Intel Says Dual-Core Pentiums Are Shipping - InformationWeek

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Intel Says Dual-Core Pentiums Are Shipping

Intel formally let the other shoe drop Monday, officially announcing that PCs equipped with its dual-core Pentium processors have begun shipping from Alienware, Dell, and Velocity Micro.

Intel formally let the other shoe drop Monday, officially announced that PCs equipped with its dual-core Pentium processors have begun shipping from Alienware, Dell, and Velocity Micro.

The machines are equipped with the 3.2 GHz Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 part, which is the top-of-the-line among Intel's new dual-core CPUs aimed at the desktop. (A separate line of dual-core Xeon processors for servers is due to ship in 2006.)

Alienware said it's using the Extreme Edition 840 processor in its new Area-51 5500 and Area-51 ALX systems. Dell has folded the Intel processor into its Precision 380 entry-level workstation, and the Dimension XPS, which the company describes as a gaming/multimedia-enthusiast desktop.

"Not only are these PC's dual-core, but they also include Intel's HyperThreading technology, in effect allowing operating systems to take advantage of what appears to be up to four cores/threads," Intel spokeswoman Shannon Love said in an email. "All showcase performance where we believe people want it most--handling multiple tasks at once, such as playing games, downloading music and running virus protection, all at the same time."

Intel's desktop dual-core roadmap includes three other processors designated Pentium D. They are the models 820, 830 and 840, with clock speeds of 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz and 3.2 GHz, respectively. All have 800 MHz front-side buses and dual L2 caches of 1 MB in capacity. The processors also support Intel's EM64T 64-bit instruction-set extensions.

Intel Monday said pricing of the Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 is $999 in quantities of 1,000 or more. The companion 955X Express core-logic chipset is priced at $50.

Intel didn't provide pricing or additional information about the Pentium D parts in its announcement Monday.

Intel's dual-core launch comes amid a backdrop of continued competition between the semiconductor giant and its scrappy competitor AMD in an effort to capture the dual-core high ground. AMD demonstrated dual-core versions of its desktop Athlon 64 processor in February; it's expected to ship in the second half of the year AMD also plans to unveil a dual-core version of its Opteron server processor this Thursday.

"AMD has been long been planning a dual-core launch on April 21, at our annual Opteron anniversary event, while our competitor has made a series of apparent hurried, reactionary moves to rush their product to market before ours, hoping to claim a hollow victory," Marty Seyer, general manager of AMD's microprocessor business unit, said in an email statement issued late Friday, in anticipation of Intel's announcement today.

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