As they get ironed out, dual Opteron systems may be poised to steal some of Intel's workstation CPU market -- at least in a few areas. It's also true that these high performance applications strongly benefit from a port to 64-bit code, so when Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition does finally ship, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see some of these workstation apps ported relatively early. Other motherboard and chipset solutions do exist, as well. AMD ships core logic for the Opteron and we have at least one motherboard on hand that has four memory sockets dedicated to each CPU. That board does require more setup effort – a WTX chassis is needed – but it's intriguing enough to make us want to check it out in the near future. Also, nVidia is readying its dual-CPU capable Nforce3 Pro 250, and nVidia chipsets have garnered a reputation for excellent stability. We'll look forward to those solutions as well.
In the meantime, the Opteron 248 looks to be a very robust workstation processor. It's not perfect, but no CPU is. Given what we've seen, it's likely to grace the desks of more engineers in the coming months.
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