Intel’s quad-core marvels make their Middle East debut at Gitex

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By  Published  November 25, 2006

Intel unveiled the world’s first quad-core microprocessors to the Middle East at Gitex last week, claiming the launch signalled the start of the computer industry’s multi-core PC era.

The chips combine four computing ‘brains’ inside a single processor, which allows computers to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, at the same time as lowering the amount of power required to do those tasks.

At Gitex Intel presented attendees with its Quad-Core Xeon 5300 server and Core 2 Extreme QX6700 desktop families of processors.

“I’m incredibly proud of what the people of Intel have been able to achieve. Today’s announcement ushers in another new era in computing. The capabilities of quad-core microprocessors will bring new possibilities for science, entertainment, and business,” Samir Al Schamma, general manager for Intel GCC, said at the launch.

Intel’s quad-core chips are actually two dual-core chips packaged together, but each package plugs into a single processor socket.

By doing this the chip giant has managed to beat its main rival, AMD, in the race to four-cores, but question remain over how Intel’s chips will fare against AMD’s more refined quad-core offerings — which will have all four cores on a single piece of silicon — when they are released next year.

Intel said its Xeon 5300 delivered up to 50% faster performance within the same thermal envelope and at the same cost as the previous generation of Dual-Core Xeon 5100 processors, launched less than five months ago.

The vendor said the four Xeon processors launched at Gitex had clock speeds ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.66GHz, with front side bus (FSB) speeds ranging from 1,066MHz to 1,333MHz, and thermal design power (TDP) of either 80 watts or a performance-optimised 120 watts.

In the first quarter of 2007 Intel will launch two more quad-core Xeon processors — a low voltage version for dense deployment and a processor designed for single-socket workstations and servers.

Intel said its QX6700 desktop processors were up to 80% faster than the firm’s current Core 2 Extreme X6800 chips, and were available at 2.66GHz with a 1,066MHz FSB.

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