Optimizing the Performance of IBM System x and BladeCenter Servers Using Intel Xeon 5500 Series Processors

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Executive Summary

The Intel Xeon 5500 series processors are next-generation quad-core processors targeted at the two-socket server space and will be the common building block across a number of IBM platforms, including the IBM BladeCenter HS22 blade server, the 1U x3550 M2 and 2U x3650 M2 rack servers, and the IBM iDataPlex dx360 M2 server. With the Xeon 5500 series processors, Intel has diverged from its traditional Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) architecture to a Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architecture. In a two-processor scenario, the Xeon 5500 series processors are connected through a serial coherency link called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). The QPI is capable of 6.4, 5.6 or 4.8 GT/s (gigatransfers per second), depending on the processor model.

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