updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue September 19, 2006
Intel's "Core 2 Quadro"
Intel is expected by the end of this month to officially name its "Kentsfield" quad-core desktop processor as the "Core 2 Quadro," according to a new report. Confirming earlier reports, the new quad-core chips are expected to arrive in November, ahead of the holiday season and ahead of the expected 2007 rollout. Digitimes reports that the first quad-core processor will be an "Extreme version" designed for high-end gamers and computer enthusiasts: the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 will be available starting in mid-November, according to sources at leading Taiwan motherboard makers. The QX6700, which will be clocked at 2.66GHz, will target the high-end gaming market as well as to counter AMD's fourth quarter introduction of its Socket-AM2 Athlon 64 FX-64 CPU, which will feature speeds of up to 3.0GHz and sport a 2x1MB L2 cache.
As a follow-up, Intel is expected to launch a new 65nm quad-core CPU, the Core 2 Quadro Q6600, in the first quarter of 2007, ahead of AMD's planned launch of server-use quad-core Deerhound in 2007 and desktop quad-core Greyhound in 2008, according to report.
Apple's current generation iMac use a "Merom" Core 2 Duo, while the Mac mini and portables--both the MacBook and MacBook Pro--still use the Core Duo chips. Apple's high-end Mac Pro desktop workstations use the "Woodcrest" Xeon server CPU. A quad-core "Cloverton" version of Xeon is also expected by the of the year and is already shown to be compatible with the current-generation Mac Pros as noted in our 8-core Mac Pro report.
The second-generation quad-core Socket-775 Q6600 CPU will have a core speed of 2.4 GHz, a built-in 2x4MB L2 cache and support a 1066 MHz FSB and also include several advanced Intel technologies, including Speedstep technology, Intel Virtualization and Execute Disable Bit functionalities. The report says that the the quad-core CPUs can be paired with either Intel's high-end 975X or mainstream P965 chipsets, although a minor change in the design of the power-supply module on P965-based motherboards is required.