During Intel’s launch of the 875 chipset, there was mention that the Canterwood chipset had the ability to support Dual processors. Many who saw that news and heard about the development of a Canterwood dually believed it might be all part of an elaborate hoax. Well, we’re here to tell you it is not a hoax, and the proof is coming from Asus, one of the world’s largest motherboard makers. When Asus first asked AnandTech if we would be interested in taking a look at their new Dual Xeon 875, we jumped at the opportunity.

The PC-DL is unique in more that just the capability of its 875 to run two Xeon chips. It is also one of the most affordable dual-processor boards on the market. We are told it will sell for below $300 – somewhere in the $240 to $300 range. Asus believes this relatively low price also will make the board attractive to gamers and Performance Enthusiasts, in addition to the natural target of the Workstation and Small Server Market.

So, is this the same 875 chipset that is currently dominating the high end of the Pentium 4 market? In general the answer is, “yes, it is.” Intel’s 875 and earlier E7205 share almost the same architecture, but they have different memory speed capabilities. It is expected that the 875 will eventually replace the E7205, Intel’s first Dual-Channel workstation/server design. What is unique about the new Asus is that it is almost a step backwards in terms of processor support. Intel has been expected to update Xeon with the latest 875 features like 800FSB, but it has not happened yet. So, Asus has introduced PC-DL with support for dual 533FSB Xeons. This is likely the first step on the road to the new 800FSB Xeons, because many have recently complained that Xeons are falling behind in the performance area to the latest in the Pentium 4 family.

While the PC-DL appears quite unique right now, this is the beginning, not the end, of the many variations we will likely be seeing with the new dual processor boards based on the 875 chipset. When you’re looking at results with the Dual Xeon 3.06 Processors, keep in mind that Xeons with 800FSB capabilities will undoubtedly make their appearance in the near future. As we saw with the move of Pentium 4 from 533 to 800FSB, this change alone will bring a significant boost in performance. The 875 chipset, of course, is already 800FSB capable, so the move to 800FSB Processors should be an easy one.

However excited we may be about the prospect of new higher FSB Xeons, what we have to evaluate right now is a Dual 3.06 Xeon 875 with two 533FSB CPUs. Since Asus is touting this dually as a potential gaming platform and a board for Computer Enthusiasts, we decided to evaluate it from that perspective. The features such as Serial ATA Raid, Firewire, 8X AGP 3.0, onboard CSA LAN, and Promise RAID will remind you more of the Asus P4C800-E than they will of other Xeon boards. We will do some workstation comparisons later in the review, but we are reviewing the PC-DL, and comparing it to the performance from the current top Pentium 4, Barton, and Opteron/Athlon64 boards that we have tested.

Asus PC-DL: Basic Features
POST A COMMENT

29 Comments

View All Comments

  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 08, 2003 - link

    Xeon DPs are still at the 533 right now. Xeon MPs are worse off at just 400. Faster Xeons are just around the corner though. Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, September 08, 2003 - link

    Aren't the Xenons at 667FSB? But as usual, they share the bandwidth, which is really bad since they crave bandwidth, but good for memory access. But clearly the HT idea is faster.

    Running though at 800 maybe really too hard to do, or not ?
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 08, 2003 - link

    Remember Xeons were built for the server market where stability is king. Intel knew this and this is why the 533MHz FSB has stuck around so long. As Intel rolls out more 800Mhz FSB chipsets and P4 chips the 800Mhz FSB Xeon should follow several months later. The same process could be seen back when the 400Mhz FSB Xeons were around. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 08, 2003 - link

    Well don't take my word for it, wait for the results yourself and then you can admit you are a fool! Clueless kids looking to argue... What a waste of time. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 07, 2003 - link

    Is HyperThreading enabled for those Dual Xeons? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 07, 2003 - link

    @13 "it would not improve performance enough to even be competitive"

    lol... what reviews have you been reading? the extra fsb makes a huge difference! THG overclocked the Xeons by 7 mhz and averaged somewhere around 4-4.5% performance increase! That's pretty damn significant. Even bringing the Xeons up to 667 FSB would make it a very good performer!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Don't believe everything you read... ESPECIALLY from Intel. Go read THG's review and *maybe* you'll have a better appreciation for why Intel ain't likely to release a 800 MHS FSB Xeon any time soon and it would not improve performance enough to even be competitive when a 2.0 Gig. Opteron/A64 blows the doors off a dual 3.06 Gig. Xeon. If you wanna feel bad... look at how the dual Opteron beats up on a dual Xeon. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Read the news -- Intel has said it WILL produce 800Mhz FSB Xeons (when is a bit of a question: the last report I read over a month ago said Q1 '04 but they may have moved it up -- that's what this article seems to imply). Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    There are technical reasons why the Xeon can't do 800 MHz FSB. Tom's Hardware went into some of the reasons in their dual Xeon test where Opteron also smoked the Xeon even with the new L3 cache. The reality is that Intels current processors have just become obsolete with Opteron and A64. The benches for A64 will show equal or better performance for a single CPU than Opteron. For multi-processor systems above (4) CPUs the Opteron has an advantage over the A64. As the benches show Intel simply has nothing to compete in either the desktop or server segments and soon the A64 will be available in laptop to so Intel needs to get it in gear. Needless to say all Opteron/A64 CPUs will run both 32-bit and 64-bit O/S's. Linux has been available and Windoze will be available soon. AMD has definitety made a qunatum performance leap over Intel this time, no doubt. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Remember that server boards have to go through more stringent evaluation then desktop boards. I don't think Intel even considers 800Mhz FSB stable enough for their Xeons yet, and it's a shame. There is only so much increasing your L2 cache size can do for you. I don't think you can use 2.4Cs on this board even if you could find a socket adapter -- remember the 'overclocking settings' were limited to 133->165 (that's almost the 667Mhz FSB that Intel might move the Xeon to soon). So you'd be underclocking it by at least 17%, and at that point why bother? That's if you can find some video card that will take a 79Mhz AGP speed -- good luck with that. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now