Intel Revs Up Clock Speed Of Quad-Core Desktop Chip - InformationWeek

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Intel Revs Up Clock Speed Of Quad-Core Desktop Chip

The latest Core 2 Extreme is designed with gaming fans, digital design professionals, and computer enthusiasts in mind.

Intel on Monday introduced a faster quad-core desktop chip aimed at gaming fans, digital design professionals, and computer enthusiasts.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is the 12th chip in the quad-core product line and, at 2.93 GHz, the fastest desktop processor in the lineup. The new product, built on Intel's 65-nanometer process, has an 8 Mbyte cache and supports a 1066-MHz system bus. The chip costs $1,199.

In releasing a faster chip, Intel is looking to increase the performance gap with rival Advanced Micro Devices, which won't release a quad-core competitor until the middle of this year. Unlike Intel's product line, which is comprised of two duo-core chips, AMD's upcoming offering will be four individual cores on one chip. It remains to be seen whether that enhances performance.

In the meantime, AMD last year outsold Intel in dual-core chips, grabbing market share from the larger rival. Intel, however, through price cuts and new products, has regained its momentum. AMD on Monday lowered revenue expectations for the first quarter, blaming it on cuts in the average selling price of its chips and lower sales. Analysts say the company is feeling the effect of locking horns with a richer rival.

In introducing the QX6800, Intel said it has worked with game developers in optimizing their entertainment products for the multiple-core processors. Games built through the joint engineering efforts include Crytek's Crysis, Gas Powered Games' Supreme Commander, and Flagship's Hellgate London. Later this month, Microsoft plans to release the next version of Flight Simulator X, Service Pack One designed for the quad-core platform. Companies offering developer tools include Adobe, Cakewalk, DivX, and Sony Creative Software.

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