Over the past few years, my [x264 benchmark] has been honored to accept results from many an exotic system. Amongst these are some of the weirder x86 CPUs like a Transmeta Efficēon, a cacheless Intel Celeron that only exists in Asia, and even my good old 486 DX4-S/100 which needed almost nine months to complete what modern boxes do in 1-2 hours. Plus the more exotic ones like the VLIW architecture Intel Itanium² or some ARM RISC chips, one of them sitting on a Raspberry Pi. Also, PowerPC, a MIPS-style chinese 龙芯, or Loongson-2f as we call it, and so on and so forth.
There is however one chip that we’ve been hunting for years now, and never got a hold of. The Intel TULSA. A behemoth, just like the [golden driller] standing in the city that gave the chip its name. Sure, the Pentium 4 / Netburst era wasn’t the best for Intel, and the architecture was the laughingstock of all AMD users of that time. Some of the cores weren’t actually that bad though, and Tulsa is a specifically mad piece of technology.
Ehm… I said Tulsa, not Tulisa, come on guys, stay focused here! A processor, silicon and stuff (not silicone, fellas).
Now that’s more like it right there! People seem to agree that the first native x86 dual core was built by Intel and that it was the Core 2. Which is wrong. It wasn’t.
It was a hilarious 150W TDP Netburst Monster weighing almost 1.33 billion transistors with up to 16MB of Level 3 cache, Hyperthreading and an unusually high clock speed for a top-end server processor. The FSB800 16MB L3 Xeon MP 7140M part we’re seeing here clocks at 3.4GHz, which is pretty high even for a single core desktop Pentium 4. There also was an FSB667 part called Xeon MP 7150N clocking at 3.5GHz. Only that here we have 2 cores with HT and a metric ton of cache!
These things can run on quad sockets. Meaning a total of 8 cores and 16 threads, like seen on some models of the HP ProLiant DL580 G4. Plus, they’re x86_64 chips too, so they can run 64-Bit operating systems.
And the core point: They’re rare. Extremely rare, especially in the maxed-out configuration of four processors. And I want them tested, as real results are scarce and almost nowhere to be found. Also, Thomsen-XE (who took that photograph of a 7140M up there) wants to see them show off! We have been searching for so long, and missed two guys with corresponding machines by such a narrow margin already!
We want the mightiest of all Netbursts and
Intels first native dual core processor to finally show its teeth and prove that with enough brute force, it can even kill the Core 2 micro-architecture (as long as you have your own power plant, that is)!
So now, I’m asking you to please tell us in the comments whether you have or have access to such a machine and if you would agree to run the completely free x264 benchmark on that system. Windows would be nice for a reference x264 result, but don’t mind the operating system too much. Linux and most flavors of UNIX will do the job too! Guides for multiple operating systems are readily available at the bottom of the results list in [English] as well as [German].
If anyone can help us out, that’d be awesome! Your result will of course be published under your name, and there will be a big thank you here for you!
And don’t forget to say bye bye to Tulisa:
Update: According to a [comment] by Sjaak Trekhaak my statements that Tulsa was Intels first native dual core were false. There were others with release dates before Tulsa, like the first Core Duo or the smaller Netburst-based Xeons with Paxville DP core, as you can also see in my reply to Sjaaks comment. Thus, the strike-through parts in the above text.