5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2009 12:12 PM by vogelc

    Ask a "Nehalem" Expert


      Do you have a question about the new XEON 5500-series processor, code-named "Nehalem'?


      Join the discussion w/ Nehalem product/technology experts.


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        • 1. Re: Ask a "Nehalem" Expert

          I need to mix 2 Nehalem-EP 55xx processors on S5520HC board.  How do I know which processors are compatible to mix?  And is there any additional step needed to use 2 mixed processors on the system?  I tried E5540 with E5530, X5560 with E5520, but all I got is a black screen when I power on the system.  Front panel LED is ok, no POST code, no beep code, nothing on screen to tell me what's wrong.

          Please help, thanks.

          • 2. Re: Ask a "Nehalem" Expert

            Hi db4, Thanks for your question. I found the information you are looking for here in the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series, Datasheet Volume 1.


            Now, I'm sure you don't want to really read the whole thing, so to make it easier to answer this specific question, here is the section that may interest you.


            2.3 Mixing Processors

            Intel supports dual processor (DP) configurations consisting of processors:

            1. from the same power optimization segment

            2. that support the same maximum Intel QuickPath Interconnect and DDR3 memory


            3. that share symmetry across physical packages with respect to the number of

            logical processor per package, number of cores per package, number of Intel

            QuickPath interfaces, and cache topology

            4. that have identical Extended Family, Extended Model, Processor Type, Family Code

            and Model Number as indicated by the function 1 of the CPUID instruction

            Note: Processors must operate with the same Intel QuickPath Interconnect, DDR3 memory,

            and core frequency.

            While Intel does nothing to prevent processors from operating together, some

            combinations may not be supported due to limited validation, which may result in

            uncharacterized errata. Coupling this fact with the large number of Intel Xeon

            Processor 5500 series attributes, the following population rules and stepping matrix

            have been developed to clearly define supported configurations.

            1. Processors must be of the same power-optimization segment. This insures

            processors include the same maximum Intel QuickPath interconnect and DDR3

            operating speeds and cache sizes.

            2. Processors must operate at the same core frequency. Note, processors within the

            same power-optimization segment supporting different maximum core frequencies

            (e.g. a 2.93 GHz / 95 W and 2.66 GHz / 95 W) can be operated within a system.

            However, both must operate at the highest frequency rating commonly supported.

            Mixing components operating at different internal clock frequencies is not

            supported and will not be validated by Intel.

            3. Processors must share symmetry across physical packages with respect to the

            number of logical processors per package, number of cores per package (but not

            necessarily the same subset of cores within the packages), number of Intel

            QuickPath interfaces, and cache topology.

            4. Mixing dissimilar steppings is only supported with processors that have identical

            Extended Family, Extended Model, Processor Type, Family Code and Model Number

            as indicated by the function 1 of the CPUID instruction. Mixing processors of

            different steppings but the same model (as per CPUID instruction) is supported.

            Details regarding the CPUID instruction are provided in the AP-485,

            Intel® Processor Identification and the CPUID Instruction application note and the

            Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manual, Volume 2A.

            5. After AND’ing the feature flag and extended feature flags from the installed

            processors, any processor whose set of feature flags exactly matches the AND’ed

            feature flags can be selected by the BIOS as the BSP. If no processor exactly

            matches the AND’ed feature flag values, then the processor with the numerically

            lower CPUID should be selected as the BSP.

            6. Intel requires that the proper microcode update be loaded on each processor

            operating within the system. Any processor that does not have the proper

            microcode update loaded is considered by Intel to be operating out of specification.

            7. Customers are fully responsible for the validation of their system configuration.


            Let us know if this answers your question.

            • 3. Re: Ask a "Nehalem" Expert

              Thank you for your reply.  Yes I can mix those processors from the spec you posted.  The problem I had was with the socket board, some pins were bended.  After reworked, it boot fine.

              • 4. Re: Ask a "Nehalem" Expert

                Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Intel,


                I need your help and knowledge for making a decision.
                I'm going to buy a new workstation at Dell company within the next 4 weeks.
                I will use it mainly with 3D applications Maya and Rhino.
                It will be a dual processor workstation and uses one of the following processors:


                x5570 or w5580.


                I know about the basic technical differences:
                x5570    2,93 GHz 95W
                w5580    3,20 GHz 130W


                But when reading technical forums it is often said, the x5570 is specified for server applications while the w5580 is made for workstation use.
                So besides powerconsuming and clockspeed, are there any markable differences with the application running?
                Will a x5570 handle Maya actions any different then a w5580 does?


                Thank you for your help!




                • 5. Re: Ask a "Nehalem" Expert

                  On the new Nehalem based boxes we are seeing a discrepancy reported from the OS on the installed memory.  I have used (12) 4GB dimms and (6) 8GB dimms and both show the exact same amount of phyical memory avaible.  The issue is that the OS is only reporting that  I have 47.144GB?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.