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Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. are expected to release their new enthusiast-class dual-core microprocessors AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 and Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 in mid-January, 2006. The latter is expected to be released on the 16th of January, 2006, possibly along with other dual-core microprocessors made using 65nm process technology code-named Presler, some sources revealed.

Dual-Core 65nm Pentium XE 955 Processor to Arrive on January 16

Intel Pentium D processors based on the Presler core will contain two 65nm cores in a single package and will feature 2MB level-two cache per core, 4MB of cache in total. There will be the entire product line starting at 2.80GHz core-clock (model 920) and finishing at 3.40GHz frequency (model 950) with 800MHz processor system bus (PSB). The top-of-the-range central processing unit (CPU) from Intel early next year will be Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 with 1066MHz PSB working at 3.46GHz and supporting Hyper-Threading technology.

Intel code-named Presler CPUs will naturally support EM64T, C1E, TM2, EDB (NX-bit) technologies as well as Intel’ virtualization functionality. Another important thing is that the power saving EIST technology will is projected to supported by all 65nm Intel Pentium D and Extreme Edition processors; by contrast, 90nm Intel Pentium D chips featuring Smithfield core did not feature this capability on 820 (2.80GHz) and 840 Extreme Edition models.

While the typical Intel Pentium D processors are expected to fit into mainboards based on chipsets that officially support Intel dual-core processors, such as those based on Intel 945- and Intel 955-series chipsets, Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 will require Intel 975X-based mainboard, as current chipsets do not support 1066MHz PSB for dual-core chips.

As we found out, Intel 975X chipset was supposed to debut on January 16, 2006, together with the dual-core 65nm Presler processors, but the core-logic has already been launched , which is why some mainboard manufacturers were caught unawares. Although the leading mainboard makers have already announced their i975X based solutions, they are expected to start shipping no sooner than in December.

AMD’s Athlon 64 FX-60 to Emerge Early Next Year as Well, Dual-Core 65nm Pentium D Status Uncertain

It is important to keep in mind that the dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 from AMD, which should be the direct competitor to Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955, is also expected to be announced in January, 2006, or so. AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 is projected to operate at 2.60GHz, incorporate 1MB of L2 cache per core, or 2MB in total, sport dual-channel PC3200 memory controller and fit into Socket 939 infrastructure.

Although some sources claim that the slower Intel Pentium D “Presler” processor models suffer some stability issues, the Intel Pentium XE 955 launch should take place on January 16, 2006, as it has been planned before. But in case there are issues about the slower Presler models, the shipments may be delayed. For instance, Intel delayed shipments of its Intel Pentium 4 processor 3.40GHz based on the Prescott core by several weeks back in early 2004 and had to deny postponements ) of the 3.00GHz model shipments around the same timeframe.


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