Friday 7 March 2008

Answer the Intel Xeon Questions & Win an Intel Boxed E6750

This one is pretty simple: We can't seem to get a clear answer out of anyone on the front line in the Intel Reseller Program.

What we want to know: What does the "X" denote in front of the Intel Xeon 5400 Processor Series Number.

Example: Intel X5450 Product Specs:

Intel Xeon Processor X5450 Specifications

And here, we have the Intel Xeon E5440 Product Specs:

Intel Xeon Processor E5450 Specifications

And here they are side by side:

Intel Xeon Processor Specifications Side by Side

So, yes, we do see that the "X" series has a higher Thermal Design Power (TDP).

Since we are not processor engineers, what does that mean too?

The questions again:
  1. What does the "X" in front of the 5400 Processor Series number stand for (versus the "E")?
  2. What does the difference in TDP between the two processors mean?
While we will try our best to verify with Intel what the actual answers are, it may end up being a "best answer" kind of deal.

Please post your answer in the comments section ... and have fun with it.

We will choose the best answer two weeks from now: March 21, 2008 at 17:30hrs Mountain Standard Time. We request that all eligible commenters not be anonymous.

We will Expidite via Canada Post a Boxed Intel E6750 processor (new in the box) to the winner anywhere Canada Post can deliver. Please verify that before hand.

Happy Friday and have a good weekend! ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


stryqx said...

The X, E and L designators are used for performance, standard and low-power models.

On the face of it, there's not much difference between an X-series Xeon and an E-series Xeon, apart from TDP.

Intel use TDP to tell system builders how much heat they need to shift away from the CPU to have it functioning correctly. A higher TDP means that the processor is potentially going to output more heat. What does this mean for the difference between an X-series Xeon and an E-series Xeon? Well, it means that an X-series Xeon most likely has an unlocked clock multiplier and can hence be overclocked to a higher rate, so long as the system builder is able to dissipate heat based on the TDP rating.

In summary, higher TDP == higher overclocking speeds (while retaining stability).

Wikipedia - Xeon 5200-series
Wikipedia - TDP": Thermal Design Power
AnandTech - QX9650 Overclocking: An example of TDP and how it relates to overclocking

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


One of the Intel Call Jockeys that I spoke to indicated that the "X" means an unlocked multiplier.

The subsequent call jockeys denied that.

Unfortunately, we are not in the position where we can experiment with that at the moment. ;)

However, it would make sense for those putting together a performance oriented box for 3D crunching, video editing and rendering, and the like to have the ability to clock up.

More power for them means less time per job.

Thanks for the comment.