Intel quad-core mobile chip coming: Is it overkill?

Intel is slated to roll out it first quad-core mobile processor in August.

Is four processing cores inside a laptop overkill? Probably not for gamers. Intel is expected to meet this insatiable need for speed when it rolls out it first mobile quad-core processor.

An Intel executive is on the record stating an August roll-out.

And this may happen sooner in August than later. System vendors may go public with information about the quad-core mobile processor as soon as August 11, according to sources. This is when other processors, such as the Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3GHz), are expected to go public.

Falcon Northwest already uses quad-core processors in its laptops
Falcon Northwest already uses quad-core processors in its laptops. Falcon Northwest

Many of the details of the quad-core mobile processor are public already. At the roll-out for Centrino 2, Mooly Eden, an Intel senior vice president, said the quad-core mobile chip will have 800 million transistors and a 45-watt power envelope--10 watts higher than the 35-watt Intel mobile processors used today. "You'll see gaming machines and (mobile) workstations with more compute power than servers two years ago," Eden said.

The quad-core QX9300 chip will be part of the Intel Extreme series of mobile processors. HP's high-end Pavilion HDX gaming laptop line and Dell's Alienware unit both offer laptops with Intel Extreme mobile processors such as the X9000.

Last week, Intel announced the Intel Core 2 Extreme X9100, a dual-core mobile processor running at 3.06GHz.

So, is a quad-core mobile processor overkill? "Definitely not for our customers," said Kelt Reeves, president of enthusiast PC maker Falcon Northwest. "We've been putting quad-processors in (laptops) for a long time."

To date, Falcon Northwest has used desktop quad-core processors and currently uses a Q9550 quad-core chip, which has a 95-watt thermal envelope--unsuitable for a standard-size laptop. But Falcon Northwest quad-core laptops are typically "big power-hungry beasts that weigh twelve pounds," Reeves said. The upcoming mobile quad-core has half the power envelope of the Q9550.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

The problem with hoarding photos on your phone

Do you have hundreds (or thousands) of photos on your phone? This one's for you.

by Sharon Profis