The first Kentsfield processors that will be released in early November will be targeted for computer enthusiasts. It will be launched under the name of Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Its clock speed will be slightly lower than that of the top Conroe processor and will equal 2.66GHz. Kentsfield will support the same processor bus with 1066MHz frequency. The total L2 cache size will be 8MB – 4MB for each dual-core half of the CPU. The processor will support the complete set of power-saving technologies of the Conroe CPU.
Kentsfield will require the mainboard features the proper BIOS support, but fundamentally all mainboards should support it. All the power management features will also work as they should. Although later on in this article when we get down to discussing some benchmark results you will notice that we used D975XBX2 Rev.303 mainboard, you should keep in mind that it is a pre-production sample, and when it comes to shipments, you will see a newer second-generation Bad Axe 2 Rev.400 board. And the pricing policy will be the same as with entire Extreme series.
I have to say that Kentsfield is a very innovative product that goes far ahead of the software applications that can take advantage of its potential. According to forecasts, highly-threaded games should start ramping in 2007, at least 6 months after Kentsfield for enthusiasts is already out.
Intel already has Kentsfield samples ready and their closest partners are already testing them in their labs. However they haven’t yet given any reviewers a chance to take a closer look at the new processor, partially because the first quad-core processor revisions suffered from extremely high power consumption and heat dissipation.
However today these issues have been resolved and at the IDF Fall 2006 we could see a lot of working systems with the promising quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (Kentsfield). Luckily, Intel gave us a great opportunity not only to watch these systems at work but also to play with them on our own. I certainly couldn’t miss this opportunity and ran the first preliminary benchmarks on the first Core 2 Extreme QX6700 based system. The results were compared with those of the today’s top dual-core processor – Core 2 Extreme X6800.