Intel launches quad-core processors

Intel has kicked off the computer industry’s multi-core PC era by delivering four computing “brains” inside a single microprocessor with the introduction of the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 and Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor families.

Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO, said in the press release, “The capabilities of quad-core microprocessors will bring new possibilities for science, entertainment and business. I’m incredibly proud of what Intel’s employees have achieved with these new products.”

Intel’s new Intel Xeon processors run at clock speeds ranging from 1.60GHz to 2.66GHz, with front side bus (FSB) speeds ranging from 1066MHz to 1333MHz, and thermal design power (TDP) of either 80 watts or a performance-optimized 120 watt option. In the first quarter next year, Intel will launch two more quad-core Xeon processors – a low-voltage version for ultra-dense deployments with a TDP of only 50 watts and a processor designed for single-socket workstations and servers.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 is up to 80 percent faster than the company’s current Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor X6800. The Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 is available at 2.66GHz with a 1066MHz FSB. The processor runs on Intel’s existing 975X Express chipset family.

Pricing and availability:
• Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor X5355 2.66GHz 1333MHz 8MB 120W – $1172
• Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5345 2.33GHz 1333MHz 8MB 80W – $851
• Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5320 1.86GHz 1066MHz 8MB 80W – $690
• Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor E5310 1.60GHz 1066MHz 8MB 80W – $455
• Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 2.66GHz 1066MHz 8MB 130W – $999

Intel’s press release here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s Mac Pro currently features two 2GHz, 2.66GHz, or 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors. Apple’s Xserve currently features two 2.66GHz or 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100s.

20 Comments

  1. Is it just me, or are all these chip names and code names becomming VERY confusing.

    Before, it was a simply process of looking at the increasing clock speed to compare one chip to another. Now, the clock speed has dropped, but the processors (cores) have increased, so it’s a sod to compare a single-core chip’s speed to a slower dual (and now quad) core chip.

    And with all these fancy names they’re calling them, I have no idea what’s going on.

    Some one (Intel) should have a web page that provides some kind of overall benchmark score for every chip, then shove them in a chart from slowest to fastest, just so we can work it all out.

    Or maybe it’s just me…. :p

  2. As I’ve said here many times before, the Intel move was great for Apple. Now, just wait and see what other Intel chips go into other new ultra cool Apple devices. Intel has tons of other chips for other items and Apple has tons of creativity to explore ahead. Should be a fun ride.

  3. People, take a deep breath and look at things more calmly.

    Be aware that Clovertown isn’t a real quad-core processor. Instead, it is 2 x dual-core processors stiched together. (That’s why Clovertown requires two sockets on the motherboard.)

    Why did this happen? Because Intel rushed the development of Clovertown in order to snag the bragging points for releasing it in Q4 2006. But to accelerate the schedule, Intel was forced to use existing Woodcrest chips stiched together.

    Now, mind you, AMD is working on a genuinely integrated quad-core processor, and so is Intel. These, however, won’t be out until Q2 2007 at the earliest.

    So in terms of purchases, I would only buy computer systems based on Clovertown if you really need to buy or upgrade right now. The only customers that would fall into this category are undoubtedly enterprise customers with mission critical applications that simply cannot wait.

    But if you can wait another 6-8 months, you will be rewarded with a genuine quad-core systems. Plus, you’ll be spoiled for choice, with processors (and their variants) available from both AMD and Intel. And, as an added bonus, you’ll benefit from a die shrink to 45nm as well.

  4. Gargoyle writes: “Can anybody guess what AMD is doing while intel is running away with the CPU market?”

    Uh, AMD is working on a genuine quad-core processor, which it will release sometime in H1 2007.

    I don’t think AMD has lost the performance or feature race yet. Intel has been playing catch-up, and this Clovertown release is at best a stop-gap measure to prevent Intel customers from defecting to AMD.

    But it’s still very much a two horse race, and we won’t get any early signs of who’s winning until Q3 2007.

  5. um..how can Intel be playing ‘catch-up’ w/ AMD, when AMD won’t release their quad-core for another HALF YEAR? I guess Intel’s quad is un-genuine? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”surprised” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Not impressed:
    I don’t understand what you mean when you say “Clovertown requires two sockets on the motherboard”. A CPU only needs one socket no matter how many cores it has.
    As for not being a real quad core processor, I hear a lot of people saying this (or that Intel is “cheating”). What a crock. Personnally, I don’t care if they take four separate processors and shove them into an Oreo cookie, as long as it gets the desired results – which it does.
    Yeah, it will be better and more efficient when they are made with the 45nm technology, but 6 to 8 months is a hell of a long time to wait in this industry. Even the Pentium D performed decently, if you compensated for the heat.
    This might be a stop-gap move by Intel, but I think it’s a smart one. And I would buy one (a Core 2 Quad – not a Xeon) when the prices get more affordable.

  7. Not impressed,
    I understand your point, but AMD has been VERY quiet on the marketing front – offering up the price as a talking point rather than performance. At least for now, Intel has clearly taken the lead in the court of public (geek) opinion. The C2D platform runs rings around AMDs current offerings.

    My question stems from a decided lack of rumors/intelligence/marketing coming out of the AMD side of the fence. I mean, are they brewing away on some NextNextNextGen platform or (as it appears) just twiddlin their thumbs hoping that their DELL deal ushers in a new age for them.

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