Intel intros 3.0 GHz quad-core Xeon, drops Pentiums

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel today officially announced the Xeon X5365 – a quad-core processor that so far only has been available in limited quantities. The company also quietly announced that it has begun phasing out all remaining Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors.

Preceding AMD’s launch of the Barcelona processor by about a month, Intel today announced the volume availability of a new flagship server-processor. The Xeon X5365 is based on the Clovertown (quad-) core and clocks in at 3.0 GHz, while staying in a 120 watt power envelope.

Simultaneously with the launch of this high-performance processor, the company also introduced a low-voltage version of the core, the L5335, which is clocked at 2.0 GHz and is rated at a thermal design power of 50 watts.

The X5365, which has been available in very limited numbers – for example for Apple’s Mac Pro systems – since April of this year, is selling for a tray price of $1172. The previous flagship version, the 2.66 GHz X5355, is selling for $744. The L5355 lists for $380, while the L5320 (1.86 GHz) continue to be available for $320 and the L5310 (1.6 GHz) for $273.

In comparison, AMD plans to sell its Barcelona quad-core processor for $320 (1.9 GHz) and $390 (2.0 GHz) beginning on September 11 of this year.

While the release of the 45 nm Penryn processor generation draws closer, Intel has just informed system vendors that it is phasing out all remaining Pentium processors.

According to a product change notification sent out by the manufacturer, the Pentium 4 single-core processor models 661, 641 and 631 as well as the Pentium D dual-cores 945, 935, 925 and 915 have entered the firm’s product discontinuance program, effectively eliminating a brand that has dominated Intel’s desktop processor family over the past 15 years: The first Pentium processor was introduced on March 22, 1993, according to Wikipedia.

System vendors are able to order these processors until December 7 of this year. Last shipments of the CPUs are scheduled for March 7, 2008 for retail products and August 8, 2008 for tray processors.