- The Hyper-Threading Technology doubles the number of execution threads to increase performance for workloads optimized for multiple threads, such as simulation-based design, ray tracing, rendering, etc.
- The Turbo Boost Technology "overclocks" the core frequencies under heavy load, to increase performance.
- The Smart Cache dynamically allocates cache resources based on the demands of each core so data is managed more efficiently to optimize execution across all cores.
(Source: "Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series workstation product brief" -- intel.com, PDF, 224KB)
The new processors will work with the same chipsets, motherboards and memory as the 5500 series making the upgrade seamless.
HP announced servers (link, PDF) with the new 5600 series processors, but not workstations yet.