Processors and Platforms
Besides the motherboards and video cards that we all know and love, we can’t have any of them without the processors that run them. Intel had a pretty big spotlight at the show while AMD didn’t have much in the way of things new to look at.
Intel’s biggest announcement that they were showing the press was a working Smithfield processor. That is a dual-core CPU based on the Pentium 4 architecture. It was running at 3.0 GHz (per core) and featured dual 1 MB caches on a LGA775 format.
That (above) is the system that was running the dual-core processor; and no, they wouldn’t let me open it up to take a gander. The chipset was probably a Glenwood or Lakeport prototype.
This is what Intel was using as a software demo: WMV9 high definition video being played back on the dual threads. Intel told us they expect to see dual cores in 70% of desktops by the end of 2006 and in 85% of servers by the end of 2006. If this turns out to be the case, it marks a very quick market acceptance of a new architecture change.
All of the systems that were running at the Intel booth showing off their various technologies were running the new Intel 600 series processors I was told. Those are the upcoming chips that take Prescott and add on additional features such as 2 MB of L2 cache, 64-bit and the Execute Disable bit.
Finally, Intel showed off a sample of their upcoming upgrade to the Centrino line, code named Alviso. This new chipset will add PCI Express support to the mobile market at last.