The results of our extensive Core 2 Extreme QX6850 test session left us with very ambiguous feelings.
On the one hand, Core 2 Extreme QX6850 didn’t please us with anything really new. The performance of this new processor was boosted with the most primitive means: higher clock speed and higher front side bus working frequency. Compared with the previous quad-core processor - Core 2 Extreme QX6800 – the newcomer offers 66MHz higher clock frequency and a processor bus with 25% higher bandwidth. Both these advantages allowed increasing the performance level of the new Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor by 3% on average, and this improvement is hardly a real reason for celebration.
On the other hand, Core 2 Extreme QX6850 conquered an important psychological threshold. This CPU features four processor cores running at 3.0GHz. This round number looks definitely very appealing for Intel on the first Birthday of their Core based desktop processors. Especially since Core 2 Extreme QX6850 has no competitors that could get at least close to it in terms of performance. It is by far the fastest leaving behind AMD CPUs and dual-socket systems based on them.
Moreover, the official launch of Core 2 Extreme QX6850 is a sign that Intel quad-core processor will be moving to new G0 stepping. CPUs on this new stepping can boast the whole range of improvements, major being lower heat dissipation and power consumption, as well as improved overclocking potential. Core 2 Extreme QX6850 that we have discussed today is based on this particular processor stepping and can be a great choice for overclocking enthusiasts. Therefore, the only drawback of the newcomer is its relatively high price reaching $1,000.