Intel's new Penryn processors, released last week, are based on new 45-nanometre technology that analysts say should provide a performance boost that will benefit serious multitaskers, researchers and gamers.

The Penryn release comes just two months after Intel rival AMD started shipping its quad-core Barcelona chip, which was built using older 65nm manufacturing processes. AMD isn't expected to move to 45nm technology until the second half of 2008. The Penryn line includes 15 dual- and quad-core Xeon server processors, plus a quad-core Core 2 Extreme desktop chip.

Dean Freeman, an analyst at Gartner, predicted that the Penryn processors will be 20 percent to 50 percent faster than Intel's previous chips. "It's going to mean a faster desktop," he said.

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Computerworld US