The guys over at 2CPU are quick on the draw with a review of the brand new, can’t-even-find-it-yet Intel Xeon X5680. It’s the bigger brother to the Intel Core i7-980X, itself a monstrous 3.33GHz, 6-core CPU. The Xeon has the extra pins and needles and validation to let you hook up 2 of them for a total of 12 cores. With HyperThreading that leaves you with 24 tiny little CPU graphs in Task Manager.

Do. Want.

Apparently AMD has some crazy chips coming out with 8- and 12-cores for 4-processor configurations, albeit at very low clock speeds. Still, 48 cores is within spitting distance of giving Windows 7 / 2008 R2 the fits. I have a nagging feeling that this level of performance will never make its way down to the $300 netbook/nettop level 🙂 As-is, a brand-new dual Xeon X5680 will set you back $1,600 USD per CPU, putting a whole system in the $5K+ USD range. Well, if you could find anyone who’s selling it anyway.

But the real question is, how fast does it run Paint.NET!? One of these would certainly cut my build times, now that Paint.NET is acquiring a large amount of C++/CLI in order to properly support Direct2D and DirectWrite. Using the /MP switch with the Visual C++ compiler results in all 8 threads of my Core i7-920 @ 4.0GHz being pegged at 100% for a significant amount of time.

Core i7-920 @ 4.0GHz, struggling to build the latest PaintDotNet.SystemLayer.Native DLL’s