Intel’s Woodcrest processor has set the pace with a new architecture comprising a 3.0GHz dual-core processor, with 4M bytes of L2 cache and a 1.33GHz front-side bus.

IDG's German Web site tested this processor ahead of its launch in June, and found that Intel's boast back in February that its upcoming processors with core architecture would be 20 percent faster than competitive products from its rival AMD has turned out to be true.

TecChannel's benchmarking tests confirmed that the Xeon Woodcrest processor for servers and workstations outclasses by far the rest of the x86 architectures - including AMD's Opteron processors or the new Xeon 5070 Dempsey with NetBurst architecture.

The reputed CPU2000 benchmark demonstrated that the 3.0GHz Woodcrest is between 35 percent and 77 percent faster than the 3.46GHz Xeon 5070.

AMD will have to go all out to catch up. It is doubtful that the Socket F Opteron with a DDR2 memory controller scheduled for the third quarter of 2006 will surprise us with such a boost in performance.