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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 review: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650

Cinebench 10
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering a single CPU  
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650

CPU-limited Quake 4 test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,024x768, low-quality, no AA/AF  
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650

In addition to the faster raw performance right now, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 also has a few new features on it that really won't make a difference until the software catches up with them. Intel's long-standing Streaming SIMD instructions, which aid in audio, video and 3D processing, get an update to version 4.0. Intel has also added special, application-specific tweaks for improving pattern recognition and confirming the integrity of data transfers between a PC and networked storage devices. However interesting these features might be, they're impossible for us to test as we currently have no software to put them to use.

You can expect to see mainstream Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad chips with the 45nm design hit the market in the next few months, likely around the time of CES 2008. AMD is also scheduled to unveil its next-generation Phenom dual- and quad-core chips over the next few months. That means it shouldn't be too long before Intel's new design trickles down to everyday PCs, and also that the processor market is due for a fresh jolt of competitive energy. We expect that Apple is paying very close attention to these new chips as well.

Editor's note: Thanks to Asus who provided with two of its new Maximus Formula Special Edition X38 motherboards for testing.

Test bed configuration:

Windows Vista Ultimate; Asus Maximus Formula motherboard using the Intel X38 chipset; 2GB Crucial Ballistix 1,066MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card; 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 Serial ATA hard drive

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