bit-tech's Multi-Core Gaming Server

Written by Wil Harris

September 5, 2006 | 15:41

Tags: #counter-strike-source #server #source #trustedreviews #virtualisation #virtualization

Companies: #bit-tech #intel

As you will surely know, we're pretty enthusiastic gamers here at bit-tech. All our graphics reviews are conducted in real-world gaming scenarios, and we spend many a lunchtime here in the office indulging in a spot of virtual warfare.

One thing that we've really lacked is a public server where we can come and play against all you guys, pitting the might of the team against the power of the people. Well, we decided a while back that we wanted to put that right.

However, we didn't just want to go and rent any old server from a hosting company. This is bit-tech, and you guys expect a lot from us. We review some of the hottest hardware, often before release, and we knew you'd all appreciate something a little different.

We pitched the idea to our colleagues over at TrustedReviews and they agreed that something a little out of the ordinary would be a good idea. So, we got on the phone to our buddies at Intel.

bit-tech's Multi-Core Gaming Server Core
Intel, as you surely know, is a company that is pretty good at making things happen. The execution of its Core 2 Duo parts has been flawless, and we've been recommending them left right and centre to friends and readers. Why not build our own Counter-Strike server out of Core 2 Duo chips? After all, the dual-core power would be welcome.

When we suggested this to Nick Knupffer and Alistair Kemp, our PR boys on the inside, they agreed that a server based on the Core chip was a great idea, but they wanted to push things even further. Why stop at two cores? Why not push things even further?

Well, that sounded like a good idea to us, so we set about it. What you'll see over the following pages is the our first steps into creating the most powerful gaming server in the world.

bit-tech's Multi-Core Gaming Server Core

Next-gen chips

Let's hit the road(maps). Core 2 Duo chips are the current generation Intel processors, comprising of Conroe (desktop), Merom (mobile) and Woodcrest (server/workstation). These chips are based on the Core microarchitecture, which we covered comprehensively here. They're the latest iteration of the Pentium M, which has replaced the Pentium 4 as the Intel chip of choice.

The Core microarchitecture doesn't stop with those chips, however - it's the foundation for many more to come. The next Extreme Edition chip is called Kentsfield, and it has four cores, not just two, along with a hefty dollop of cache. In the server market, the new Xeon chip due to hit a little afterwards at Christmas is called Clovertown, which also has four cores.

Right now, we can't tell you exactly what our gaming server is running - not until the Intel Developer Forum at the end of September. Trust me when we say it's nice.
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