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Intel has four-core Opteron stuffer set for August

Barcelona: 'It could have been a contender'

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Exclusive Intel looks set to blunt AMD's August Barcelona processor release by handing customers a 2.0GHz version of its four-core Clovertown, The Register has learned.

Just this morning, AMD announced that in August it will ship customers 1.9GHz low power and 2.0GHz standard editions of Barcelona - a four-core version of the Opteron server chip. Servers with the new chips should arrive in bulk in September and October. Intel, however, isn't sitting still from what we hear and looks set to effectively one-up AMD.

Chipzilla also in August will release a low voltage version of its four-core Xeon code-named Clovertown that runs at 2.0GHz, while consuming just 50W max power. By contrast, AMD's upcoming standard edition Opteron will eat up 95W, while the low power chip will eat up 68W. Intel's new 2.0GHz chip will also boast a 1333MHz front side bus, up from today's 1066MHz FSBs, according to our sources.

Intel currently ships a 50W version of Clovertown running at 1.86GHz, although most of the parts consume 80W.

The release of the 2.0GHz chip proves a nasty stab at AMD, which hoped to have the August fanfare to itself.

AMD looked to best Intel out of the gate with the new Opterons, although that seems like a bit of a dream now. The chip maker told us yesterday that its 2.0GHz four-core chip will beat today's Opterons by 50 per cent on average and will "outperform the competition on certain workloads."

Such talk is a far cry from AMD's previous chest-thumping around beating Clovertown by 40 to 50 per cent on a wide range on benchmarks. It seems AMD will need faster versions of Opteron, due out in the fourth quarter, to do such damage.

Customers must love the ferocity with which Intel and AMD are going at each other right now. AMD hands you twice the cores and then Intel slaps its rival in the face by handing you a part that matches AMD's clock rate while consuming less power. ®

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