A lucky fellow by the name of Rob Enderle over at DigitalTrends has recently spent some time tinkering with both AMD Quadzilla and Intel V8 workstations, both based around 8 cores working together in total harmony.
His article touches on the capabilities of these monsters, and how they fair up against one another.
Though out of reach for most of us right now, systems like these will be the norm before too long so its a good read to give you an insight of whats to come in the mainstream computing world.
Intel dropped off their V8 workstation the other day, which truly is a workstation and not a typical gamer rig by any stretch of the imagination. However, this technology will have worked itself into game systems by year's end, so I think it is important to give you a sense of what ultimate power will mean by that time.
Currently, my primary box is an AMD Quadzilla with a couple of noisy fans that will be history as soon as I can find time to open up the case and swap them out again. It's a nice box and has a lot of performance overhead. For instance, as I'm writing this, I'm running a full screen DVD background in full motion on both of my 24" screens, and I'm hardly moving the performance meter from its base levels. I can bring up a video game and still do e-mail, run the movie, and have loads of remaining headroom, but if I add transcoding, this system will max out. Unfortunately, I do a lot of transcoding (I like to watch movies on my Zune when I travel).