Kentsfield (Quad-core Intel) by end of 2006?

TG Daily news reports that Tom's Hardware will be posting preliminary benchmarks for Intel's upcoming Kenstfield processor on Monday.

Kentsfield is Intel's next version of their "Core" processors which was originally scheduled to be released in the 1st Quarter of 2007. According to the article, it is now planned for late 2006 availability.

Kentsfield is a Quad-core chip and essentially combines two Core 2 Duo Desktop (Conroe) chips into a single processor. It is expected to be a Conroe "drop-in" and should work with the same motherboards as Conroe. More details about the chip are expected at the fall Intel Developer Forum which takes place between September 26-28 in San Francisco.

Apple originally used the Core Duo (Yonah) processor in first Intel Macs released in January of 2006. In the past month, Intel introduced the Core 2 Duo Mobile (Merom) and Desktop (Conroe) processors as a successor to the Core Duo (Yonah). Last week, Apple incorporated the Core 2 Duo Mobile (Merom) into the new iMacs. Apple has not yet utilized the Core 2 Duo Desktop (Conroe) processors for any Macs. Meanwhile, the Mac Pro, introduced in August, uses the higher-end Xeon (Woodcrest) processor.

Apple's current line up is as follows:

Mac mini - Core Duo (Yonah)
iMac - Core 2 Duo (Merom)
MacBook - Core Duo (Yonah)*
MacBook Pro - Core Duo (Yonah)*
Mac Pro - Xeon (Woodcrest)
Xserve - Xeon (Woodcrest)

* Unlike the other models, the MacBook and MacBook Pro have not seen updates for 4-5 months. As a result, many are speculating that they will see updates soon.
Update: Meanwhile, Clovertown, Intel's Quad-core Woodcrest is expected in the same timeframe (late 2006).

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