Hot on the heels of the Core 2 Duo launch, Intel came out and released the world’s first quad-core desktop processor last November. Given how powerful the Core 2 Duo had proven to be, we wondered how much of a performance gain this new quad-core version could offer.
According to our previous tests, there are currently no games that take advantage of the additional two cores; however software such as Photoshop, Pinnacle Studio Plus, QuickTime and 3D Studio Max all greatly benefited from the power of four dedicated cores. For example, the QX6700 was 15% faster than the Core 2 Duo E6700 in Photoshop, and gains as big as 43% were seen in Pinnacle Studio Plus. The biggest performance gap was found in 3D Studio Max where the QX6700 was 89% faster than the E6700.
Even though there will be those out there that will want the power of the QX6700 for image and video editing, the processor’s steep price ($1000) might set high barriers for getting one. Today Intel is releasing a second quad core processor called the Core 2 Quad Q6600. This new entry that comes clocked at 2.40GHz does not belong to the Extreme family of processors and will begin life at $851, making it a slightly more affordable alternative than the QX6700.
Update (01/08): Intel has now confirmed that initial pricing for the Core 2 Quad Q6600 will be $851 in 1,000 quantities. This means they will be keeping their original pricing strategy that sets the Q6600 just below the QX6800, making for a less impressive introduction. According to this plan Intel will be reducing the Q6600 price later this year to $530 (in the coming 3-4 months), when it will probably give more life to it as a more affordable quad-core solution.