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Intel introduces Core 2 Quad Q6600, Xeon X3220 and X3210

Intel started shipping three new quad-core processors on Friday night. The three quad-core processors include the mainstream Core 2 Quad Q6600 and single processor workstation and server Xeon X3220 and X3210.

Intel Kentsfield Core 2 Quad
Launch Price
2.40GHz 1066MHz $851 $530

The Core 2 Quad Q6600 slots right below the current king-of-the-hill Core 2 Extreme QX6700 which launched two months ago. It’s clocked slightly lower at 2.4 GHz and features 1066 MHz front-side bus. L2 cache size remains at 8MB like the Core 2 Extreme X6800. Pricing will be $851 per unit in 1,000 unit quantities with a price drop to $530 expected in Q2’2007. Online retailer ZipZoomFly currently has the Core 2 Quad Q6600 in stock for $989.99.

Intel Kentsfield Xeon
Launch Price Q2'07
X3220 2.40GHz 1066MHz $851 $530
X3210 2.13GHz 1066MHz $690 $425

Joining the current Xeon 3000 series of processors are the new quad-core Xeon X3200 series. These processors are based on the same Kentsfield core as the Core 2 Quad and quad-core Core 2 Extreme processors. The Xeon X3220 will be identical to the Core 2 Quad Q6600 albeit with Xeon branding. Slotted right below the Xeon X3220 is the X3210 which is clocked at 2.13 GHz. This model retains the same 1066 MHz front-side bus and 8MB of L2 cache as the other Kentsfield based processors.

Pricing for the Xeon X3220 is identical to the Core 2 Quad Q6600 at $851 per unit in 1,000 unit quantities with an expected price drop to $530 in Q2’2007. The lower clocked Xeon X3210 is priced at $690 per unit per 1,000 unit quantities with an expected price drop to $425 in Q2’2007.

In addition, Intel's single-core Allendale E4300 will also make its debut this week.

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What's the point?
By Hypernova on 1/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: What's the point?
By mlittl3 on 1/7/2007 3:20:47 AM , Rating: 1
No duh!!!

RE: What's the point?
By KristopherKubicki on 1/7/2007 3:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
All three are socket 775.

RE: What's the point?
By Etern205 on 1/7/2007 9:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
The Q6600 uses socket 775.
For the Xeons they use socket 771.

RE: What's the point?
By Etern205 on 1/7/2007 10:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry about that, wrong info. ^^'
If Xeons uses the 775 socket, that will
be great! I've always wanted a Xeon
cpu for my desktop.

RE: What's the point?
By hstewarth on 1/7/2007 11:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
These Xeons actually are part of 3xxx series which means they are Socket 775. These chips are tipically uses for single cpu servers - these quad core processors would make good servers.

Socket 771 ( like my Dual Xeon 5160's ) are part of the 5xxx series and run on more expensive dual CPU motherboards. There are so a series of 53xx chips for this series.

RE: What's the point?
By KristopherKubicki on 1/7/2007 3:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
If they are going to have those 2 chips essentially the same they might as well don't realease the xeon version. Saves marketing cost too.If they are going to have those 2 chips essentially the same they might as well don't realease the xeon version. Saves marketing cost too.

Same with the old socket 939 1xx Opterons. These 1P Xeons and the 1P Opterons are just a niche market the chip companies can charge more on.

RE: What's the point?
By Hypernova on 1/7/2007 3:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
But they are priced identiaclly and the fall price too.

RE: What's the point?
By KristopherKubicki on 1/7/2007 3:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sure at the chip level. But if I can sell Xeon-based workstations (a well established brand) versus Core 2 Duo-based workstations (zomg I thought that was for laptops!?!), what do you think an IT guy is more likely to side with?

RE: What's the point?
By Lakku on 1/7/2007 3:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I figure that if it was a real IT guy/gal, they would know the situation and know they are essentially the exact same chip. I mean, would you want an IT person who bought something soley on name and not on any kind of research? I thought that was what the IT section fat AT and DT were for, keeping IT people on top of the game. :-p

RE: What's the point?
By KristopherKubicki on 1/7/2007 3:57:52 AM , Rating: 5
This chip is aimed at the six IT people who don't read DT :)

RE: What's the point?
By GaryJohnson on 1/7/2007 1:31:03 PM , Rating: 5
I'm frequently surprised by how poorly the many sys admins and IT pros I meet keep up with the tech news that is relevant to their careers.

Some people thirst for knowledge; others thirst for lemonade.

RE: What's the point?
By bob661 on 1/7/2007 2:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
Some people thirst for knowledge; others thirst for lemonade.
LOL! Good one.

RE: What's the point?
By ipwnurmom on 1/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: What's the point?
By bokep on 1/7/2007 5:09:12 PM , Rating: 1
Coming from "ipwnurmom"

RE: What's the point?
By mindless1 on 1/8/2007 9:29:00 AM , Rating: 4
Most sysadmins or IT people are actively servicing their clients, not rubbernecking the latest hardware releases- which with the wealth of hardware released, could be a full time job in itself.

Truth is, most businesses aren't interested in perpetual upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware. Their tech people are spending the time on the tech info relevant to their service of their clients. Same shoe doesn't fit everyone.

RE: What's the point?
By Jeff7181 on 1/7/2007 8:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
Don't server chips go through extra validation to ensure they work perfectly in an environment that requires absolute stability in less than optimal operating conditions? (ie. stuffed away in the corner of a hot server room)

One would assume they'd charge a premium for that, as they have in the past... maybe the pricing is an error?

RE: What's the point?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 1/7/2007 12:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
I thought they did too. Wasn't that why the, correct me if I'm wrong, S939 Opteron 165 had so much head room? They chip was way under rated too ensure that in a server application you didn't have to worry about the thing.

RE: What's the point?
By dagamer34 on 1/7/2007 12:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
But there's no extra cost, so what's the difference? If there were "extra" validation, Intel would usually end up using chips rated at higher speeds and clock them down a bit to achieve a closer to 100% sustainability rate under stress testing.

And that costs money...

RE: What's the point?
By Jeff7181 on 1/7/2007 1:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's assuming that stability is directly related to speed, which it is not.

If a CPU running at 3.0 GHz produces an error once every 500 trillion clock cycles, scaling it back to 2.8 GHz, 2.6 GHz, or even 2.4 GHz doesn't necessarily equate to increased stability. Often it does, but that's a coincidence, not a rule.

RE: What's the point?
By Assimilator87 on 1/7/2007 2:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Encoding takes absolutely forever on my Athlon XP. Upgrading to a quad core on the Core 2 architecture would save me an unbelievable amount of time overall. That's what quad core is for. On the gaming front, most of the major releases are coming this year so we'll be seeing multicore optimised titles fairly soon. I think Alan Wake uses something like five main threads, which doesn't make sense since we'll either have four cores or eight cores, not something in between.

RE: What's the point?
By lemonadesoda on 1/7/2007 7:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree with your logic. Remember that threads doesn't = number of core minimum, only the way is was programmed that means it will SCALE WELL with increasing cores. But a single core can still schedule 5 threads without a problem.

Second, 4 core CPU plus a physics thread running on the GPU or AGEIA? = 5, = nice.

Or dual core Pentium with HT = 4 threads, plus GPU or AGEIA = 5, = nice.

Or "sound thread" has very low utilisation due to offloading to hardware, = 4.1, ie. 4 cores is enough, = nice.

etc. etc.

RE: What's the point?
By willow01 on 1/7/2007 9:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you have a look at the totals section under the performance tab in task manager you will see quite a few 'Threads' I have > 600 at the moment, they are not all doing much at all given the processor utilisation but they are there. You can future proof an application so long as you have the budget and time to invest in splitting an app up. The truth is a lot of programs don't need to be threaded and don't make sense to. You will see more benefit in day to day use with multitasking and more responsiveness.

I like this. But I'll wait for a while.
By KaiserCSS on 1/7/2007 3:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's absolutely great to have quad-core processors available for purchase at relatively reasonable prices, but I don't quite see the point just yet. I'll use the same argument people have been using since the launch of dual-core CPUs: why bother when few if any programs support quad-core? I'm sure Vista will change all that in time, but at the moment I've only seen a few multi-threaded applications which aren't necessarily aimed at the consumer market (more towards professional digital artists and game/CGI effects specialists). Then again, perhaps I need to search harder. Regardless, I see no point in purchasing a quad-core system any time soon. As a matter of fact, the only reason I can come up with for purchasing quad-core CPUs within the next 6 months or so is bragging rights. So you have the latest bleeding-edge CPU, but is it really worth it when perhaps you could purchase a dual-core for less money and relatively equal performance at the moment? As I said, this will no doubt change when multi-threaded software becomes readily available, but at this point in time a normal PC enthusiast would do well to spend his money on other components, such as RAM upgrades or a new GPU (aka 8800GTX), which will show performance improvements immediately and noticeably.

The story might change if you are planning on purchasing a quad-core system for a server or some such use. I'm not an IT person myself, so I wouldn't know if this would be a wise purchase. Perhaps someone can elaborate this for me. I would also assume quad-core processors would be perfect for the latest-and-greatest workstation systems as well. Alas, I wouldn't be the person to tell you... I'm a gamer myself. I look forward to seeing a greater volume of performance reviews and comparisons very soon regarding these new chips.

RE: I like this. But I'll wait for a while.
By Lakku on 1/7/2007 4:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it can be a good buy for anyone looking to purchase/build a system. I have a qx6700, along with an 8800gtx but I did so for future proofing. I won't be able to build a new computer for quite some time (might be able to squeeze a GPU upgrade sometime down the line maybe), and this is the best I could build at this time. It's a good all around processor, and, it's quad core. I'm a gamer, and I can think of a number of games due in the next 6 months with more then dual core support. Alan Wake, Unreal Engine 3 games, Crysis (maybe), future Valve games, and more then likely, hopefully anyway, 360 ports will have some sort of multi-core support. The transition is going to be faster then you think.

By IntelUser2000 on 1/7/2007 5:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
If there's any irony worth mentioning, its computers and future-proofing.

By Lakku on 1/7/2007 6:04:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well, relatively speaking. I use it in the sense it's more future proof to have a qx6700 then a e6700, or a 8800gtx then a 7900gtx. Yeah, it won't hold out forever, but, considering this will be Intel's top, or on of their top, CPUs till Q3 or Q4 of next year, it will turn out to be a pretty good bet. Better then my last 3 CPU purchases anyway. :-p

By FITCamaro on 1/7/2007 10:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
AutoCAD, 3DS Max, etc. Also the server market running huge databases. Yes quad cores for the average consumer are a bit excessive at the moment but for the professional space they can be fully utilized. And yes, gaming developers in the next 2 years hopefully will make the jump to threaded games. Once its threaded the more cores you have the better. Now if they restrict it to only a few threads, then quad cores won't help much for more than multitasking while gaming. But if they make it truly multi-threaded, then quad cores will have an effect.

RE: I like this. But I'll wait for a while.
By iNGEN on 1/7/2007 3:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
Multicore has usefulness in gaming right now. Some of it more desireable than what can be offered by a faster graphics card. For example, during a typical gaming session I run: Battlefield 2142, Teamspeak, Ventrilo, FRAPs, Comcorder, NetMan, Setpoint (with dynamic profiles), Saitek Keymanager (for macros), as well as all the Windows processes. Now, I'm not aware of any of those being multithreaded apps, but using my A64 4000+ at 2.8Ghz, I average 52fps in game with around a 15fps minimum. When I drop in my 4400+ at the stock 2.2Ghz, I average 49fps with a 38fps minimum. Those frame rates are averages of more than 10 hours of real play on each config. (thank you FRAPS)

Needless to say, my 4000+ now sits in a box on my shelf.

By willow01 on 1/7/2007 8:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This is where you will see a benefit in multiple cores now, running multiple apps at the time, especially if they are more cpu intensive than io. As for the future, seeing as though the Xbox 360 and the PS3 (less so because of its different approach with Cell), game developers will be learning and investing more time into utilising multiple processors, as more experience is gained.

By kilkennycat on 1/7/2007 6:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
For the many of us who do desktop video processing, pro, semi-pro or "home", quad-core on a desktop at a very reasonable price ($530 in Q2 !!) is a very big deal, and the large caches sweeten the pot when executing video-compression algorithms. The leading desktop-video editors (eg: Premiere or Final Cut)and other desktop-video processing programs are fully multicore/multiprocessor aware and make use of as many cores as are available.

Intel is on to a winner here.... deliberately increasing the pressure on AMD to cough up their next-gen quad-core (and dual-core) and forcing them to quote a volume-production price at launch... no premium-price development-cost recovery. Pressure on AMD's margins everywhere to stifle AMD's development money is Intel's strategy. And AMD has just shot themselves in the foot by borrowing a couple of billion $$ to buy ATi.. a really stupid move. They will be paying interest on this loan instead of investing it in fully-securing their processor technology. AMD had two very willing and highly-competent chip-set partners, nVidia and ATi. No need to rush into a ATi purchase at a time when it was critical to expand their manufacturing and shore up their future processor-development strategy against a re-invigorated Intel.

easy upgrade to quad core
By jay75 on 1/7/2007 5:58:47 AM , Rating: 2
if one chooses the correct motherboard today i guess sometime down the line(when prices are reasonable), one can merely plop in a quadcore in place of the dual-core and double one's speed instead of upgrading the mobo and ram as one would currently need to do.

RE: easy upgrade to quad core
By Jeff7181 on 1/7/2007 8:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
Prices are already reasonable (IMO) if you can put 4 cores to use. The "problem" is not many people can put that many cores to use due to the lack of multi-threaded applications. I mean, besides multi-media work (video, images, audio) what else can use that much CPU power? Games... uhhhh... voice recognition? I can't think of anything else a mainstream user would need all that power for.

RE: easy upgrade to quad core
By michal1980 on 1/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: easy upgrade to quad core
By Ringold on 1/7/2007 4:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call that new part 'reasonable' yet at nearly $1k @ ZZF.

But that upcoming price drop? That'll make it a beauty, I think, and probably the gold-standard part for enthusiast computer. Decent price point, slower single-core performance but quad core at that price makes it sweet. Add to that the C2D's nice OC record, and.. there ya go.

I'll probably get an E6600, OC it, then when the price drops on that later in the year, make the swap. Especially if I can start recording HDTV in Vista (through legal means or not, since apparently only pre-builts will be able to, and pre-builts are for women and the lazy).

By ralith on 1/8/2007 10:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure that X6800 should be X6700.

I have a growing render farm...
By zsouthboy on 1/8/2007 12:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
and in 3 or 4Q of this year, they'll all be 4 core monsters.

And, since I'm rendering with them, 4 cores = 2 x performance of 2 cores, (give or take)

And that... kicks ass.

By laok on 1/8/2007 12:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think most ppl would want to spend $10 more to buy Q6700 from newegg.

theres not really a future proof pc hardware today!
By slickr on 1/7/07, Rating: -1
By ss284 on 1/7/2007 12:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well considering the 5600 was low end when it was released its not that surprising.

By Ringold on 1/7/2007 4:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're overestimating DDR3 and PCI-E 32x's impact.

Looking at AMD (for the sake that its recent memory), and boost from DDR to DDR2? Minimal.

AGP to PCI-E? Minimal.

Neither worth an upgrade.

And as for future proofing in general.. My 1.5yr or so old comp, X2 3800+ @2.6ghz and X800XL, is powering along quite fine. It plays all the modern games at quite decent settings.

If my mothers computer wasn't rapidly falling apart, I wouldn't be about to build a new computer. E6600 + 8800GTS, which I'll swap in one of these new Q6600's after their price drop. That will, I suspect, last another 1.5 - 2yrs.

How much longer do you expect high-end performance to last? I can see some of your problem was poor selection in the first place -- if that was a 2.8C then thats good but you were insane with that FX5600. Good component selection and reasonable expectations of performance over time along with a little bit of good investment (can't get low end thinking it'll be great in six months) can very easily yield a computer that'll be solid for 1.5 - 2yrs.. or longer, depending on your own preferences for performance.

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