Core 2 Extreme QX6850: Closer Look
Although Intel paid special attention to launching their new Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor, there aren’t that many technological innovations in it. In fact, it is a quad-core processor we all know as Kentsfield featuring faster 1333MHz bus and working at higher 3GHz clock frequency. So, let’s move on to its formal specifications right away:
Core 2 Extreme QX6850
2 x 4 MB
Number of cores
Enhanced Halt State (C1E) Technology
Enhanced Intel Speedstep
Execute Disable Bit
Intel Thermal Monitor 2
Intel Virtualization Technology
As you can see from the table above, Core 2 Extreme QX6850 has no new electrical or thermal characteristics to offer us compared with its quad-core predecessors. The traditional report from CPU-Z diagnostic tool also proves it.
Nevertheless, this processor is based on the new G0 stepping and I would like to draw your attention to this particular fact. The thing is that this processor stepping will eventually be used in all quad-core Intel processors thus pushing the maximum temperatures up and typical heat dissipation of some selected models down. This way, Core 2 Quad processors with G0 stepping are not only expected to become cooler and more economical, but also should be able to boast better overclocking potential.
For the mainboard to be compatible with the new Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor it needs two things: 333MHz FSB support and BIOS modification to support G0 processor stepping. The boards built around Intel’s “third series” core logic and those on Nvidia nForce 600i chipsets are formally compliant with these requirements. However, there are a few other mainboards for computer enthusiasts based on different chipset solutions that support the new Intel processors. You can retrieve more compatibility details on the corresponding manufacturers’ web-sites.