The improvement of power consumption in idle mode is impressive. With heavy virtualization, how often is a barebone server idle?
"...a 70 percent increase in performance for the same energy consumption." Does it mean absolute performance improvement when the CPU is fully utilized at the moment?
It wasn't that long ago that people were writing about ARM unseating Intel in the server market. This is a good example of Intel not sitting idle. ARM may make some inroads into the small server market, but I really think that the data center and high performance server markets will be the domain of Intel for a long time to come.
The datacenters of the future are putting more emphasis on energy efficiency than on bare-bones performance, making Intel's latest server processor a smart move for the king-of-microprocessors. The coolest feature--besides the power saving "balance" mode--is the ultra-high-speed ring surrounding the octal cores, which marries performance to efficiency in a manner reminescent of supercomputer architectures.