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Intel's Quads Arrive
Intel is out with its first two quad-core processors, the Xeon 5300, a k a Clovertown
Nov. 19, 2006 06:15 PM
Intel is out with its first two quad-core processors, the Xeon 5300, a k a Clovertown, for servers and the Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core, a k a Kentfield, for desktops.
Intel, which preens that it's ignited the quad core era, puts two dual-core Core 2 processors in a multi-chip package, an approach AMD, who's at best six months behind disses.
It's generally conceded that AMD with its monolithic approach might have an architectural advantage over Intel because it's integrating four cores and four memory controllers on a single die.
Chip analyst Nathan Brookwood says the two companies had different objectives that translated into different strategies. Intel put a premium on time-to-market and AMD needed to prove it could improve the best performance.
Lehman Brothers analyst Tim Luke observes that the quads came out on the same day as the latest Top500 list and that Intel's piece of the list dropped from 66% to 52% year-over-year while AMD went from 11% to 22% largely, he thinks, because it was first out with dual-cores.
Anyway, time will tell. Right now, Intel is flogging the Clovertowns for virtualization and touting the fact that they can deliver 50% faster performance in the same thermal envelop and at the same cost as the dual-core Xeon 5100s that it launched less than five months ago.
The Clovertowns will drop into the same hardware environment as the Woodcrest and Intel claims it will deliver a million quads before AMD ships one
The four new Xeons come in at 1.6GHz, 1.86GHz, 2.33GHz and 2.66GHz with a 1066MHz front-side bus at the low end for $455 or $690 and a 1333MHz front-side on the high end for $851 or $1,172. The 2.66GHz dissipates 120W, the others 80W. All have 8MB of L2 cache.
Intel has two more quad Xeons in the chutes for next quarter, a low-voltage model for ultra-dense deployments with a thermal power design (TPD) of 50W and a processor designed for single-socket workstations and servers.
The QX6700 desktop quad is worth 2.66GHz with a 130W TPD and a 1066MHz front-side bus and runs $999. For multimedia and gaming applications, it's supposed to be 80% faster than the current Core 2 Extreme X6800. It runs on the existing 975X Express chipsets.
There's supposed to be a mainstream quad in Q1.
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