The gang at Tech Report have gotten around to reviewing the Intel Pentium Extreme Ediition 840 processor, the fastest dual core offering from Intel. 

Probably the most direct competitor for the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, in terms of pricing and technology, is AMD’s Opteron 175, which is also a dual-core chip and also priced at a princely $999. Compared to the Opteron 175, the Extreme Edition 840 is generally somewhat slower overall in multithreaded applications and much slower overall in single-threaded applications. Not only that, but a system based on the Extreme Edition 840 is extreme in another sense: it consumes over 100W more power under load than an Opteron 175-based system. All told, that’s a rough combination of elements for the Extreme Edition 840. The competition is not making things easy. Perhaps the XE 840’s saving grace will be the relative obscurity of the Opteron 100 series, should AMD continue that odd tradition. However, since neither the Extreme Edition 840 nor the Opteron 175 is generally available for purchase today, I hate to speculate on how the availability picture will shake out.