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ED#34 : The First Intel Quad-Core Processors
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The First Intel Quad-Core Processors

On November 15, 2006, Intel Corporation officially launched the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor (which we recently reviewed here) as well as the Intel Xeon 5300 series of quad-core processors.

With this official launch, Intel is the first company to deliver quad-core processors for both desktop and server PCs. Let's take a look at these new processors!


Core 2 Extreme QX6700

The new Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is actually a two-die solution (see picture on the right). Essentially, it's made up of two Conroe dies sitting on a single package.

As such, its 8MB Level 2 cache is not completely shareable between all four cores. Rather, it's split into two separate 4MB caches, each of which is shareable between their respective core pairs.

The processor runs at 2.66GHz with a 1066MHz FSB. Officially priced at $999 in quantity, it is now available worldwide. For more information on the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, you should read our comprehensive review.

For those of you who want quad-core computing at a far more affordable price, there's good news. Intel plans to offer a mainstream (read : cheaper) quad-core processor under the Intel Core 2 Quad brand name in the first quarter of next year. Maybe then, they will rename the quad-core Core 2 Extreme to a cooler name like Core 2 Quad Extreme, like we suggested.

The processor could be the same quad-core processor running at a slower speed. But more likely, Intel will use two 2MB Conroe cores, giving the mainstream quad-core processor just 4MB of L2 cache.


Xeon 5300 Series

The new Xeon 5300 series consists of four Xeon processors with clock speeds ranging from 1.60GHz to 2.66GHz. Their front side bus speed also ranges from 1066MHz on the lower-end models to 1333MHz on the higher-end models. All Xeon quad-core processors come with 8MB of L2 cache.

The Xeon X5355 processor is the highest-end model running at 2.66GHz with a 1333MHz FSB and a TDP of 120W. It will be priced at $1172 in quantity.

The other three Xeon models are the Xeon E5345, E5320 and E5310. They run at 2.33GHz, 1.86GHz and 1.60GHz respectively. The higher-end E5345 has a 1333MHz FSB while the other two E-models do with a 1066MHz FSB. All three models have a 80W TDP.

In the first quarter of 2007, Intel will launch two more quad-core Xeon processors. One will be a low-voltage version with a TDP of only 50 watts. The other quad-core Xeon will be designed for single-socket workstations and servers.


Quick Specs & Price

Processor Model
Clock Speed
FSB Speed
L2 Cache
Core 2 Extreme QX6700
2.66 GHz
1066 MHz
8 MB
130 W
$ 999

/ Server

Xeon X5355
2.66 GHz
1333 MHz
8 MB
120 W
$ 1172
Xeon E5345
2.33 GHz
1333 MHz
8 MB
80 W
$ 851
Xeon E5320
1.86 GHz
1066 MHz
8 MB
80 W
$ 690
Xeon E5310
1.60 GHz
1066 MHz
8 MB
80 W
$ 455


Questions & Comments

Please feel free to post your questions or comments here!


Date Revision Revision History
17-11-2006 1.0

Initial release.

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