Power Consumption and Conclusions
With twice the number of cores, you can of course expect to use more power when they are all fully loaded as well. The new QX6850 based system does take the power crown here gobbling up 266 watts of power while running a copy of CineBench pegging all four cores. Idle power consumption is actually pretty good and compared to the dual-core E6750 part that is also a 1333 FSB CPU, it’s about a 17 watt premium for the quad-cores.
The new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor performs absolutely amazingly. Thanks in somewhat unequal parts to the new 1333 MHz FSB, higher clock speed of 3.0 GHz and four cores, the QX6850 is the fastest CPU I have tested in the consumer front.
I am sure that many of you will say that this part was technically announced as the Xeon X5365 processor that we reviewed in a workstation form factor back on the first of June. It’s true; that CPU was a 1333 MHz FSB, 8MB L2 cache, quad-core, 3.0 GHz part too. But, as it was using the LGA771 package (not the LGA775) home users with standard Intel boards couldn’t use it.
Well, now you can, and probably for less money thanks to the markups that Xeon processors tend to have.
Overclocking and Headroom
In terms of pure overclocking headroom, we got about the same ceiling on both the 2.66 GHz E6750 and the 3.0 GHz QX6850 lending me to believe that for this current spin of 1333 MHz FSB parts that might be a reasonable assumption. That is of course nothing to sneeze at and it could and will undoubtedly change as the parts begin to circulate around the user base and Intel manufacturers more and more of them.
Again though, the amount of overclocking potential these CPUs are showing so far should keep enthusiasts and overclocking junkies occupied and satisfied.
Pricing and Availability
According to the documents that Intel provided to me, the new 1333 MHz FSB parts should be available online in two weeks or so. As I said, it is not just one or two processors being announced today, but rather a family of them:
|Processor||Cores||Frequency||Front-side Bus||L2 Cache||Price|
|Core 2 Extreme QX6850||4||3.0 GHz||1333 MHz||8 MB||$999|
|Core 2 Quad Q6700||4||2.66 GHz||1066 MHz||8 MB||$530|
|Core 2 Duo E6850||2||3.0 GHz||1333 MHz||4 MB||$266|
|Core 2 Duo E6750||2||2.66 GHz||1333 MHz||4 MB||$183|
|Core 2 Duo E6550||2||2.33 GHz||1333 MHz||4 MB||
I am sure that MANY of you will be looking at the above table and begin salivating almost immediately. Getting your hands on the uber-high-end QX6850 might be out of reach for most with a $1k price tag, but the dual core version coming in at $266 looks to be one of the best bang-for-buck parts in a long time. And as long as Intel doesn’t pull another QX6800 (i.e. promising a part and then never truly delivering it), consumers will be more than happy to gobble them up.
While enthusiasts might release some drool onto their keyboards, AMD will probably be emitting another fluid: sweat. AMD’s aggressive price cutting has helped keep them competitive with Intel’s similarly priced parts, but it’s no secret that they won’t be able to keep up with the performance of the QX6850 we reviewed here today. Their upcoming Barcelona parts will be the real key to AMD’s future success in the CPU market for enthusiasts and gamers.
The new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor is easily the fastest and most powerful consumer processor we have seen here at PC Perspective. It’s new 1333 MHz front-side bus, 3.0 GHz clock speed and quad-cores make it the top end CPU to beat and it will probably remain planted on the performance crown until the end of the year. Intel’s commanding performance and price cuts are putting more and more pressure on AMD’s CPU team and the upcoming Barcelona-core parts are going to need to be fantastic in order to compete with Intel’s current lineup.
Please discuss! I have started a thread in our forums for any questions or comments you might have for me.
Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors, and anything else you may want to buy!