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Mobo maker confirms next Pentium Extreme Edition

PEE 955 to slug it out with Athlon FX-60

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Motherboard maker Asus this week confirmed the existence of the next Intel Pentium Extreme Edition by saying its latest mobo will support the part.

The chip, dubbed the PEE 955, is expected to go head-to-head with AMD's Athlon 64-FX in early 2006.

Intel quietly launched its 975X chipset on Monday. Later in the week, Asus announced a motherboard based on the 975X, the P5WDG2-WS. Among the entries in the board's specifications list is support for the PEE 955.

The 955 first emerged in September, as the first 65nm Extreme Edition part. Essentially, it's the upcoming 'Presler' dual-core Pentium chip, though in its PEE form it has HyperThreading enabled, whereas Presler doesn't. Like Presler, the 955 consists of two separate cores connected together within the chip package rather than combined on the die. Both cores have 2MB of L2 cache, and the whole thing is expected to be clocked at 3.46GHz and run over a 1066MHz frontside bus.

Presler is due in Q1 2006, so it's fair to bet the 955 will debut then too - 16 January has been bandied about frequently as the day of the pair's debut. Both parts are likely to be key components of Intel's upcoming Viiv home media PC platform.

The 955 will fairly quickly go up against AMD's first dual-core Athlon FX part, the FX-60, which is likewise expected to appear early next year. It is expected to run at 2.6GHz, with 1MB of L2 per core and dual-channel 400MHz DDR SDRAM.

Just as Intel hasn't announced the 955, so AMD has kept us in the dark about the FX-60. However, in its roadmap update this week, the company did say a dual-core Athlon FX processor would ship sometime within the next 12 months. ®

Asus P5WDG2_WS mobo

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