Intel's Quad-Core, Xeon 3000 Launch Excites Partners Vendor expects to ship industry's first quad-core chips in mid-November By Paula Rooney, CRN 12:01 AM EDT Mon. Sep. 25, 2006 From the September 25, 2006 CRN Intel will try to multiply its market and channel momentum with the launch of its first quad-core processor and Xeon 3000 SMB server platform this week, sources said. At the Intel Developer Forum this week in San Francisco, the company is expected to announce that its much-anticipated quad-core desktop and server processor is slated to ship in mid-November, sources told CRN. Sources believe the quad core will be named Intel Core 2 Quad or Core 2 Quadro. The current dual-core processors, for which Intel launched its Multiple branding campaign last week, are known as Core 2 Duo. Partners say they are very excited about the industry's first quad processor because it will work with existing 5000 series motherboards that were designed for dual-core systems, sources said. For example, the quad-core processors can be "dropped" right into Intel's Xeon-based Bensley server platform, said one source. "It's a huge boost because I won't have to retool and rework the motherboard switching to quad-core from dual-core," said one system builder who requested anonymity. "It was a difficult transition switching from single- to dual-core Xeons." Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., also is expected to officially launch three Xeon 3000-based entry-level server boards that support multiple Intel processors, including Xeon, Pentium and Centrino, at attractive pricing, sources said. The Xeon 3000, essentially a rebranding of its high-end Core 2 Duo desktop processor, will be priced at $150, sources said. Intel also will offer three motherboards that incorporate the Xeon 3000 chipset: the $250 S3000AHLX, which supports PCI-X 64; and the $200 five-slot S3000AH and $170 four-slot S3000AHV, both of which support PCI-Express and PCI. "That's very aggressive pricing," said another channel source. "I'm used to paying in the $350 to $450 range for a server-class motherboard." The products bolster Intel's partner-courting efforts, including a channel reorganization and a strong product counterattack against Advanced Micro Devices. AMD is expected to release its quad-core mid-2007 and said the Xeon 3000 is a simple rebranding of the Core 2 Duo desktop chip. Most partners believe AMD will remain strong in the channel, but the winds are shifting in Intel's favor. "Intel's competitive again, and AMD sidling up to Dell is rubbing partners the wrong way," said one partner, who requested anonymity. "There's a net negative between the channel and AMD because it takes away a key competitive advantage the channel had against Dell."