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Intel adds another quad-core Xeon

Server makers requested faster delivery of a 2GHz server processor scheduled for February, and the chipmaker obliged. Photos: Quad-core Xeon 5335

Intel announced a new quad-core Xeon server processor Monday, a 2GHz model that originally was slated to appear in February.

The Quad-Core Xeon 5335, which consumes a maximum of 80 watts, is a midrange model. Its early arrival was requested by server makers that wanted a fuller product line ready for the new year, Intel spokeswoman Erica Fields said. Previous members of the quad-core "Clovertown" family of chips arrived in November.

"Almost all major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers)--including Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, NEC, Rackable and Silicon Graphics--will offer servers based on this part," Fields said.

Xeon 5355

The chip costs $690 in quantities of 1,000. That's cheaper than the $1,172 and $851 models, which run at 2.66GHz and 2.33GHz respectively, but use the same 1333MHz front-side bus connection to the rest of the server that the 5335 uses. The price is higher than for the 1.86GHz and 1.6GHz models that use a slower 1066MHz front-side bus.

Intel's quad-core processors combine two dual-core Xeon 5100 "Woodcrest" chips into a single package. Rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, which beat Intel to the dual-core server punch in 2005, is waiting until 2007 to release its first quad-core "Barcelona" chip. Unlike Intel's Xeon, AMD's processor will have all four cores on a single slice of silicon.