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The Petascale Cray XT5 system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Leadership Computing Facility (LCF) shares a number of system and software features with its predecessor, the Cray XT4 system including the quad-core AMD processor and a multi-core aware MPI library. We analyze performance of scalable scientific applications on the quad-core Cray XT4 system as part of the early system access using a combination of micro-benchmarks and Petascale ready applications. Particularly, we evaluate impact of key changes that occurred during the dual-core to quad-core processor upgrade on applications behavior and provide projections for the next-generation massively-parallel platforms with multi-core processors, specifically for proposed Petascale Cray XT5 system. We compare and contrast the quad-core XT4 system features with the upcoming XT5 system and discuss strategies for improving scaling and performance for our target applications.