Intels Quad Processor – Hardware Software Suite

Welcome to the 3rd post of Intel’s Quad Analysis. In this post. we will be seeing the hardware and software aspect as well the industries readiness for these processors.

Speed was the king at the time when the Pentium 4 was released but, parallelism is the new mantra which Intel has set with its quad. The trend of increasing processor’s speed with every new release, was reaching it’s limit due to a higher power consumption, which resulted in lower performance. So, Intel thought “If you can’t go higher, go wider !!”.

Hardware Vendors View :

With the launch of Quad top leading vendors like IBM, HP and others had already started a rush in delivering the fastest desktops to consumers. But why would a consumer want a new processor? I have some of the quote from different articles i had been through and will collectively put them together to get an overall view.

The benefit what consumer will get adopting the new technology in words of DELL, HP, IBM and others are

  • 5x performance at the same power consumption.
  • Price Performance.
  • Improve IT efficiency.
  • Better performance Per Watt.
  • Best tco of data centers.
  • Highest performance at the lowest density.
  • Footprint Small.
  • Secure, reliable, remotely.
  • 4x memory.
  • Density and thermal management.
  • Faster response on web sites.

So when would you ever be doing so many things at once on a computer? What about if you wanted to burn a DVD, listen to music, and edit a photo all at the same time? Another scenario we like is playing a game on your PC while someone in another room is using that same computer to stream digital media across your home network. If you tried doing those things with a fast, single-core CPU, you’d have to trade off CPU cycles, and your performance would suffer. But, with a quad-core chip, in which each core is almost as fast as one single-core processor, suddenly your options increase.

If You want to see a comparison chart along with all processors of Intel go here.

Software Vendors View:

The major issues adopting to quad core is, are the software ready for it. Will I be able to run windows on this?  Will Microsoft charge for more licensing money as its equivalent to 4 chips? Will my database still give the same output.

I had to dig into the news and read some more articles to get the information and the good news is, Yes It will work!!.  Here, are what leading software companies say about it.

IBM says:

  • Domino already runs application and is 74% better with quad.
  • Managing volumes of information is easy.
  • Increased License Flexibility.

Microsoft Says:

  • Windows 2003 supports multiple core.
  • Software optimized & Mission critical environment works good.
  • No change in license policy. Multicore license same as single core.
  • High end feature benefits for customers.

Oracle Says:

  • Hyper threading capability.
  • Quad core compatible with existing software.
  • 50% to 70% performance improvement in database performance.

It seems everything is set to go. According to sayings of hardware and software vendors switching to multicore is not a problem but i doubt if normal consumers are still ready to adopt to it. The major problem is the price which i had already given in my first post of this series.

Business middle ware, Yahoo and there might be looking forward to it as it gives a huge performance gain. The immediate rival AMD,  is yet to release it’s 4 core processor, which is based on a single chip and claims to have better performance. So the game will only begin when it launches, and comparisons can be made. But for the time being Intel has the fastest chip!!.

The older posts in this series are:-