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If you're buying an Intel CPU a year from now, you're buying a dual core

Intel plans to put multi-core processors in 85% of new Intel-based desktops by 2007, at least according to the most recent roadmaps from the company. Three quarters after the launch of Intel's upcoming Core processor, dubbed Conroe, is expected to account for a staggering 40% of all Intel-based desktops.  65nm Pentium D processors will account for the multi-core desktop processors not allocated for Conroe -- roughly 45% of all Intel desktop sales.

Intel also released its guidance for retail processor sales of Conroe, and the trend is identical to the OEM forecasts; Conroe will account for 40% (or more) of retail Intel desktop chip sales in Q1'07.  The 65nm Pentium D processors still in the retail and OEM channel by 2007 will mostly be used in business platforms and low cost systems.  Pentium 4 processors will still hold a small percentage of the Intel market, but these chips are for the absolute lowest end systems and include Celeron single core forecasts.

This is one of the most aggressive ramps for a new technology outlined by Intel on the desktop.  Prescott, Intel's 90nm single core CPU, was only expected to consume 30% of OEM desktop sales three quarters after launch.  Even a year after Intel's Pentium D launch, dual core technology still accounts for less than 35% of all desktops. 

Conroe gave enthusiasts a bit of a double take after benchmarks from the Intel Developer Forum put the CPU 20% faster than AMD's best offerings in head to head benchmarking.  AMD has plans of its own to counter Conroe.  By the middle of 2007, AMD is expected to launch its K8L architecture.  AMD's Henri Richard claims K8L is more "evolutionary than revolutionary," but even minimal improvements on the tried and true K8 could cascade into large gains in performance.




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