Dual Core on the Horizon

So we lied originally - we have even better news. Dual core Smithfield processors, which are really nothing more than two Prescotts slapped together with independent caches, are scheduled to launch a little earlier than we originally claimed in previous roadmap articles. In fact, part of the push to launch so early seems to be to coincide with the 945/955 launch as those chipsets are the only ones to support the multiple core processors. Recall AMD's dual core launch strategy is to enable existing hardware (nForce4, K8T890, 8xxx) to run multiple cores. So while you can't plug a Smithfield into your existing 925X motherboard, it may be for the better. DDR2 has plenty of bandwidth to offer, but as we have seen in server benchmarks, multiple Pentium 4's competing on the memory bus can be quite slow. Dual core Pentium 4's might be horribly inefficient without DDR2-667, however that is another theory we can put to the test on launch day. If you look carefully, you'll see the Smithfields launching only at 800FSB. We find it slightly unusual that the entire 945/955 platform supports a front side bus speed that two $1000 SKUs utilize.

Intel Dual Core PerformanceDesktop Lineup LGA775
Processor Speed L2 Cache FSB Launch
Pentium 4 840 3.20GHz 2x1MB 800MHz Q2'05
Pentium 4 830 3.00GHz 2x1MB 800MHz Q2'05
Pentium 4 820 2.80GHz 2x1MB 800MHz Q2'05

Also note that the dual core processors on the desktop do not support HyperThreading. The server implementation of Smithfield, "Dempsey," has HyperThreading enabled. For database applications, this makes sense - although we have known for a long time that single threaded applications take a performance hit when a HyperThreading processor exclusively runs that program. Interestingly enough the Smithfield lineup has some very competitive price points according to the launch data. The 820, 830 and 840 models will launch at $241, $316 and $530 respectively - compare that to the Pentium 4 lineup today [RTPE: Pentium 4 775]. At today's prices that's only an $80 premium on the second core.

Single Core Processors Mobility Dual Core & Secret Stuff


View All Comments

  • JGunther - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - link

    Wow, what a glowing review of Intel's upcoming technologies from Anandtech. Seems strange that this website should think so highly of the NetBurst architechure, considering how roundly criticized it is on other websites...

    So I guess Anandtech thinks Intel's technology is going to come out on top of AMD's next year? Guess time will tell on that one...
  • deathwalker - Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - link

    Well..I'm from the old school..."show me". Intel hasn't shown me a thing in the last 2 years..and Im not about to give them a pat on the back now. Until they put a product in the hands of the consumer that is clearly better than what AMD has on the table they won't be getting any of my hard earned Computer toys play money, and, they will have to put it in the market place at a price that is competitive with AMD. Reply
  • flatblastard - Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - link

    I can't help but wonder if my p4 660 would find any performance gains with the upcoming 945/955 chipset, if compatible at all. Probably not, but theres always hope, right? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, February 19, 2005 - link

    kiwistag: A good point - but i think some internal documents I have seen lean twoard the idea of licensing per socket (instead of processor). Obviously, BSD/Linux won't care if you install 4 logical processors. I would not be surprised if the x64 Windows XP comes out with some little tweaks to the license and install base to take into account multiple sockets/processors.

  • kiwistag - Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - link

    One thing that is missing from all the discussion is what O.S's will support the new Processors?

    This might sound silly but...

    Windows XP & 2000 Pro both support up to 2 processors, Hyperthreading or not if you have a Dual core with Hyperthreading, 2K/XP seeing 4 Processors it won't install. Only Server editions will allow this. Then again, Linux will just slurp up the new CPU's and not miss a heartbeat :P
  • RoosterKooster - Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - link

    NEC's v20 was a popular replacement for the intel 8088. There were some compatibility issues but I can't remember what they were. I think I used a V20 in a couple XT-Clones. Yea baby!
  • OokiiNeko - Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - link

    #51 "K6 and earlier CPUs were thoroughly outclassed by Intel chips."

    You're showing your age. Look up the AMD 486 DX 4/100.

    Now I'm showing my age ;>)
  • flloyd - Monday, February 7, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know what advances GMA 950 will have compared to GMA 900? I'm going to be upgrading soon and will use my computer mostly for a office work and HTPC so integrated graphics should be enough for me but it would be nice to have a slightly faster graphics for very light gaming. Reply
  • Ozenmacher - Sunday, February 6, 2005 - link

    Lol, now that is funny...and rather embarassing for that author I would suppose. But don't worry, your articles are well written and i sensed no bias in it at all. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, February 3, 2005 - link

    Ozenmacher: There was one time where "testes" slipped past the copy editor instead of "tests"... that was fun...


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