November 14, 2006
Intel will cap off a turnaround year on Tuesday with the expected introduction of its first quad-core processors, beating rival Advanced Micro Devices to the punch by several months.
Written by Tom Krazit
Originally scheduled to launch next year, the new Xeon 5300 and Core 2 Extreme QX6700 should make an immediate dent in servers and in high-end workstation/enthusiast PCs. In those markets, users can take advantage of software that’s already been written to exploit four separate processing threads.
The usual suspects plan to use Intel’s chips in their latest products. Dell jumped the gun last week with the announcement of new quad-core systems, including new servers and workstations. Word broke of IBM’s proposed quad-core offerings last Thursday. And Hewlett-Packard is expected to follow suit on Tuesday with its own servers and workstations featuring the new Xeon chips.
PCs from Dell, Gateway, Velocity Micro and others with the new Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor should also start to appear in time for the holiday shopping season. That chip is beyond the needs of most PC users, and it generally falls outside their budgets as well, at a price of $999. But certain PC enthusiasts are always excited about the prospect of having the fastest PC processor on earth for a short time, which Intel’s QX6700 will be until AMD releases a competing chip.
Mainstream PC users won’t see the benefits of the quad-core processors for some time–well into next year, at the earliest–but Intel can a least claim a “first,” after several years of trailing AMD at seemingly every turn.
Editor’s Note: At this time there are no hard indications that Apple will be releasing workstations with these chips, but industry expections are that Apple will adopt them for high-end workstations in their MacIntel lineup soon.