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Intel Takes Quad Core To the Desktop 191

Rob writes to mention a Computer Business Review Online article about Intel's official launch of the Kentsfield chipset. Their Quad Core offering, Intel is claiming, is up to 80% faster than the dual-core Conroe released this past July. From the article: "Kentsfield, a 2.66GHz chip with a 1066MHz front-side bus, is more for computational-heavy usage, including digital content creation, engineering analysis, such as CAD, and actuarial and other financial applications. Steve Smith, director of operations for Intel digital enterprise group, claimed rendering is 58% faster for users building digital content creation systems, for video, photo editing or digital audio. In other words, Kentsfield is for high-end desktops or workstations only. For the average office worker who uses their PC for general productivity apps, such as communications and garden-variety computing, Smith recommended the Core 2 Duo from 'a price point and performance perspective.'"
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Intel Takes Quad Core To the Desktop

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  • Not native Quad core (Score:3, Informative)

    by kid_oliva ( 899189 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:01AM (#16836992) Homepage
    From what I've read about Intel's quad-core; it is not native like AMD's will be. They are basically are going to have two dual core's and they will communicate via FSB. That sucks compare to AMD's offering which will be native. frontpage&Itemid=1&limit=10&limitstart=20 []
  • Re:overkill (Score:5, Informative)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:16AM (#16837124) Journal
    What they need to do is make a Muti-Core NATIVE OS, so even single-thread apps can use more then 1 core

    Other than jumping between cores to improve heat dissipation, how do you propose to make a highly serially-dependant algorithm run on more than one core at a time? Until computers can actually make programmers redundant by writing their own code given a high-level English description of the task (and even then, you'll still have some proveably-serial code), multithreading will remain at the whim of the programmers, not the scheduler.

    also why dont they just make dual-core processors faster!

    For the same reason they stopped the MHz-wars and moved to a core-war in the first place... Making each core faster has started to hit physical limits (power draw and heat dissipation, electron migration in progressively smaller transistors, clock speeds limited by the speed of light across the width of the chip, etc). Make no mistake, the speed will keep creeping up over time, but the end of 18-month speed doubling ended a few years ago. Major new improvements will either involve radical new technologies (and no, spintronics and diamond substrates will only yield incremental improvements) such as quantum, or what we see now, the move toward massive parallelism.

    seems the only way we are going to get ahead in the field

    Gaming, while interesting, does not drive research into the highest end of computing.
  • Benchmarks! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:39AM (#16837400) Homepage Journal
    Here's one from Toms Hardware. []

    Intel's right. On games it doesn't do any better. On video though, well, lets just say I know some architecture majors who would have loved these in their lab several years ago, when 1 frame took 10 minutes to render. And they had 300 frame videos to do.
  • Re:640 (Score:2, Informative)

    by bealzabobs_youruncle ( 971430 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:50AM (#16837564)
    They still are, this isn't aimed at average desktop usage, RTFA.
  • by OrangePeril ( 739827 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:02AM (#16837704) Homepage
    True, it is not native quad core. However AMD's first venture into quad-core will not be native either. In an effort to catch up to Intel, they will also be releasing a quad-core processor thats "taped together" as Intel's is.

    I recently met with an Intel rep and they are very much pushing their new core architecture. Quad-core this year, Octo-core next.. Core count is the next clock speed. However one of it matters until the software manufacturers can take advantage of it, and very few server applications can at this point, let alone games.

    Reference: []
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:16AM (#16837876)
    "I want each core to be able to access its own memory so it is not blocked by the other core's if it is accessing memory."

    Say hello to AMD, HyperTransport and integrated memory-controllers. Each CPU has it's own bank of RAM, and Each CPU is directly (well, 8-socket system needs one intermediate jump) connected to the other CPU's, and they can access the RAM connected to the other CPU's as well. So if you have dual-socket system, each socket has it's own RAM-bank, with 128bit bus between the CPU and the RAM, and the CPU can access the RAM attached to the other CPU as well. So as the number of CPU's goes up, the memory-bandwidth goes up as well.

    This tech has been used since 2003 in the AMD's x86-64 CPU's. In the future AMD will have systems where you can plug co-processors and vid-cards to HyperTransport-sockets, alloweing them to directly communicate with the CPU's.
  • by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:33AM (#16838098)
    In the timeframe Intel offers this, AMD will have no quadcore part at all. Considering that, it's clear that AMD sucks, not Intel. Later on, Intel's "native" version (Yorkfield, discussed in your link) will have cache improvements and a bump in FSB speed. All things considered, the dual die part doesn't look like it sucks at all (except for AMD).

    There are three sides to this: Intel's, AMD's, and the truth.
  • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @01:52PM (#16840356) Journal
    It's not quite that good in it's current incarnation. Right now, high-end (4 and 8-way) Opteron chips have only three HyperTransport links.

    Try connecting 4 of these chips together using only 3 HyperTransport links per core, with a single-hop memory latency, and allow for one link to external I/O. Can't be done. There are two hops required for the core that handles I/O, which is not a good thing when you consider how important I/O links are in a server.

    Try connecting 8 sockets using only 3 HyperTransport links, and allow 2 connections minimum for external I/O - now most of your connections are two hops or more.

    K8L attempts to solve these problems in two ways: []

    1. K8L adds a fourth HyperTransport link, which allows easy single-hop 4-socket systems (and allows all 4 sockets to interface with external I/O, if desired).

    2. K8L allows the HyperTransport links on each socket to be split from 4 16-bit links to 8 8-bit links, to allow single-hop memory latency on 8-socket configurations. Combined with the faster bus speeds of HyperTransport 3.0, that's plenty of bandwidth to feed 32 cores. And of course, there's potential for 16-socket configurations (with only 2-hop memory latency, depending on whether AMD decides to support this gluelessly).

    Meanwhile, even with the massive caches and Dual Independent Bus architecture, Intel's 4-core chips are going to reach saturation at 4 sockets.
  • by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @05:20PM (#16844158)
    So... Is the quad core considered 4 processors? or just one?
    I ask because the Vista EULA says:

    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to one device (physical hardware system). That device is the "licensed device." A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device.

    a. Licensed Device. You may install one copy of the software on the licensed device. You may use the software on up to two processors on that device at one time.

    When AMD and Intel introduced their dual-core processors, Microsoft made it clear that they define a "processor" or "physical processor" as a "single chip that houses a collection of one or more cores." This page should make it clear: icore.mspx []

    That page's primary purpose is to clarify their policy for server software (probably in response to Oracle defining a "processor" as a core), but they also mention Windows XP:

    Windows XP Professional can support up to two processors regardless of the number of cores on the processor.

    If Microsoft changed their definition of "a processor" for Windows Vista, believe me, we would have heard all about it by now. Slashdot would have been slashdotted by all the comments.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.