It seems that the Woodcrest processor, the server / workstation version of the ever popular Core 2 Duo from Intel, is having trouble gaining ground without a solid high performance chipset. 

Intel’s own Greencreek platform does allow for a single PCI-E X16 slot – sufficient for a typical midrange workstation. But that is far from enough for 3D powerhouse workstation systems, where SLI or CrossFire may be mandatory to get the 3D performance required.

The loads here are usually different than those of gaming PCs. First, the applications – whether engineering, CAD or multimedia creation – are far better multithreaded than even the high end games, justifying quad-core or even eight-core machines easily. Sometimes, on an eight core, you get six to seven times speed-up over a single core in app like Cinema 4D for rendering. So, a multi-core system with truckload of memory is actually helpful here.

Secondly, the engineering models usually may not have much of texture or environment reality trickery, but will have many millions of polygons – navigating or viewing that in real time needs all the vertex processing power a card – or two of them – can provide. In this case, SLI or Crossfire setup is actually necessary, not a fashion statement – too bad that 3DLabs Realizm 800 is not around anymore, it could do almost any job by itself.