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The Definitive Answer: What Makes a Xeon 3000 so Special?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I know there has been a lot of confusion among the entire enthusiast community as to what the difference is between the Core 2 Duo E6000 family of processors and the Xeon 3000 Family of processors. I hope to answer than question, in one post, right here, clear as day light.

The answer to the question:

After carefully reviewing all of the aspects covered in Intel processor data sheets for both the Xeon 3000 and E6000 family processors and the response by Intel, I conclude that there are no published differences in the processors in terms of FPU and SMID instructions as well as processor quality. This would seem to support the notion that these chips are the exact same (commonly referred to as Badge Engineering), just renamed by Intel as a new product line (making Intel a little more money).

Many people are reporting that the Xeon is having excellent overclocking results. This could very well be the result of comparing newer Xeons to older Core 2 Duo chips. Remember, the Xeon was released in September of 2006, after the Core 2 Duo. Comparing a early week "A" Core 2 Duo to a late week "B" Xeon would show better overclocking.

If you want to know why, read below.

Lets get straight to business.





This is a comparison of Intel's E6600 and Xeon 3060. As you can see, there seems to be no difference between them. There has been some speculation that perhaps the difference between the two processors is it FPU and SMID instructions. So I went and contacted Intel directly. Here is the question, and official response from Intel:

Question 1:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Thankyou for your quick response. I know that the Xeon 3060 has 4MB of cache, but I was confused by the level of the cache (L2 or L3). Intel links that I reported in my first page contradict themselves in that one report the Xeon 3000 family containing L3 cache and the other reported that the Xeon 3000 family contained L2 cache. There are clear concerns when purchasing a processor as to the level of cache that it has.


Response from Intel:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel Support
About your first question, the Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor 3060 has 4 MB of L2 Cache.


Question 2:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
I do not know if you can answer such a question, but, I wanted to know if
the Xeon 3000 family contained identical FPU and SMID instructions to the
mainstream desktop (E6XXX family)? I have looked through many Intel
documentations, which either do not mention the Xeon 3000 family, or are not
yet updated.


Response from Intel:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel Support
About your 2nd question, yes, Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor 3000 series family contains identical FPU and SMID instructions to the mainstream desktop (E6XXX family).


Question 3:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Another question which may be difficult for you to answer as an Intel
represenative: Is this chip justed a "higher priority" (binned) chip with
exact specifications as the E6XXX family? There is a lot of data which would
lead to this conclusion. The Xeon 3000 series has a lower voltage range and
thermal spec. Doesn't Intel place a higher priority on the Xeon (server)
processors in terms of silicon priority? This would be my logical
conclusion.


Response from Intel:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel Response
For the last question: the only information that we have about this mater is available at the datasheets at the following websites:
http://support.intel.com/design/xeon...htm#datasheets
http://support.intel.com/design/core2duo/documentation.htm#datashts
This feedback from Intel confirms that the Core 2 Duo E6000 and Xeon 3000 family are the exact same processor in terms of architecture.

Now to answer the question that we all want to know; are the Xeon 3000 chips binned?

So I went a read through the Intel Data sheet for the Xeon 3000 and Core 2 Duo 6000 family processors.

The results were interesting:
  1. Both the C2D 6000 and Xeon 3000 families have the exact same Vcc Static and Transient Tolerance for Processors with 2mb and 4mb L2 cache (although the values were different for 2mb and 4mb).
  2. Both the C2D 6000 and Xeon 3000 families have the exact same VCC Overshoot Specifications for all E6000 and Xeon 3000 family processors.
What does this mean? This means that the processors are both designed to tolerate the same level of voltage input and variation. After careful scrutiny of the entire Electrical Specifications of both processor families I was unable to find any differences.

The families also contain the exact same Processor Thermal Specifications and Thermal Profile. There is no difference.

After carefully reviewing all of the aspects covered in Intel processor data sheets for both the Xeon 3000 and E6000 family processors, I conclude that there are no published differences in the processor. This would seem to support the notion that these chips are the exact same (commonly referred to as Badge Engineering), just renamed by Intel as a new product line.

I hope that the input and review of enthusiast will help me correct any errors contained in this answer. I do not want to spread incorrect information.

Sources:

ftp://download.intel.com/design/Xeon...s/31491501.pdf
ftp://download.intel.com/design/proc...s/31327802.pdf
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post #2 of 5
nice work. REP+ to you for clearing this up.
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post #3 of 5
Win.

Xeon is more unique though, and personally I would pay $10 to get a little better name.
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post #4 of 5
Could the claim be made that because Xeon chips are made of higher-quality silicon, they are therefore better overclockers due to a higher quality? That would explain the binning process.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burn View Post
Could the claim be made that because Xeon chips are made of higher-quality silicon, they are therefore better overclockers due to a higher quality? That would explain the binning process.
The data sheet manual shows the exact same voltage requirements for both E6000 and Xeon 3000 families. That means that the Xeon chips are not subject to more stringent manufacturing guidelines.
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