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AMD: quad-core Opterons 40% faster than four-core Xeons

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AMD's 'Barcelona' 65nm quad-core server processors will lick Intel's four-core Xeon 5300 series, out-performing its rival by up to 40 per cent, the chip maker claimed this week, according to a variety of websites briefed by the company.

Maybe, but since no one can actually buy a Barcelona-based machine, the point's moot. By the same token, AMD's rival could claim it will ship a chip that outperforms Barcelona by a similar margin, and we're sure it will. Still, AMD can at least put a time frame on Barcelona's release: it's due mid-2007.

However, that launch schedule is giving Intel time to sell processors to folk who want quad-core chips now. According to Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron, cited by DailyTech, the quad-core Xeons are putting a "meaningful" amount of business Intel's way. Some of those sales would surely have gone to AMD had it a quad-core CPU on the market.

AMD's big pitch for Barcelona is that its four cores are integrated on one die, connected to 2MB of shared L3 cache. The Xeon 5300s, by contrast, are dual-core dies bonded together in a single chip package. Intel's plans for 45nm quad-core Xeons, expected to be launched in the second half of the year, continue to be based on this one chip, two dies approach.

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