Since the release of Intel's Conroe microarchitecture, the company has made waves, massive waves. In terms of performance, Intel washed away its main competitor AMD, and they have continued to do so in the past three months with the success of their Core 2 Duo and Extreme processor series.
The only counter that AMD has been able to find so far is to completely lower the prices of all existing processors, which also makes them extremely tempting. Nevertheless, the performance of the Core 2 Duo processor series is so convincing that even die-hard AMD fans have noticed it.
The Conroe or better known the Core 2 Duo is a Pentium replacement, which means that we will no longer see any new Pentium brand processors. The Pentium 5xx, 6xx and D series are already a thing of the past. With Intel now paying full attention to the Core 2 series, you can expect it to expand fairly quickly.
There are currently four Core 2 Duo processors that were released on first launch (E6300, E6400, E6600 and E6700). There's also the Core 2 Extreme processor, which is called the X6800, although it offers very little performance compared to the E6700. There are said to be four new Core 2 Duo processors on the way, which run on a 1333 MHz FSB and all have the larger 4 MB L2 cache. These are the E6650, E6750, E6800 and E6850, although we're not here today to discuss these processors. Rather, we are here to investigate the new Kentsfield microarchitecture based on a quad-core 65nm design.
Step aside dual core, it's now the time of the quad core and you better believe it. The new quad-core series consists of the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Both have a double 4 MB L2 cache, work with a 1066 MHz FSB and have a thermal output of 130 watts. However, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is not scheduled to be released until early next year. So today we're going to take a look at the more powerful Core 2 Extreme QX6700 version that Intel had promised to make available this month at just 2.66 GHz with a cool 1.34 volt output.
The biggest disadvantage of the dying Pentium processors was surely the heat output, which became pretty ridiculous. Therefore, the new Kentsfield and Conroe cores were developed not only taking into account the performance, but also the power consumption and heat emission.
Probably the biggest question for those who recently upgraded to Intel Core 2 processors is compatibility. Will the new Kentsfield processors work with your existing platform? The good news is yes, they will. In the worst case, Intel may need a BIOS update to support these new desktop processors. This is great news for current Intel users, and it's good to see that the LGA775 platform continues to be used, which is still relatively new anyway. The disadvantage, on the other hand, and one that can be expected, is that quad-core processors are sold for well over $ 800 each. Today's review, the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, costs a cool $ 1,000 per processor.
The Core 2 processors quickly became the fastest in Intel's warehouse after their release, and there were a number of good reasons for this, such as the Smart Cache and Wide Dynamic Execution technologies. In addition, there is the virtualization technology, with which the multitasking performance of the processors is to be maximized. For this purpose, the computer is divided into numerous virtual systems on which different applications can be run. This technology is so powerful that it could theoretically be possible to play a game on one, watch a movie on the other, host a web server on a third, operate a database from a fourth, and access another on the Internet surfing.
The same technologies that made the Conroe so powerful are all included in the new Kentsfield architecture. In fact, there are no new additions, so it's just a quad-core version of the Conroe, but of course that's hardly a bad thing. Given that the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 has the same specs as the Core 2 Duo E6700, minus the additional two cores, you shouldn't expect it to offer dramatically better gaming performance than the E6700, like the current line of PC games has shown susceptibility to the number of processor cores, as these may lead to an increase in the clock frequencies.