After seeing THG's report on the next gen intel core (Quad core), and some recent news clarified things a bit:

Bottom line - 965/975 owners can look forward to a 2.4ghz quad core, but probably not a 2.66Ghz due to power/thermal constraints.

Now keep in mind that AMD is just now getting it's 65nm process "on it's feet" so to speak, and a recent roadmap leaking here:

Has some interesting notes. First, it looks like the new 4x4 cpus get special fx-badges, while there is an x2-6000 which seems to be what I'd have expected of an FX-64 (3.0ghz).

Also note, that these are all 90nm cpus still...What's going on w/AMD's 65nm process? Could they be getting ready to "pull the trigger" on faster cpus to combat intel's Conroe? If they jumped to 65nm early next year we could expect to see 2 cpu upgrades, probably in quick succession which would put them at 3.4ghz, and probably give the conroe x6800 a good run for the money.

The question of how good AMD's quad core is going to end up being is probably going to be a big one - due to the fact that intel is pushing quad cores as well.

So for the short term, I'm going to say that AMD might finally catch up to intel again, but intel could really throw them a loop by releasing a slight upgrade to their conroe. One more speed bumb might do them good. And drop prices on the rest for us. For upgrade paths it looks like the 965/975 is basically a dead duck while AMD is looking to start 65nm quad cores and might adapt further process technology (though it looks like they're going to be REALLY far behind intel in 45nm) to existing sockets.
Der Meister
eh i think that it will be an intresting next 6 months.
Dead duck??? Core2 overclocks great, most mainstream users and even enthusiasts won't benefit from quad any time soon(unless of course they multitask like there's no tommorrow)and prices are finally stabilizing. I think 965/975 owners should be happy for the next 6-12mos. Throw a DX-10 card(s) in the mix and you've got the makings for a powerful PC. AMD's recent aquistion of Ati could be bad for Intel, but hopefully Nvidia will see this as an opportunity.
The thing is C2 is a great CPU at THIS moment in time....however in the next few semesters, with all the new technology coming out it seems as if it might become obsolete (by a hardware standard) very quickly. Sort of similiar to how S754 really was "mainstream" for what...a couple quarters?
I understand what you mean by obsolete from a hardware standpoint. If you factor in overclocking then core2@3.5-4.0ghz will probably still be able to compete neck and neck with a high end part@stock 12months from now. Unless software developers make a huge leap out of the blue, then I don't see four cores being utilized by any 1 mainstream application any time soon.
Marco C
Stay tuned for a lot of news next week. I'm going to be at IDF and will shooting news back to Dave for posting as I get it. There are a lot of things I can't say due to NDA restrictions, but don't consider 965/975s to be "dead ducks". That's a false assumption. 975 isn't slated for replacement until the Bearlake chipset comes out in the middle of next year, and Quad core will be here before then.

AMD will NOT be "pulling the trigger" on a magic 65nm CPU that's going to catapult them past the Core 2 Duo at the high-end, but there will be changes made to the K8L core that help IPC, which will make the CPU faster than current X2s clock for clock. How much faster is anyone's guess right now.

If I were to guess though, Intel's going to remain firmly in the lead at the high-end until approximately the middle of next year (at the mid-range, due to AMD's price cuts, things are already competitive). After that things are wide open. If K8L is everything AMD has told us it will be, it's going to be a kick ass processor. Intel's manufacturing capabilities are nothing to sneeze at though, and expect slight IPC improvements with new steppings, and their roadmap already shows a 1.3GHz bus coming, so you know faster CPUs that utilize the faster bus must be on the way too. I guess I could experiment with a current CPU, but a Core 2 at 3.33GHz with a 1.33GHz bus is going to be a mighty powerful setup.
Recoveringknowitall - by Deadduck I mean it's done, it's over, you'll be looking at a new chipset in 9 months or less if you want to run the next gen hardware. It looks like there might be the ability to run their FSB to 333mhz * 4 = 1333mhz, but the platform won't be a long upgrade path.

BigWop - love ya always have. I am not thinking that AMD will get back in the driver's seat, but I think that they could use 2 or 3 speed bumbs in quick succession to get back in the game. I'm certainly not expecting magic, but if AMD could drop 2-3 cpus over 6 months it'd put them more or less on par w/C2D for many apps, but like I said, all intel has to do is release one speed bump and AMD is screwed in this regard. I've read a good deal on the K8-L, and the one thing that still seems like intel has over it is their pre-fetching tech. To see an off-die memory controller scoring lower latencies on average than an integrated controller shows that this is a very worthwhile tech to invest in.

One thing I have to wonder about is how close AMD is to make their newly purchased Z-cache tech work for them. It's supposed to allow for fast on-die caches w/only 20% the transistor count. If they could get this tech up and running it might help improve their price/chip.

Anyhow, I'd like to see AMD competitive at the high end, the best time for consumers in recent memory was when AMD and intel went head to head - both early A64 and Athlon's original debut. But leave one company or the other in charge and all you get is trouble and slow releases.
Thanx for the info and commentary guys, I know for sure what I want now based on my upgrade budget. Since non EE Conroes have locked multipliers, then I'll be going with the E6700 as it's default multiplier is 10. Dfi will be releasing a core2 compatible mobo featuring the Ati RD600 chipset very soon(hopefully in oct.)With the independantly adjustable FSB I should be able to achieve 333mhz based on what I've read, which will amount to 3.33ghz/1.333ghzFSB. The board will also support 1066mhz DDR2 so I'll go with 2 x 1gb of either Corsair or OCZ. A single Ati high-end DX10 card is what I'll opt for as well as an appropriate PSU!!!
Sounds like a nice rig. Do you know of any RD600 boards coming this year? I had heard that due to AMD acquiring ATi that a lot of board makers were cancelling or delaying for a while? I know DFI has a sweet looking board in the works (and a similar AM2 product) that has the best SATA port arrangement I've seen to date: they look like the rear ports (ie usb, serial, nic, etc.) but on the "front" (from a case perspective) of the board vs the top back of the board.

Knowing DFI, that board will be a heck of an OCer.

BTW, do you know if that's DC 1066? I know ASUS offers a board or two with 1066mhz memory but I've read that it reverts to single channel opperation.
The article I read regarding the prototype/pre-release Dfi board powered by the RD600 chipset from Ati mentioned nothing about dual channel one way or the other. It did however accentuate the fact that the RAM speed will be independantly overclockable from the FSB. 1066 should therefore be easily attainable.
If I'm not mistaken they also mentioned reaching a FSB of 1500mhz with core2 which when coupled with the 11x multiplier of the X6800 would be a healthy 4.1ghz. The performance of core2 is said to scale well gigahert per gh...
Core 2 is just getting off the ground, and I'm sure it has a long way to go before it gets tired. I can't help but wonder if quad-core is coming too soon or too late. By too soon I mean that I'm sure intel could crank this core 2 duo up several more notches over the next year or two and I don't think anyone would really complain. By too late I mean that by releasing the quad cores at speeds a little lower than the dual cores, we might see reviews similar to the x2 and pentium d - where only some apps take advantage of it, while others suffer due to the drop in clock speed - what we might see is that the apps that were making good use of dual cores might or might not take great use of 4 cores - and the apps that weren't using two cores to begin with certainly will take a hit with a step down in clock frequency.

I was initially hoping that intel or AMD would do their initial jump to 4 cores during a migration to a new manufacturing process (yes, I know that's a good recipe for delays and low yields - but it might remove much of the 2nd problem).

In the end, the trial by fire will not just be the software for next week, but that over the life of quad cores, and I think it's reasonable to think that most people who buy a quad core in '07 might keep it for at least 18 months, and in that time I'd certainly expect more and more software to go multi-threaded.

As an added side note, intel's compilers are really darned good, and I'm sure they'll be doing as much as possible to help developers get their programs multi-threaded and highly optimized. As an added side note part 2 : Vista is said to respond quite well to more cores/cpus, and so the OS might play a big factor here too.

Originally posted by: recoveringknowitall
I understand what you mean by obsolete from a hardware standpoint. If you factor in overclocking then core2@3.5-4.0ghz will probably still be able to compete neck and neck with a high end part@stock 12months from now. Unless software developers make a huge leap out of the blue, then I don't see four cores being utilized by any 1 mainstream application any time soon.

Maybe not 4 cores, but as AMD and intel start makeing more multi core CPUs and less single core then programs will use that functionality more, and if you have 2 apps that use 2 cores then all foure cores are bieng used.
Performance is paramount, should a quad core offer superior performance overall to me the end-user for whatever it is that I personally do then I'll invest.
Yeah Recov - but that's the problem, so far it looks like it's going to be another situation where performance gains are only had depending on what you do.
Der Meister
seems that Intel might have the quads out by Q1.... how cool would that be?

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