Log in

View Full Version : Intel's Nocona Chip Explained

Suhit Gupta
07-08-2004, 07:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1617836,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532' target='_blank'>http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1617836,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532</a><br /><br /></div><i>"After years of rumors and months of promise, Intel Corp. on Monday is rolling out an x86 chip with 64-bit extensions with the official launch of the next-generation dual-processor Xeon chip, code-named Nocona. The 32-bit chip will include 64-bit extensions, similar to the Opteron processor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Nocona will be able to run 32-bit and 64-bit applications equally well. The new chip will first appear in workstations—such as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s dual-processor xw6200 and xw8200, which also will debut this week—and later this summer will find its way into servers."</i><br /><br />Nocona, the code name of a Xeon chip from Intel, can run both 32-bit software, the kind found on most PCs today, and 64-bit software such as complex databases. The chip debuted at 3.6GHz and lower speeds and come with an 800MHz system bus. 64 bit was something always reserved for servers and Intel seemed to only have targeted that market with their Itanium chip (but those could only run 32 bit applications through software emulation mode, yuck!) and when AMD came out with their 32/64 bit chips aimed at both the server and workstation market, Intel clearly felt threatened. The Nocona chip is their response to the threat.<br /><br />So how does this affect us? Most workstations typically come with 1GB of RAM and the chief limitations of 32-bit chips is that they can work only with systems that have 4GB of memory or less. But RAM is cheap and applications tend towards hogging more and more memory as time goes on. Especially here at DMT where we all use media editing applications, 4GB of RAM in workstations may not be very far away. Also, servers already come with more than 4GB of RAM, so the need for 64 bit processors has become pressing. Thus the Nocona. The chips have an 800MHz front side bus, support Speedstep, PCI Express, and SSE3, as well as DDR 2 memory. The release confirms pricing of 2.80GHz, 3GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz and 3.60GHz as $209, $316, $455, $690, and $851 respectively.