SAP numbers were available a few months ago, and now, TPC-C and TPC-E results are available for 2-socket Intel Xeon 5570 systems with the Nehalem quad-core processor. The TPC-C result is on Oracle/Linux, no SQL Server on Windows yet. The TPC-E results are all SQL Server 2008.
I mentioned before that my expectations was that Nehalem would generate substantial performance gain on high call volume applications (ie, the transaction benchmarks), partially attributed to the processor core, but mostly to the return of Hyper-Threading (HT). When HT was first proposed for the Pentium 4 generation, the expectation was that substantial performance gain was possible because certain applications could would many dead cycles waiting for memory access, etc. As with most first generation concepts, the actual performance gains in TPC-C were in the range of 7-10%, and a number of other operations could actually experience performance anomalies, that is, degradation, so HT had to be used with care, or even disabled. I did observe a very large gain (30-50%) with HT in Quest LiteSpeed compression tests on the first Prescott generation NetBurst Xeons. So the expectation was that once the tricky issues with HT in complex code like SQL Server, large gains should also be possible.
System Configuration TPC-C
DL370G6 2 Xeon 5570 Quad-core 2.93GHz, 8M L3, 144GB 631,766 (Oracle/Linux)
DL580G5 4 Xeon 7460 Six-core 2.66GHz 16M L3, 256GB 634,825
Fujitsu RX300 2 Xeon X5570 Quad-core 2.93GHz, 8M L3, 96GB 800.00
x3650M2 2 Xeon X5570 Quad-core 2.93GHz, 8M L3, 96GB 798.00
Dell T610 2 Xeon X5570 Quad-core 2.93GHz, 8M L3, 96GB 766.47
TX300 S4 2 Xeon X5460 Quad-core 3.16GHz, 8M L2, 64GB 317.45
Dell R900 4 Dunnington Six-core 2.66GHz, 16M L3, 64GB 671.35
My expectation is that Xeon 5500 series should show moderate gains in TPC-H style large queries. No results are currently available. It is very dissappointing that vendors only want to show a partial picture of what to expect. SPEC CPU integer results show a reasonable gain of 31.5 for Xeon 5570 versus 25.3 Xeon 5460. The individual components range from a few very large gains, several good gains, a number of modest gains and a slight decrease for the bzip2 component, so expect variations in narrow testing.
Anyways, I will get a Xeon 5500 system for my own testing as soon as I can. If anyone wants to loan a Opteron Shanghai system, I can do current generation comparison tests. But I do not really have my own budget right now for the Opteron system.