AMD today announced that its native quad core processors, codenamed Barcelona, will be available starting in August. Of course, that's Opteron chips, mind you, there's no mention of desktop processors in the release.
The first available chips will arrive in frequencies of up to 2.0GHz (Code: 2350) and will come in both standard and low-power models. AMD is expecting to get the clock speeds ramped up to 2.5GHz by Q4 this year, though, for those of you itching for some high-speed Opteron action by Chrimbo.
AMD states that its "Quad-Core AMD Opteron™ processors can deliver significant performance and performance-per-watt enhancements over existing processor architectures yet are designed to be backwards compatible with existing AMD Opteron platforms."
The processors will launch on an AM2+ socket, which is backwards compatible to current AM2 boards - although that will reduce their HyperTransport frequency and native power regulation functions.
As always, we'll remain sceptical until we get one in our own labs to test. It's likely that four cores won't benefit everyone, but the performance enhancements should certainly be a step in the right direction. Intel's 45nm Penryn will be due by then, so we'll see how much of a difference the idea of native quad-core really makes.
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