The consumer market might not have much use for chips with too many cores, but the same cannot be said about the server segment, where Intel has the Xeon line, whose newest members have 10 cores each.
On the consumer market, the strongest chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices have 6 cores and can be afforded only by hardcore enthusiasts.
This is not that big a loss, considering that there aren't really any programs and games capable of actually pushing these models' capabilities.
On the server market, however, processors are already well ahead of this stage, as made more than clear by ten of the new Xeon processors from Intel.
As revealed in reports, Intel has completed no less than 29 new chips for this series, ten of which are 10-core models and are codenamed Westmere-EX.
While still behind Advanced Micro Devices in a way, since the Sunnyvale, California-based outfit has 12-core Opteron units, the Westmere-EX models definitely reduce the gap.
That said, their specifications are, predictably, very varied, so as to cover an entire range of prices and suitable installations.
As far as processing speed goes, some are as 'slow' as 2.0 GHz, while the more powerful ones go to 2.4 GHz.
Secondly, in terms of power draw, they sport between 105 W and 130 W TDP (thermal design power). Thirdly, their cache memory is of 24 MB to 30 MB (L3).
It shouldn't take long for servers to start using the newcomers, although machines based on them will definitely come at a solid cost. After all, the cheapest of the lot sells for $2,558, while the most expensive is rated at $4,616.
What remains is to see if the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant manages to increase the core count even further before AMD gets around to doing the same.