“Barely wrapped your brain around dual-core processors? It only gets worse from here, folks. Welcome to quad core, by way of Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Don’t let the “Core 2″ fool you (great job, Intel Product Naming department), this new chip has four physical processing cores in it that make it a multitasking beast,” Rich Brown writes for CNET.
Brown writes, “Apple’s Mac Pro, however, presents a different story. Our Apple test bed (a different system than the one we reviewed back in August) has two dual-core Xeon 5160 chips, each running at 3.0GHz. That makes its raw CPU speed faster than that of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. On some of our apps–iTunes and Photoshop in particular–differences between running the programs on Windows XP and Apple OS X likely impact performance, but it’s worth noting that even with a slower hard drive, the Mac Pro outpaced the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 chip on a number of tests, likely due to its clock speed advantage.”
The good: Major leap in performance on multitasking and most multithreaded applications compared to high-end dual-core CPUs; lots of apparent headroom for overclocking an already fast chip.
The bad: High price tag makes quad-core processing an elite technology for now; Apple’s twin dual-core Xeons in the Mac Pro make for a faster digital design configuration.
The bottom line: If you thought dual cores were over the top, get ready. Intel presents the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, a single CPU with four distinct processing cores. At $999, the first quad-core CPU will remain an enthusiast part for a while, but as a glimpse of the future, it’s clear that clock speed is out and core counts are in.
Full review here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
RUMOR: Apple prepping monster eight-core Xeon ‘Clovertown’ Mac Pro – October 26, 2006
AnandTech upgrades and tests Octo-Core ‘Clovertown’ Apple Mac Pro – September 13, 2006
Intel reveals first glimpse of quad-core ‘Clovertown’ chip coming later this year – February 11, 2006