AMD - Intel Ready for Dual-Core Battle

Intel and AMD have now both announced their dual-core offerings and while the former claims it is already selling gaming setups AMD says it has a surprise gaming chip up its sleeve but not yet.

Now that AMD has finalised its dual-core processor announcement, we are beginning to get the whole picture regarding availability and how the two major competitors are preparing for the multi-core age. The advantage of directly connecting two cores on a single die, along with memory, I/O and dedicated caches, lies in the improved overall system performance and efficiency and the elimination of the bottlenecks inherent in a front-side-bus architecture. For multi-tasking and multithreaded environments, two cores offer more physical resources, enabling operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple applications simultaneously and, therefore, maximize performance.

Although we now have had announcements from both Intel and AMD, the full processor range is not expected to become available until mid-to-late May and early June. It is expected that AMD will be in place and ready to support server, workstation, and desktop setups by late June of 2005. The plans suggest that Intel may gain a slight desktop advantage over its rival by being first to market with a dual-core product. Intel's first dual-core processor-based platform which includes the Extreme Edition 840 running at 3.2 GHz and the 955X Express Chipset is already available while AMD's Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core processor brand, will not surface until mid-to-late June.

AMD, on the other hand, will get a server advantage since it announced immediate availability of the Dual-Core AMD Opteron 800 Series processor for four- to eight-way servers. The 200 Series processors for two-way servers and workstations will be available in late May. Intel's Dempsey, the 65nm dual-core Xeon, may take as long as 6 months to become fully available. AMD claims that the new server models will deliver up to a 90 per cent performance improvement for application servers over single-core AMD Opterons.

The highest end dual-core offering from AMD will cost USD 1001, USD 2 more than its rival Intel product, the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 processor (USD 999). But AMD claims that even its current highest performing chip, the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, will not be targeting gamers. According to the company, gaming has nothing to gain from dual-core chips quite yet. AMD plans to introduce a dual-core version of the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor when multithreaded software games are available to take advantage of its benefits.

The full list of AMDs Dual-core chips and pricing per unit for 1,000 unit quantities

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