Eight Cores, or Last Warning

    On Friday in Moscow, Intel Xeon 5600 and 7500 series processors officially congratulated on their birthday. There were a lot of good people and companies, literate and smart words were spoken. The main report came from the mouth of the whole vice president of Intel Corporation Kirk Skaugen (Kirk Skaugen), and it was decorated (report, not Kirk) with small demo sessions performed by Alexei Rogachkov. I listened and did not believe my ears. No, just imagine - the six-core Nehalem (Xeon L5640) fits into a 60-watt heatpack! That's half the size of a Pentium 4 Prescott with a single core! Yes, the core frequency of this Xeon model is relatively low (2.26 according to the passport, 2.66 with Turbo Boost), but is it worth clarifying that the Trichigahertz Prescott in performance is even several times weaker - by an order of magnitude?

    The top model in the 5600 line, operating at a certified frequency of 3.33 gigahertz, has a heat packet of 130 watts, but this beast is permissible. The EIGHT-Kernel X7560 is the same, and I just have no words to express enthusiasm for this miracle of technology with a 24-megabyte cache in the third level. When I recall the eight-core L7555 with a 95 watt heatpack ... No, you cannot write all these tendernesses here, otherwise you will misunderstand me.

    I was glad that for server applications the problem of multi-core support does not exist in principle. Four cores, eight cores, two processors, eight processors, sixteen - how much you give, so much and load. There others are the primary difficulties - energy consumption and heat dissipation. But the new Xeons are the harbingers of the Core i7. More precisely, the X5680 is already slightly chartered and sold under the name Core i7-980X. One does not have to be a prophet to predict the appearance of an eight-core in the very, foreseeable future. Probably, Alexei Rogachkov is already coming up with the script for the TOY presentation, but, having admired her in advance, I can’t hide the alarm.

    After all, quad-core models are not that accessible anymore - they have finally moved into the middle-end category and many are already looking forward to the Pentium Quad-Core. Buying a new computer with two cores is already considered a sign of unhealthy conservatism. Meanwhile, the share of software and even games with full support for four cores remains, to put it mildly, insufficient. Even the most eminent developers, without suspecting it, follow a model of behavior that is perfectly described in Grebenshchikov’s song:

    My friend is a musician,
    He just waits for a suitable day
    to take his bow
    and play something for me.
    And our whole world
    will then dry up in the bud,
    And if not,
    then the world is a big pig;
    But today is an extremely thoughtful day,
    And yesterday it was raining, it was too lazy to play.
    Maybe tomorrow; yes, for sure tomorrow;
    To the glory of music
    Today, we start with cognac ...

    That is, tomorrow - without fail. Forgive me today ...

    And now there are already the first users of the six-core. There are few of them, because processors for $ 999 cannot be mass, but with the release of the eight-core model, the price will drop sharply, if not earlier. And what, tens, hundreds of thousands of computers around the world because of the cute slackness of software developers will be forced to work not at full speed?

    And most importantly, where does this slowness come from? Does anyone really believe in Intel returning to single-core solutions with astronomical frequencies? Well, or in the appearance of a certain unit in the computer, which, as a person from Kemerovo, will come and correct everything?

    I really want to believe that entering the six-core solution market will be that last bell, after which even very lazy guys will understand the logic of the industry's development and will urgently start improving their brainchilds in this direction.

    Because to continue in the same vein is simply indecent.

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