First quad-core workstation, server announced

San Francisco (CA) - Appro and Velocity Micro were the first two firms to announce new workstations and servers based on Intel's upcoming "Kentsfield" and "Clovertown" processors. The quad-cores are based on two Core processors and are expected to launch in November.

Multi-core computing enters the next stage as first vendors are announcing their first quad-core machines. Velocity Micro this morning said that its W160 workstation will be made available with a Kentsfield processor, which is expected to carry a QX6700 designation and run two Core 2 Duo cores with a clock speed of 2.67 GHz.

Appro announced a 1U dual-socket server that will be based on Intel's 5000P chipset and carry Xeon 5300-series processors, which were formerly known under the codename "Clovertown."

According to industry sources, the quad-core CPUs will be available with clock speeds of 1.6 GHz (E5310), 1.86 GHz (E5320), 2.33 GHz (E5345) and 2.66 GHz (X5355). The chips are rated at a thermal design power of 80 watts, the high-end X5355 makes an exception at 120 watts. The 5320 and 5310 models will run on FSB1066, while the E5345 and X5355 will support FSB1333.

Both Velocity Micro and Appro promise higher performance over comparable dual-core systems but declined to specific numbers until the official release of the models.

Detailed benchmark results of the performance of the QX6700 "Kentsfield" processor were recently published by Tom's Hardware. In a first run of a near-production version of Kentsfield, the processor easily shattered previous benchmarks records and highlighted its horsepower especially in threaded applications such as audio and video processing. Overall, Kentsfield turned out to be about twice as fast as the Pentium EE 965, while consuming about the same power.