Print 28 comment(s) - last by MrKaz.. on Mar 29 at 7:42 AM

We saw Intel's plans for quad core CPUs at IDF; now the company has confirmed we will see the new CPUs next year

A few weeks ago at the Intel Developer Forum we got a taste of Intel's quad-core Kentsfield along with the Core architecture briefing.  As of last week, this quad-core Conroe successor finally showed up on the Intel corporate roadmaps.  The CPU will get its first taste of daylight as an Intel Extreme Edition processor in early 2007.

Kentsfield will still be a 65nm processor on the Intel Core platform, and work with existing 975X motherboards that already support Conroe.  Due to the different voltage requirements on Conroe/Kentsfield, the first batch of 975X motherboards manufactured before January of 2006 need a different voltage regulation module (VRM) to support Core processors.  However, engineers have confirmed to us the P965, Q965 and G965 motherboards -- slated for release within the next few months -- will support Kentsfield without any problems. 

Kentsfield will feature two distinct dice on the same packaging; the chip will essentially be two Conroe cores stuck together, as pictured here.

AMD's K8L platform is also expected to support quad core processing, but the actual launch dates for that platform have not been confirmed yet.

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By Chadder007 on 3/27/2006 1:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wow...An Intel processor upgrade that will NOT require a new motherboard from newest ones availible.

RE: Wow...
By Motley on 3/27/2006 2:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? I haven't replaced my motherboard since I first got a P4 2.0GHz (When that was top of the line). Since then I've replaced it with the 2.2GHz (When that was top of the line), and now I have a 3.4GHz in there -- and I never changed my motherboard. I'd say that's pretty darn good.

RE: Wow...
By Griswold on 3/27/2006 2:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
Try to stick the latest P4 or P-D in that mobo. Oh wait, doesnt work. There have been several new sockets/chipsets coming from Intel over the last 12 months.

RE: Wow...
By masher2 on 3/27/2006 3:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Given AMD is about to switch over to the new AM2 socket, I think you'll have a hard time making the argument Intel is substantially worse here. They've had socket 940, 939, and 754 all in the past few years alone.

RE: Wow...
By A5 on 3/27/2006 4:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
940 is only for servers.

RE: Wow...
By masher2 on 3/27/2006 4:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Servers and workstations...I had a 940 based desktop before I changed over to dual core.

RE: Wow...
By JackPack on 3/27/2006 6:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
940 only for servers?

I don't think the people with FX-51 and 53 would agree with you.

RE: Wow...
By Chadder007 on 3/27/2006 2:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Socket 478?

SPECIFIC Conroe / Kentsfield requirements
By peternelson on 3/27/2006 2:57:53 PM , Rating: 2

You appear to have some specific details on the requirements for these new processors.

Yes they may have specific voltage requirements. Please state SPECIFICALLY WHAT VRM or VRD specification the requirements align with, or what specific range of voltages is needs to be supported.

Also at IDF you saw the Conroe running on Intel 975X "bad axe" board. Was that the same as now-available retail badaxe or different chipset stepping or different bios version?

Also to say "before January" does that mean Gigabyte 975X board is NOT Conroe Compatible, but anything January onwards (eg Asus) IS conroe compatible?

Surely that is simplistic.

If you KNOW of boards which ARE compatible SAY what they are, and in what way they meet the requirements. Do not quote vagueness like "January".

By KristopherKubicki on 3/27/2006 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
Any Conroe compatible motherboard will work with Kentsfield.

RE: SPECIFIC Conroe / Kentsfield requirements
By peternelson on 3/27/2006 11:33:52 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks Kris,

And .... let me guess.... ANY kentsfield compatible motherboard will work with conroe!

Not exactly what I needed to know :-(

By KristopherKubicki on 3/28/2006 5:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
The general rule of thumb seems to be any board released after the "Core" whitebook was released to manufacturers will work with Conore/Kentsfield. To my knowledge, this is every board built after Jan 2006. I can't vouche for everyone, but the board manufacturers building 965/975 motherboards have a big sticker that says "Conroe Ready" on the box. If it doesn't say "Conroe Ready," it's a crapshoot at best.

By GGA1759 on 3/27/2006 3:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
I know this is a little off topic, but when are the new 900 series CPU's set to be released? ie. 921, 941, etc.

RE: Question
By JackPack on 3/27/2006 6:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
What would this imaginary 921 or 941 feature, given that the current 920 and 940 already feature VT, EM64T, and XD?

RE: Question
By GGA1759 on 3/27/2006 7:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
From OCForums:

Nowadays everyone recommends the Dual Cores, except I still refuse to buy one till they add the fallowing features: EIST, TM2, HALT state. Which will happen in April with a new core revision, from B-1 to C-1.

Anyone with other insight?

RE: Question
By JackPack on 3/27/2006 9:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're referring to the much anticipated C-1.

That's April, probably May before it's on shelves. The 920 will not will not get a refresh - only 930 and up. There's no change to the processor number.

975X Conroe Compatibility
By danidentity on 3/27/2006 3:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying that any 975X motherboard manufactured after January 2006 will be compatible with Conroe when it is released?

RE: 975X Conroe Compatibility
By Viditor on 3/27/2006 10:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying that any 975X motherboard manufactured after January 2006 will be compatible with Conroe when it is released?

No...Intel changed the voltage specs for Conroe, so none of the current (that I know of) 975 boards will be compatible (though it's the same layout and socket). The good news for Intel is that the changes that mobo makers need to make will be minimal, so Conroe compatible boards won't start out being extraordinarily expensive...

RE: 975X Conroe Compatibility
By peternelson on 3/27/2006 11:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
Seems to be contradiction here

" with EXISTING 975X motherboards THAT ALREADY support Conroe. Due to the different voltage requirements on Conroe/Kentsfield, the FIRST BATCH of 975X motherboards MANUFACTURED BEFORE JANUARY of 2006 need a different voltage regulation module (VRM) to support Core processors."

versus "NONE OF THE CURRENT (that I know of) 975 boards.."


The ONLY board capable that I know of at the moment (not all since January) is the non-available non-retail specially modded badaxe board shown at IDF.

The article implies that I can buy any 975X board since January and it will work with Conroe. By the way which particular day in January do you think is crucial ;-)

The problem is....

I can't buy an AMD board until AM2 are in the marketplace.
I can't buy an Intel board until conroe-ready boards are in the marketplace.

So I can't have a new computer and I NEED one. Even one of each of the above. GRRRRR.

It is likely that AMD June 6th launch will happen before Intel clearly communicate their nextgen board requirements. From past experience that seems to happen AFTER the processor is released, which in the case of Conroe is AGES away.

RE: 975X Conroe Compatibility
By Viditor on 3/28/2006 12:31:03 AM , Rating: 2
So I can't have a new computer and I NEED one. Even one of each of the above. GRRRRR

I wouldn't count on getting a Conroe chip very quickly either...the RUMOURS (note the emphasis) I've been hearing are that Conroe will be a slow ramp for this year and gain speed early next year. It's quite possible that supply will be very limited (like it was for Prescott at launch) for the first quarter.
On the flip side, AM2 chips are supposed to be in large quantities of inventory already. This was the reason that AMD delayed 65nm for the desktop.
If you can wait until November or so, then Conroe will certainly be an option...otherwise it will probably be June and AM2.
Of course, if you need it now then AMD 939 is the only option...

By hans007 on 3/27/2006 4:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
the badaxe board had some modifications for idf. i know it had some wires and a few other components tacked on.

RE: .
By peternelson on 3/27/2006 11:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh, now that IS interesting.

I wonder what those components were and where the wires went?

Maybe it could be a DIY mod as I am proficient at soldering.

Anyone have a link to the NEW voltage specs?

This is SO annoying as I want to buy a 975X board in the next few days and was going to get the Gigabyte.

to the intel guy about the chipsets
By covertbit on 3/27/2006 5:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, you must not know your own platform. I know for a fact that with each new chip Intel came out with, you needed a different revision for the same socket. I challange you to tell me where AMD has come out with new chipsets for their different processors. One 939 board can run chips from Sempron all the way up to the FX and 1xx Opterons and dual cores. I don't see you running a Xeon chip on a Celeron D board. AMD is moving to a new socket structure much the same way Intel did with their move to DDR2. Intel did follow AMD with the x86-64 technology. AMD can follow Intel sometimes too.

By MrKaz on 3/29/2006 7:42:05 AM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting one very important fact,

Each time there is a memory speed bump, you have to upgrade the motherboard because of the memory controller on the chipset, even if Intel decides to keep the same socket. How many times since DDR266 have intel “forced” people to upgrade motherboard/chipset in order to catch up every time there an memory speed bumps?
Even at the same RAM speed Intel “offers” 865 and 875 chipsets where one is faster than the other with the same RAM?

Since the AMD integrates the memory controller, you never get problems like that. AMD integrated memory controller was compatible with DDR 266 to 400 (unofficial 433,466,500).
With DDR2, you will get 533,667,800 (unofficial 933, 1066).
You always keep the same board and RAM. The processor is the only that changes.
If AMD didn’t get socket 754, and only 940 or 939 we where looking at the perfect computer platform.

By Regs on 3/27/2006 1:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
Finally - a better CPU performance increase than 5% or less.

RE: Sweetness
By brownba on 3/27/2006 1:41:42 PM , Rating: 1
are you referring to conroe or kentsfield?
- we've already seen that conroe should give much more than a 5% increase...

RE: Sweetness
By Regs on 3/27/2006 4:49:10 PM , Rating: 1
Which is what I said.

By firewolfsm on 3/27/2006 3:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Socket 940 is for servers

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