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Intel Corp. on Monday plans to formally unveil its new quad-core processor for high-performance desktops that runs at the speed of its fastest dual-core chip. But the release of the Core 2 Extreme QX6800 processor not only means higher performance for multi-core processor, but also an increase of Extreme-series chips pricing: the novelty costs $1199, up $200 from the previous levels.

The new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 functions at 2.93GHz and contains 8MB of L2 cache. The new processor is drop-in compatible with LGA775 infrastructure that supports chips with four processing engines as well as 1066MHz processor system bus and can provide 130W of power to the central processing units. The new model is made just like the previous QX6700: by installing two dual-core “Conroe” dice made using 65nm process technology on a single piece of substrate.

Earlier Intel’s Extreme lineup of chips featured two Core 2-based processors: the Core 2 Extreme X6800, which operated at 2.93GHz, but had two processing engines, as well as Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700, which had four cores, but worked at 2.66GHz clock-speed. The new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 combines both high clock-speed and four processing cores. However, if previous high-end models were sold for $999 in 1000-unit quantities, the model QX6800 will be available for $1199 in business quantities.

“The performance and technology leadership we are delivering with our enthusiast quad-core processor lineup is a direct result of the reliability provided by Intel’s manufacturing and engineering strength. This translates to user benefits such as better gameplay with more intelligent computer-generated opponents and less wait time for demanding high-definition media editing,” said Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s digital home group.

The release of the twelfth quad-core microprocessor was generally unexpected by the industry, as there were no “leaks” about the chip in the media. However, the introduction still seems to be a logical one, as Intel said earlier this year that it had no plans to introduce enthusiast-oriented processors with two processing engines any more.


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