far including from someone I know works at intel with these chips is a 30% - 40% increase, not an amazing 60% which this article is claiming.

They are clearly faster then penryn but not as fast as claimed in this article. As you guys will note if any of you crunch at Seti. The penryn chips are still faster when it comes to the short tasks that Who?'s 8 Core Nehalem machine.

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
In my imagination

Alienware's aren't Xeons.

Agreed, it just won't happen anytime soon if at all.

As for the speed increase, this is what an upgrade in processor speed should be. I will have no problem waiting for these chips to be in a Mac Pro so I can step down my trusty, extremely reliable dual 2 Ghz G5. This will truly be an upgrade.

p.s. I'd love desktop chips, but Apple won't do it. So instead of whining about it like I have done for years now, I will just suck it up and pay an extra $1000. This is the Apple world we live in.


macrumors member
Feb 27, 2008
Xeon's architecture are identical to the Core (desktop parts). The differences are very minor. Last generation, Core2, the difference being the socket because they used FB-DIMM. Sure special versions, typically lower power or MP versions will have larger or smaller cache, depending on what the chip is made for, but again these chips are identical. Intel release's desktop chips for UNI processor systems, then rebrands/rebins those same chips, and calls them Xeons. There are a few cases where you can run 2 desktop chips on a special board (more so last generation than this) but thats the main distinction. Desktop = single socket
Xeon = Dual+

The main architectural difference this generation is that the Xeons have pins/die space for TWO QPI connects which allows it to be placed in system with 2 or more. The Desktop chips only have one active QPI link (the other is disabled) which only allows to be used by itself.

Sooooo in conclusion. YOU CANT HAVE THE "DESKTOP" chips that are out now in your precious Mac towers. And the chips that will be coming out for your mac towers in less then two months WILL BE IDENTICAL performance wise.

Smile everyone :)


macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
It's about time, I've been ready to buy a new machine for a while but they haven't updated in ages.

Desktop CPUs for the Mac Pro not Workstation CPUs please.

Why? That doesn't seem to make any sense.

What apple should do is use the workstation CPUs in the big tower but ALSO have a "budget" model with desktop cpus.

Wie Gehts

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2007
And Jobs can design a thin little black box to stick it in. Drop firewire, usb, A/V, superdrive, keyboard and display altogether. Screw you Apple.
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