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Intel to update gaming CPU sooner than thought?

Mid-year speed bump

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Intel will update its four-core Core 2 Extreme line-up sooner than expected, if the latest roadmap reports coming out of Asia are to be believed. They claim the successor to the 2.66GHz QX6700 will ship in Q3.

The new chip is the 2.93GHz QX6800, which will run on an 1066MHz frontside bus and contain 4MB of L2 cache, according to a story on Chinese-language site HKEPC. It will be priced, like the current model, at $999 when sold in batches of 1000 processors.

Roadmaps from February had the X6700 lasting through Q4 before being replaced by 'Yorkfield', the 45nm version of the chip.

That said, it's perhaps odd that the QX6800 doesn't support an FSB clocked to 1333MHz, since it will apparently be released in a quarter when Core 2 Duos that can run over such a bus are also expected to go on sale.

The third quarter is also expected to see the arrival of Intel's Core 2 Extreme CPU for notebooks, the dual-core X7800. It's is believed to be priced at $851.

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