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Intel's new Nehalem-EX CPUs rock servers with eight cores, 16 threads, infinite sex appeal

Tim Stevens

What's that, you have an array of six-core CPUs in your rack? That is so last year. You're going to feel pretty foolish when all the cool admins start popping eight-core chips up in their closets this fall. That's the number on offer in Intel's latest, the Nehalem-EX. It's an evolution of the architecture that some of you may be spinning in your Core i7 machines, but boosted to support up to 16 threads and 24MB of cache. 2.3 billion transistors make the magic happen here, and Intel is pledging a nine-times improvement in memory bandwidth over the Xeon 7400. Chips are set to start hitting sockets sometime later this year, and while nobody's talking prices, staying hip in the enterprise server CPU crowd doesn't come cheap.

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