Amazingly, both Intel and AMD were able to deliver on the potential of dual-core processing. Throughout 2006, desktop PCs played host to a series of processors that, while slower at the clock-speed level, were faster in real-life usage, allowing for unprecedented amounts of multitasking. (For more about both companies' current lineups of desktop CPUs, see our .)
As the calendar flips to 2007, we are firmly entrenched in the world of multicore processors. And, based upon the confidential road maps of both Intel and AMD, it is clear that dual-core CPUs are only the launching point for the future of the microprocessor. In 2007, quad cores and even eight-core CPUs will be available. By 2009, there's a good chance that sixteen-core processors will be on the market.
As we enter 2007, five key questions regarding the pending year's CPU battle are on our minds:
1. Will AMD be able to continue its dominance in the desktop market?
2. How will Intel capitalize upon the success of Core 2?