THG has published an article about Intel's next-generation server platform..
The reason why Intel wouldn't agree to a dual-core comparison test is simply a matter of processor performance. While even the upcoming dual core Xeons won't make much of a difference, the future holds much promise, as the Bensley platform will represent a significant departure from the Xeon architecture.
Although Intel's architecture still clearly dominates the x86 server market, AMD's Opteron has represented more than just an annoyance for Intel since its introduction in April 2003. In a nutshell, Opteron offers better computing and per-Watt performance at a roughly equivalent per-device price and it scales much better when moving from one to two or even four CPUs. AMD's performance lead is equally large when compared to Intel's new dual-core Xeon devices..