Intel executives say they are pressing the lead.
"We are very confident, at least on the DP [dual processor] side, that we will have leadership across most of the benchmarks versus Barcelona," said Adesh Gupta, regional platform architecture manager at Intel Asia-Pacific's Server Platforms Group.
"There are a small percentage of benchmarks which are floating-point based where we know that they have an advantage and that's an area which we will see them talk about a lot ... If you look at the broader spectrum of applications at the enterprise, we have a significant lead today and we believe we will have that lead with Clovertown, and once we have Harpertown with 45nm we will extend that lead further," Gupta said.
However, some vendors say there is room in the market for both chips. Each processor has its own strengths, said Dell CEO Michael Dell, in remarks to financial analysts at the Citigroup Technology Conference in New York on Wednesday.
Based on early tests, Dell said, a server using Barcelona chips is faster at running floating-point applications than a computer with Intel's Clovertown chips, but Clovertown is faster than Barcelona at running integer instructions.
"So depending on the applications you run, or your theories of computer science, one of those servers may be the best for you. It is simply unacceptable for a company of Dell's size to have only one of those choices," Dell said.