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As most people know, Intel adopt a Tick Tock model for processors development: a tick advances manufacturing technology, a tock delivers new microarchitecture. Usually this mean that a tick means processors with more frequency speed (sometimes also more cores and/or more cache) and a tock means usually new features (but not necessary more frequency speed and/or more cache/cores).

But when a new generation (tick or tock) as been introduced, after some months, this usually means cheaper processors (or at similar price) compared to previous generation.

Now a possible confusion could be generated by the Westmere family (the tick evolution of the Nehalem) that was probably much articulated with at least two big Xeon branch: the Westmere-EP (really simple to understand a just an evolution in speed of the previous models) and the Westmere-EX (the Xeon E7 series) that was much similar as a tock evolution.

To make things more complicated the tock evolution as been called Xeon E5, making diffult a comparison with the E7 (the old model) series, for several reasons: numbers does not help (E5 seems a system with lower feature compared to E7), cache is bigger on E7 (24 MB compared to 20MB), memory speed is limited on E7 (also compared with old Westmere-EP).

But price comparison is much interesting: if we compared a E5-2670 (Recommended Customer Price: $1552 – $1556) with a E7-4830 (Recommended Customer Price: $2059) price make the E5 solution much valuable (considering that also are mounted on new servers generations). With the only (little) disadvantage of the cache size. For a complate feature comparison see the datasheets at Intel web site:

Product Name Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2670 (20M Cache, 2.60 GHz, 8.00 GT/s Intel® QPI) Intel® Xeon® Processor E7-4830 (24M Cache, 2.13 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI)
Code Name Sandy Bridge-EP Westmere EX
Status Launched Launched
Launch Date Q1’12 Q2’11
Processor Number E5-2670 E7-4830
# of Cores 8 8
# of Threads 16 16
Clock Speed 2.6 GHz 2.13 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.3 GHz 2.4 GHz
Cache 20 MB 24 MB Intel® Smart Cache
Bus/Core Ratio 33 16
Bus Type QPI QPI
System Bus 8 GT/s 6.4 GT/s
# of QPI Links 2
Instruction Set 64-bit 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions AVX SSE4.1/4.2
Embedded Options Available No No
Lithography 32 nm 32 nm
Scalability 2S Only S4S
Max TDP 115 W 105 W
VID Voltage Range 0.60V-1.35V
Recommended Customer Price 2059.00
Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 750 GB 2048 GB
Memory Types DDR3-800/1066/1333/1600 DDR-3 800/978/1066/1333 (Max Speed 1066 MHz)
# of Memory Channels 4 4
Max Memory Bandwidth 51.2 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported Yes Yes
Expansion Options
PCI Express Revision 3.0
Package Specifications
Max CPU Configuration 2 4
TCASE 81.8°C 64°C
Package Size 52.5mm x 45.0mm 49.17mm x 56.47mm
Sockets Supported FCLGA2011 LGA1567
Low Halogen Options Available See MDDS See MDDS
Advanced Technologies
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 Yes
Intel® vPro Technology Yes
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) Yes
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology Yes Yes
AES New Instructions Yes Yes
Intel® 64 Yes Yes
Idle States Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes Yes
Intel® Demand Based Switching Yes
Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes Yes
Intel® Flex Memory Access Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes Yes

For new processors (actually only for the desktop market) see also: Unofficial Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Datasheet.