A Preview of Intel’s Bensley Platform (Part I)

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The Bensley platform, to be released by Intel in 1Q06 will be a landmark product launch. Bensley has quite a few technical improvements to look forward to: dual front side buses, a snoop filter and the first implementation of FB-DIMMs. Intel is also beginning to deliver on their promise to provide platforms, not just chips. By any standards, Bensley will be a competitive server and workstation offering and the first good product based on Intel’s dual core MPUs. Performance wise, Intel should be closely matched with AMD, assuming that there are no radical shake ups in the roadmaps. Power consumption and thermal dissipation are an issue; each Dempsey MPU has a 130W TDP at 3.2GHz, and the instantaneous power delivery will need to be higher, but the performance/power is certainly improved over Paxville and Irwindale based systems. Perhaps more importantly, Bensley will offer an upgrade path to the Woodcrest MPU, which is based on Intel’s new microarchitecture. Now that you have seen the performance estimates, the only question left should be “What is the measured performance in a Bensley system?” Fortunately, we are well equipped to answer that question in the second part of this series, which will come later this week or possibly next week.

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