Intel's perplexing "innovation" endeavors notwithstanding, it does make, lest we forget, the world's fastest PC processors. Namely, Sandy Bridge. Systems using the freshly-minted chip are now widely available from top-tier vendors--but they're at the very high end of the pricing spectrum.
Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba serve as arguably the best examples of Sandy Bridge systems. Let's start with Toshiba's Qosmio X500-Q930S, which uses the Sandy Bridge i7-2630QM quad-core processor. That chip is rated at 2GHz but can automatically overclock--what Intel calls "Turbo Boost"--to 2.9GHz.
If Intel's most advanced quad-core … Read more