The epic battle between the two giants continues, as AMD and Intel both prepare to release the next line of Opterons and Xeons for the high-end workstations and servers of the x86 world. Starting with the Tulsa-core Xeon, it will be a dual core CPU operating at 3.4GHz and a behemoth 16MB unified cache, making it one of the fastest dual-core CPUs available. Thankfully, Tulsa also comes along with some energy reduction technologies including putting cache to sleep (which makes up the bulk of the CPU). However, it will still chew up to 150W of power, not as bad as the horror stories we heard late last year, but still far beyond the power consumption of AMDs offerings.

AMDs newer Opterons based on the Pacifica core will be some of the first virtualization-supporting CPUs, and have much lower power needs, below 100W for their fastest designs. AMD will still have only 1MB of independent cache (512KB per core), though cache is less important in the designs of the Opteron. AMD does plan to move to unified cache next year. Neither companies will rest with so many different areas such as Dual Core, power consumption, virtualization and 64-bit computing are set to make big impacts this year.