Yesterday, Intel launched its new Xeon 5500 series processors, code named Nehalem-EP. This is essentially the first server-class version of what Intel launched on the desktop as Core i7 last fall. With no frontside bus, and an embedded, multi-channel memory controller in the processor package, it is smoking fast.
Pat Gelsinger did a side-by-side performance demo which launched an SSRS report, running reporting queries against a 1.5 TB SSAS OLAP cube, built using a Microsoft adCenter data set. The demo showed how Nehalem-EP is 2X faster than a Xeon 5400 on the same workload, with the same DRAM and I/O configuration. Not too shabby, but we've seen even faster results (~3-4X faster) on workloads which are more memory bandwidth-intensive, like data warehousing or in-memory OLAP workloads.
Also yesterday, our good friends at Fujitsu, Dell, and IBM, used SQL Server 2008 to show off the performance of Intel's new processor, in their latest 2P server platforms, by delivering great new TPC-E results which have break-through per-processor performance and price/performance. Please follow the links for the full scoop on each benchmark result. Congratulations to each!