Those eager to lay down for the "industry's first" native x86 quad-core
processor have but a few months left to wait, as AMD just announced that its quad-core Opteron's would begin shipping in August. Codenamed Barcelona
, these CPUs will be launching in both "standard and low power versions," hit frequencies of up to 2GHz, and should provide performance increases of up to "70-percent" over existing Opterons in select applications. Additionally, those who can hold off a bit can look forward to even speedier chips in Q4 of this year, and an elusive "Special Edition" version should also be just around the bend. Per usual, no hints on what kind of premium you'll pay for this wee piece of silicon come August, but AMD
did note that the processors wouldn't hit mainstream systems until September.