Earlier this week, Advanced Micro Devices finally introduced the first true quad-core microprocessor in the PC market, code-named "Barcelona" and launched as part of AMD's Opteron line. David Kanter provided an excellent technical analysis of Barcelona on his Real World Technologies site.
Barcelona is not the absolutely fastest processor on the market. For single-core performance, both IBM and Intel offer faster chips. With multiple cores working, Intel and Sun can claim higher performance per socket--Intel because it can put two high-frequency dual-core chips in one socket, and Sun because it has an eight-core processor (the UltraSparc T2).
Although I'm sure AMD wishes it could claim those titles, there's another metric that matters even more to some customers. Barcelona delivers high… Read more