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Intel Hardware

Dual-Core Pentium 4 Slated For 2Q 2005 250

Quantrell writes "Today is the first full day of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, and Intel has announced that dual-core Pentium 4s are coming in the second quarter, one in the Extreme Edition line (no surprise there), and also the Smithfield Pentium 4 800 series, which is the next so-called consumer desktop line. No word on pricing, yet."
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Dual-Core Pentium 4 Slated For 2Q 2005

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:23PM (#11598694)
    Twice the inefficiency!
    • Re:About time... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) *
      Yeah, I wasn't so concerned about the price of the chips themselves but in the increase of your electric bill.

      Either the machines will be sucking so much power that your lights will dim while running RC5-72 or your AC will have to be cranking in order to keep the room cool.
    • Re:About time... (Score:2, Insightful)

      Twice the inefficiency! (Score:5, Funny)

      While the parent is modded up as funny, what was said isn't too far from the truth, at least from a software perspective.

      There's a saying that goes: Joe gives a little, John takes a little. In this case, the more hardware improves, the more inefficient software becomes. This process is initiated as developers start ignoring minutia and low-level details of software development, use high-level frameworks, and stop investing time implementing efficient algorithms.

  • Lack of bandwidth? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ajiva ( 156759 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:23PM (#11598695)
    While dual processors is great and all, I'd rather see double the memory bandwidth then double the processing power. In the case of Intel processors (especially duals) memory bandwidth is severly lacking, and while DDR-2 should help a bit, I don't expect to be that impressed with the new dual cores.
    • by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@mon k e l e c t r i c . com> on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:44PM (#11598970)
      That's the real problem with hyperthreading. Running 2 processes at once (in the sense that it does, anyways) blows up your cache. You really need 2 seperate caches or a muhc much larger one.
      • by fitten ( 521191 )
        Depends what the threads are doing...
      • The thing I don't understand from Intel or AMD is why are they putting so much effort into designing and manufacture so many chipsets and cache changes for minimal performance increase.

        Whatever happen to just simple gradual mhz improvement. 30mhz to 40mhz to 100mhz to 500mhz works for any consumer. Both companies are just a marketing mess now.

        • Their ability to scale frequency is diminishing, lately, the ability to lay down more transistors meant bigger caches, which often has less impact than a second core would. Don't forget that nearly every CPU manufacturer is going dual core, not just Intel and AMD, it is just that they are relatively late into the game now.

          I don't think it is too out of line to expect that programmers are going to start considering better multitreaded design. There are limits to what can be done, but for most software, th
        • Sounds like you need to retake physics. You think they just gave up on the clock speed race because they got bored with it??
      • Or do what IBM does and have the processor pass hints to the OS about how well the processes are coexisting together.
      • That's the real problem with hyperthreading.... You really need 2 seperate caches or a muhc much larger one.
        Didn't they already try that? The P4 Extreme Edition. It hardly helped [] at all.
    • In the past, dual CPU Intels had a slower bus because of transmission line issues, a multi-drop bus is harder to make work properly than a point to point bus. But given that there isn't a distance between CPUs, and that the CPU bus is prossibly wired together on-die, that transmission line issue drops back down to a point-to-point bus.
    • by exley ( 221867 )
      In that case, you'll have to talk to memory, chipset, and board people. The memory interface is still in the northbridge/MCH (memory controller hub) on Intel-based architectures, as opposed to AMD's x86-64 offerings which have memory controllers integrated into the processor. Also, when it comes to memory, bandwidth isn't the only issue; latency is also critical.
  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:24PM (#11598702) Journal
    you may come out with dual-cores before AMD, but since your dual-core is a kludge on top of a kludge, I'm guessing AMD will beat you again.
  • by pranay ( 724362 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:24PM (#11598707)
    What about P5? I will need it to play my copy of Duke Nukem Forever!
  • Awsome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by irokitt ( 663593 ) <archimandrites-iaur@yaho o . c om> on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:26PM (#11598724)
    Now I can fry two eggs at once!
  • Pricing... (Score:5, Funny)

    by riptide_dot ( 759229 ) * on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:29PM (#11598765)
    "No word on pricing, yet."

    Is that kind of like saying "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"?

    P4 EE - $989 []

    Gotta go; I have to sell a kidney or three to afford this thing...
  • Cores. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Motorola/IBM have had multi-core PPCs demonstrated ever since the very, very first G4 lab units all those years ago.

    Yet no one has ever productized a multi-core PPC. (Unless you count the Cell, which you probably shouldn't.)

    Why is this?

    Is there something about multicore technology which caused IBM/Motorola to decide it was not worth the bother of putting in a box and selling?

    Inversely, is there something about multicore technology that makes Intel think we'd actually start caring about the P4 again once
    • POWER4 and POWER5 are multi-core PowerPCs. Currently there are not any multi-core low-end PowerPCs because they simply cost more to make than the customers are willing to pay. But costs are going down all the time.
    • Software has to be written to take advantage of dual cores. Now that the ability to scale the clock of a CPU is slowing down it seems like the best way to increase performance is to finally force multithreaded applications on the consumer. You only need the OS to be dual CPU aware to see a benefit however, one core for the OS and one for apps.
  • The notion of having a dual core processor is ridiculous. I mean, with just one processor I'm perpetually afraid that my computer will attain self-awareness, and with 350 watts or so at its disposal there's no telling what kind of havoc it'll wreak upon my tender organic tissues. Now with two processors in my computer box there's no telling what kind of trouble I'll be exposed to. Why don't you just embed a .357 Magnum revolver into the chipset? Processor designers are deranged.
    • Humans have self-awareness with only 25 watts.

      How does it feel to know that your computer may have a consciousness 14 times more powerful than your own?
    • It's just like having multiple wives. With a dual core, they just fight for supremacy. It's once you have the triple core, that they start to take sides.

  • ... questions ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ninjagin ( 631183 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:38PM (#11598889)
    So, will it still use socket 478, and when do we see moboards with the new accompanying chipsets and DDR2?

    I'm a little leery of getting excited about having more juice squeezed out of the P4 line, and maybe it's because I'm not entirely clued into the extent of the benefits gained from dual-core P4s. Are they doing this just to gain time before they introduce a new architecture?

    I'm looking to build a new AMD-based system this summer, even if they are a little later-to-the-dual-core-table. As far as I can tell, this news doesn't present any substantive reason for me to change that plan.

    Can someone more knowledgeable help me get some perspective on this?

    • So, will it still use socket 478, and when do we see moboards with the new accompanying chipsets and DDR2?

      No, it will still use socket 775, and the new chipsets will come out at the same time as the processor.

      I'm a little leery of getting excited about having more juice squeezed out of the P4 line, and maybe it's because I'm not entirely clued into the extent of the benefits gained from dual-core P4s. Are they doing this just to gain time before they introduce a new architecture?

      A dual-core P4 is chea
    • Re:... questions ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by djohnsto ( 133220 ) <.dan.e.johnston. .at.> on Monday February 07, 2005 @03:07PM (#11599252) Homepage
      It will not use socket 478, but it may use LGA775. Dual-core P4's will let you execute 2 simultaneous threads at about 1.5-1.8X speed they would run on a single core P4 (given the same clockspeed). Single-threaded apps will not see a performance improvement (although you could run 2 single threaded apps and get an aggregate improvement). These will probably also be 64-bit enabled.

      If you want dual-core, I would imagine Intel's will be cheaper than AMD's at intro. The Smithfield processor is in their performance mainstream segment (i.e. same as current Pentium 4 - not Xeon). AFAIK, AMD will intro dual-core with their Opteron line. Not sure when it hits the Athlon FX / Athlon 64 line.
    • a dual core architecture is two processors on the same chip, which should theoretically double the computing power.

      And in true multithreaded apps that might even be possible. But the sad reality is that the number of instructions you can run per second in the real world is related more to how many bits you can move in and out of the processor than the actual speed of the processor.

      Most instructions can be executed in a handful of clocks. adding AND multiplying can generally be done in the same clock. O
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:40PM (#11598921)
    AMD has been providing working real dual-core samples to partners for months, whilst dual-core Intel processors are apparently in short supply.

    This smells of Intel running to get there first before AMD, so they aren't second again with a technology.

    HyperThreading is disabled in the Smithfield dual-core product too, so expect a mere 50% overall performance increase at the same clock speed (2.8GHz, 3GHz, 3.2GHz soon afterwards) for Intel. AMD stand to gain more from dual-cores, as they have no HyperThreading equivalent at the moment, and AMD have said that dual 2.4GHz will be possible, that's two 4000+ rated processors, probably overall performance of 6000-7000+. That's a bit better than the 5000+ performance from a dual core Smithfield.

    Dual core AMD will likely perform a lot higher than dual core Intel therefore.
    • by Kupek ( 75469 )
      HyperThreading is disabled in the Smithfield dual-core product too, so expect a mere 50% overall performance increase at the same clock speed (2.8GHz, 3GHz, 3.2GHz soon afterwards) for Intel.

      I'm not sure what you mean, so I might be wrong. My understanding of what you said is that with HT enabled, you can expect a 50% performance increase. That is unfortunately not true. I'm part of a research group that's using P4s with HT, and the most realistic speedup you get is under 10%.

      The problem with the chip
      • Did you happen to figure out where the extra .2 seconds was made up inside the code? Wait-states?
        • I really don't know. I can make lots of guesses, but they're just that, really. Keep in mind these numbers are two days old, and I took yesterday off. :)

          I also will probably never find out, since architecture isn't really my bag; I need these numbers to compare against a different implementation of the same application using some of my stuff. As long as I can get the performance of my stuff to approach those numbers I reported, I'm happy.
      • If you have two branchy threads that are very easy on memory I can imagine big performance gains on the order of 50%. That's not very common though.
        • No, that will actually be just as bad as having two threads doing lots of floating point calculations. Codes with lots of branches make heavy use of the integer units. The most gain to be had is probably by having one thread that is compute bound and the other is I/O bound.
  • 130 Watts!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by leathered ( 780018 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:45PM (#11598979)
    The jokes about the heat these puppies will pump out couldn't be more appropriate. An article at Tom's states [] that the Smithfield core has a thermal design power of 130W making it by far the hottest x86 CPU ever seen.

    In contrast, AMD's dual core offering will offer no increase in TDP over their present single core designs.
    • Re:130 Watts!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      Isn't 130 still less than the power needed by the latest ATI and nVidia graphics boards?

    • In contrast, AMD's dual core offering will offer no increase in TDP over their present single core designs.

      Wait a minute. The very article you linked said this:
      Competitor AMD so far has not released TDP specifications for its dual-core processors, which initially will be available only for servers.

      Unless AMD has released this info in the last two weeks, then there's nothing to go on to make such a claim.
    • Also note that Intel's thermal design power correspond to "typical usage" (whatever that means) and thet AMD's TDP is absolute max (see this [])

  • For all the articles on here about the new dual cores, I have seen little that explains how those will actually help the user.

    I mean, I assume that unless Windows is rewritten to take advantage of dual cores that you won't see much performance increase. And I assume that just getting OS support won't be enough for applications to really see much improvement either.

    SO unless you're a reasonable l33t linux dude/dudette, or I've missed the boat (also possible I'm sure), where do I see the advantage of this system?


    More craziness here [] too :-)

    • by Chirs ( 87576 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:56PM (#11599116)
      It works exactly the same as an SMP system. Any OS capable of handling SMP will be able to handle this, including WinXP Pro (but not "Home").

      As for app support, any time you're doing a task that is parallelizable, you may be able to benefit.

      If you are running two totally different processes at once, then you get immediate benefits. (And immediate subtle bugs, if the processes share resources and weren't properly written for SMP).

      If you are running a single multi-threaded app, you get immediate benefits. (And immediate subtle bugs, if the app wasn't properly written for SMP).

      If you only run a single app, and that app has only a single thread, then you will not gain much at all.
      • by mcc ( 14761 )
        Is there any advantage whatsoever to having a dual-core processor over just having two single-core processors?
        • Not much. But dual processor has previously been the domain of workstations, servers and Macs. Soon it looks like dual core will bring dual processing to the consumer x86 PC level.

          Also, for Intel, I think having a single physical CPU die means that the FSB can be higher. With previous Intel designs, the dual processor chips had a slower FSB because it is a multi-drop bus, being harder to make work right than a point-to-point bus.
        • Motherboard realestate. Laying out an SMP motherboard is expensive, and uses more materials and components than a dualcore motherboard will, thats it really.
        • Well, you can put a freaking fast bus between them, and you save on motherboard space.

          On the downside, you end up sharing bandwidth to anything off-die (pci, memory, etc.)

          With a two single-core opterons, each one can each have their own full-speed bus to memory (and can access each other's memory at a slight latency penalty).
        • It's cheaper.

          The chip makers have always been trying to squeeze more performance out of a chip. For the past ten years or so, upping the clock speed has been the easiest way to do that. Upping the clock speed is getting harder and the gains are smaller. So what they're trying to do is explore other ways of increasing the performance from a single chip. Right now, dual core looks like a better way of using the transistors on the chip.
      • Hey, that makes me wonder ...

        MS has already said they'll treat dual-cores as single CPUs for licensing purposes. It might be reasonable to assume dual-cores will bring SMP into the mainstream, and within a year be pretty standard in new mid-to-high-end systems.

        So will there be a point pretty soon when MS unlocks "Home" -- maybe via a windows update -- to properly use these dual-cores? If it's willing to consider them single CPUs for licensing, hopefully it's also not going to maintain its artificial cripp
      • If you only run a single app, and that app has only a single thread, then you will not gain much at all.

        Well, yeah, but I haven't used DOS for years!

        But seriously. I'm currently running one Office app, one CAD program, one development environment, 3 web browser instances, an IM client, and a text editor, not to mention all the various other things Windows and I need to have running in the background.
    • The problem is not so much the OS (both Linux and XP should be able to make use of multiple CPUs/cores well enough) but the applications. If your main apps that really need that much CPU power cannot make good use of multiple cores it doesn't matter too much if the OS does.
  • Dupe? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @02:50PM (#11599044)
    Previous story: NASA Proposes Warming Mars
  • It will be interesting to see how much this baby will cost.

    It will also be interesting to see what clock sped it runs at, and how much heat it throws out.
  • emulate multi-core CPU functionality using discrete boxes? Could it happen that these extra boxes we have laying around could eventually just act as extra-cores?
    • That's essentially what clusters are (in rough form). They emulate the larger SMP computers. And with an OS like Mosix you can run a single OS across the cluster, giving the impression of using one large machine with many processors.

      But, no, you're not going to be able to use extra old computers to make your workstation run faster.
    • You can emulate multi-core functionality on a single CPU, and I suspect that would be faster. Communication in SMP machines happens at the speed of main memory (many gigabytes per second) with a latency of substantially less than a microsecond. On dual-core chips, I suspect a lot of that can happen in the latency of L2 cache, which is in the tens of nanoseconds.

      Between different boxes, the best you can do with consumer hardware is gigabit ethernet, which will give you a latency of under a millisecond if yo
    • No. That's a cluster, which is a different beast. Communication between nodes in a cluster requires message passing, usually over ethernet. Dual core is closer to SMPs, which means shared memory. Communicating via shared memory is faster.

      Think about it this way. Let's say you and a friend are working on a math problem. An SMP is you both have your own sheet of paper, but you can read and write on his sheet of paper, and he can do the same to yours. A dual core is you both share the same piece of pap
  • by eric_brissette ( 778634 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @03:30PM (#11599520)
    Honestly. The Dual Core Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition with Hyper-Threading Technology.

    Am I the only one that thinks that sounds funny? Like someone took a steaming PR doodoo into the buzzword generator at Intel?

    Personally, I think I'll hold off until they release the Dual Core Intel Pentium Processor Fusion Edition Titanium Pack PRO with Spastic-Threading Nano-Techno-Giga-Awesome Technology.
  • ...about which chip is more energy efficient or which one runs hotter, but where is the truth? I am thinking of upgrading one of my RedHat 9 GNU/Linux systems to Fedora Core 3 (maybe the 64-bit distro) and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out which CPU to go with. Intel Xeon or P4 vs. AMD Opteron or Dual Athlon 64s. One of my main considerations is energy efficiency, but... I don't want an efficient PC at the cost of a slower PC. My past experience with AMD has been pretty dismal, but maybe they'
  • One point twenty-one Jiggawatts!!!???

  • Notably, hyperthreading will be relegated to the domain of the Extreme Edition dual-core line for now, as Smithfield's hyperthreading is turned off.

    So HT is in there, and they turn it off. I pay for a chip that has it (cost of a chip is rather proportional to its size), and they turn the d@mn thing off.

    It's got to be a Marketing thing, rather than an Engineering thing, which is why I want the entire Marketing Department dumped into the same hole the Lawyers are going into.

    A$$hole$ truly says it!

  • Pricing (Score:3, Informative)

    by qtothemax ( 766603 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @04:01PM (#11599864)
    No word on pricing yet

    This news bit [] had been posted on anandtech a bit ago, and seems decently reliable and realistic. 2.8ghz for $241 isn't bad at all, pricing is right between today's prices for a 3.2 and 3.4. I personally though am waiting for AMD's dual cores which will supposedly work on my current motherboard, though it looks like at first the only dual core will be an FX processor, with the insane price that goes with that.
    • I haven't read much recently from AMD about what's happening with their schedule is for releasing their dual-core chips. I think the dual core Opteron was supposed to get released about the same time as Intel's dual core chip, and that the dual core amd64 was to be released about a half year later. I wonder if AMD is waiting for Intel's release before releasing their chip. That certainly would take the wind out of Intel's sails. I had heard that they had produced working dual core chips several months a

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