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Intel's quad-core Xeon CPU roadmap

updated 09:10 pm EDT, Mon September 25, 2006

Quad-core Intel Xeons

Intel is planning new quad-core Kentsfield- and Clovertown-based chips for the lucrative server market, according to a new report that discusses Intel's Xeon processor roadmap. The company will release quad-core Kentsfield-based Xeon 3000 series processors for servers in early 2007--after the consumer-based Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro (November), according to Dailytech. The new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will be identical to the Core 2 Quadro processors, the report said, and will share the same Kentsfield core: there will be no architectural or socket differences between desktop Core 2 Quadro for desktops and Xeon X3000 series for servers; however, the Santa Clara-based chip giant will use product placement and marketing to help differentiate the prodcts.

The publication reports that the new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will feature a 1066MHz front-side bus and will be available in two speeds: 2.4GHz ($851) and 2.13GHz ($690), respectively. Like the desktop version, both variations of the Kentsfield Xeon X3000 processors will feature 2MB of L2 cache per processor for a total of 8MB.

However, before Intel begins to unify its desktop and server lines on the Kentsfield-based processors, the company will release Clovertown Xeon DP processors later this quarter. The new "Clovertown" Xeon DP processors are quad-core and support the use of multiple processors within a single system. With a compatible LGA771 motherboard users can install two Clovertown processors in a system for high-performance eight-core computing, the report said.

Apple currently uses two dual-core "Woodcrest" Xeon chips in its Mac Pro, but tests have shown that early versions of the the quad-core Clovertown are compatible with the current Mac Pro hardware and run without any configuration changes.

The new Clovertown Xeons will feature 8MB of L2 cache and be available in 2.66GHz (X5355), 2.33GHz (E5345), 1.86GHz (E5320) and 1.60GHz (E5310) configurations; the Intel Xeon DP X5355 and E5345 models will have a 1,333MHz front-side bus, while the Xeon DP E5320 and E5310 have a slightly slower 1,066 MHz front-side bus. Pricing for Intel Clovertown Xeon DP processors will be $1172, $851, $690 and $455 for the CPU in 1,000-unit lots (respectively).

The report also notes that the Intel Xeon roadmap also includes a Tulsa Xeon MP processor, which is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2007. Although not as power efficient as the "Woodcrest" Xeon or AMD's Opteron, the new dual-core Xeon MP 7150N is designed for high-performance computing: it will be clocked at 3.5GHz, but feature a slower 667MHz front-side bus. Unlike other the Xeon processors, it will only have 2MB of L2 cache, but will include 16MB of L3 cache. Pricing for the new Xeon MP 7150N will be $2,622 (in 1,000 unit lots).

by MacNN Staff





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