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AMD Solution Provider
NVIDIA Partnerforce Program Member

AMD and Intel Launch Dual-Core CPUs

Original Article Date: 2005-06-30

Dual-Core CPUs have arrived, with the release of the Athlon X2 and Opteron 265+/865+ series from AMD, and the Pentium D from Intel.

A Dual-Core CPU is basically two CPUs rolled into one - it is two CPU cores printed on the same die, or slab of silicon.

You are essentially getting the same power of two CPUs, but on a single socket, as each core is a duplicate of a single CPU, including all registers and cache memory. This is why most dual-core CPUs are advertised with 2MB of L2 cache (i.e. 2 x 1MB). It sounds too good to be true, really, doesn't it?

The only snag is that these CPUs come at a bit of premium right now. The chip manufacturers are aware of the potential of undermining sales of their single-core CPUs, so are keeping the prices on their dual-core models at least twice as high as the single-core CPU at the same clock speed.

Benefits of Dual-Core

Servers and workstations are one of the key spaces in which dual-core CPUs will make a big difference. All but entry-level machines in this space run on two or more CPUs, and so dual-core allows the same multi-CPU power that a server or workstation needs, but on a more compact, single socket.

And for dual socket machines, the potential to move to FOUR CPU cores is now realized. Enterprise computing becomes much more affordable, as mainboards having just two sockets are considerably cheaper than those in the more specialized four socket market.

Additionally Microsoft, RedHat and many application vendors have agreed to license their products on a per-socket basis, not a per-core basis, so you will likely be able to run your applications with twice the computing power, but not have to pay any more on your software license!

And at the extreme end, 16-way x86 computing is now achievable with the Opteron 865, 870 and 875 CPUs. As the '8' in their numbering suggests, these CPUs can be used in up to 8-way configurations, and with each CPU having two cores, that gives you 16 cores available to crunch through your supercomputing needs.

We are Dual-Core Ready!

Virtually all of our Pentium, Athlon64 and Opteron based servers and workstations can now be ordered with Dual Core CPUs.

So, whichever market segment or purpose you have in mind, dual-core CPUs give you the extra power you need for your business computing, and all within the same sized box.

Dual-core is the next big step for your server and workstation needs. 

Best regards,

Ben Ranson
Chief Systems Engineer