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Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 four-core CPU

Quad-core goes mainstream, sort of...

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Review At the beginning of November Intel launched its four-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor, where the Q, of course, stands for 'quad'. This Extreme processor has an unlocked multiplier so we reviewers can have fun experimenting with a £650 piece of silicon while the buying public regards Extreme products as a technological showcase and waits for the mainstream versions to arrive...

By that token the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is a really big deal as it is the first retail quad-core processor to target the mainstream desktop market and to ship with a locked multiplier. But other than that it's very similar indeed to the QX6700. Well, OK, the clock speed is one bump lower, at 2.4GHz, hence the model code, as the Q6600 is effectively a pair of Core 2 Duo E6600 cores on a single socket with a pair of 4MB L2 caches and a 1066MHz frontside bus.

intel's quad-core kentsfield

Intel reinforced the message that this is the quad-core processor for the rest of us by sending the part out with a budget P965 motherboard model DP965LT which retails for about £70. The Extreme QX6700 press kit included the considerably more expensive D975XBX2, which sells for £150. The DP965LT doesn’t require any support for overclocking which makes things simple and cheap, and at the stock 2.66GHz our test results show that the QX6700 had very similar performance on both motherboards.

Satisfied that the DP965LT offered a decent platform we lowered the clock multiplier of the QX6700 to drop the clock speed to 2.4GHz, matching that of the Q6600. Both processors returned results that were essentially identical, so we are completely satisfied that the Q6600 is indeed a slightly slower QX6700 without the option of overclocking.

intel DP965LT motherboard

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