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Intel Corp. on Monday officially introduced its new Intel Core 2 microprocessors that feature higher-speed 1333MHz processor system bus (PSB). By announcing the new chips, Intel not only provides some performance boost because of PSB increase, but also makes available high-speed processors at prices starting from $163.

There are five new Intel Core 2 processors for desktops announced: four of them use 1333MHz processor system bus and one of them utilizes 1066MHz PSB. The former chips are Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.0GHz, 8MB cache, 1333MHz PSB), Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (3.0GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz PSB), E6750 (2.66GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz PSB) and E6550 (2.33GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz PSB), whereas the only one that uses 1066MHz PSB is Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 (2.66GHz, 8MB cache), a highly-anticipated quad-core processor that features similar specs to Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700, but costs $530.

The new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 costs $999 in 1000-unit quantities, considerably less compared to limited edition Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 product, which was sold for $1199. Meanwhile, the new dual-core offerings – E6850, E6750 and E6550 – cost $266, $183 and $163, respectively.

In spite of expectations, 1333MHz processor system bus itself does not provide any tangible performance benefits, according to X-bit labs' performance measurements. However, the relatively low cost of dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 3.0GHz, 2.66GHz and 2.33GHz signals that Intel gradually increases performance of its mainstream chips, as chips available earlier at the aforementioned price-points worked at 2.40GHz, 2.13GHz or 1.86GHz and used 1066MHz PSB. Nevertheless, it is necessary to note that Intel Core 2 processors with 1333MHz bus require slightly more expensive mainboards.

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