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Intel unleashes first quad-core processors: Overview and upcoming processors

Intel's first quad-core processors are out the gate. This picture shows Intel's new flagship processor Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

Intel’s first quad-core processors are out the gate. This picture shows Intel’s new flagship processor Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

The quad-core Core 2 Extreme, previously known as "Kentsfield" processor, is available in only one version at this time. The CPU is clocked at 2.66 GHz, integrates 8 MB L2 cache and a 1066 MHz front side bus (FSB). The processor does not support Hyperthre

The quad-core Core 2 Extreme, previously known as "Kentsfield" processor, is available in only one version at this time. The CPU is clocked at 2.66 GHz, integrates 8 MB L2 cache and a 1066 MHz front side bus (FSB). The processor does not support Hyperthre

Intel's second quad-core processor: The Xeon 5300 series with "Clovertown" core is targeted at dual-processor (DP) server and workstation systems. There are three "regular" 5300 processors, the 1.60 GHz E5310, the 1.86 GHz E5320 and the 2.33 GHz E5345. Th

Intel’s second quad-core processor : The Xeon 5300 series with "Clovertown" core is targeted at dual-processor (DP) server and workstation systems. There are three "regular" 5300 processors, the 1.60 GHz E5310, the 1.86 GHz E5320 and the 2.33 GHz E5345. Th

Both Kentsfield and Clovertown are based on the Core microarchitecture Intel introduced with the Xeon 5100 and Core 2 Duo E/T series processors earlier this year. The mobile Merom core (Core 2 Duo T-series) is the foundation for all other Core processors:

Both Kentsfield and Clovertown are based on the Core microarchitecture Intel introduced with the Xeon 5100 and Core 2 Duo E/T series processors earlier this year. The mobile Merom core (Core 2 Duo T-series) is the foundation for all other Core processors :

What makes Kentsfield and Clovertown different, are two Conroe / Woodcrest cores in one processor package. The advantage of using two separate not only lies in a simpler development process (as compared to a single-die multi-core chip) but also in higher

What makes Kentsfield and Clovertown different, are two Conroe / Woodcrest cores in one processor package. The advantage of using two separate not only lies in a simpler development process (as compared to a single-die multi-core chip) but also in higher

A simplified illustration of the Kentsfield/Clovertown layout. While both processors integrate 8 MB L2 cache, each processor core can only access 4 MB.

A simplified illustration of the Kentsfield/Clovertown layout. While both processors integrate 8 MB L2 cache, each processor core can only access 4 MB.

An actual photograph of a Core 2 Duo (Conroe) die. The right half shows what commonly perceived as CPU logic. The (darker) left half of the die shows the (4 MB) L2 cache. The core is about 143 mm2 in size and contains 291 million transistors - which bring

An actual photograph of a Core 2 Duo (Conroe) die. The right half shows what commonly perceived as CPU logic. The (darker) left half of the die shows the (4 MB) L2 cache. The core is about 143 mm2 in size and contains 291 million transistors - which bring

On the outside, there is virtually no way to see a difference between a Core 2 Duo and a quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700, as both CPUs use very similar packaging and …

On the outside, there is virtually no way to see a difference between a Core 2 Duo and a quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700, as both CPUs use very similar packaging and …

… a 775-pin socket. The left picture shows a regular Core 2 Duo processor. The right chip is a Core 2 Extreme QX6700 model.

… a 775-pin socket. The left picture shows a regular Core 2 Duo processor. The right chip is a Core 2 Extreme QX6700 model.

This (unofficial) table shows Intel's current and near-future Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad line-up. The QX6700 will remain the top-of line desktop processor at least until Q3 of next year. In early 2007, Intel will introduce the Core 2 Quad Q6600 as second

This (unofficial) table shows Intel’s current and near-future Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad line-up. The QX6700 will remain the top-of line desktop processor at least until Q3 of next year. In early 2007, Intel will introduce the Core 2 Quad Q6600 as second

Intel's desktop processor production plans: This (unofficial) illustration shows that desktop quad-core processors will remain extremely rare throughout 2007, while the Core 2 Duo will make up well over 50% of Intel's desktop processor production. Q2 and

Intel’s desktop processor production plans : This (unofficial) illustration shows that desktop quad-core processors will remain extremely rare throughout 2007, while the Core 2 Duo will make up well over 50% of Intel’s desktop processor production. Q2 and