The Consequence of Waking Up a Sleeping Giant: Intel Roadmaps Insideby Kristopher Kubicki on January 25, 2005 7:44 PM EST
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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|
|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.