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Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600: More bang for your PC buck

Intel has announced three new quad-core processors to satiate your need for extreme speed. Get ready to move into the fast lane...

Power-hungry computer users should get a kick out of this: Intel has unveiled a new range of quad-core desktop CPUs to complement its existing Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor. Three new chips were announced, the consumer-oriented, non-extreme Core 2 Quad Q6600 and the server-bound Core 2 Quad Xeon X3210 and X3220.

The Q6600 runs at a modest-sounding 2.4GHz (the QX6700 runs at 2.66GHz), but don't let that put you off. We've put it through its paces and it barely broke a sweat as it ran high-def video encoding, high-def movie playback and DVD burning tasks simultaneously. Apart from the fact it doesn't have any overclocking features, we're kinda feelin' it.

The Q6600 will cost system integrators $851 (£541) when bought in 1,000-unit batches, which isn't bad for a high-end Intel chip -- for reference, the QX6700 cost $1,000 on its initial release. It's still a lot of money, but Intel plans to release slightly slower models, the 1.83GHz Q6300 and the 2.13GHz Q6400, later this year. No price details have been released as yet.

We'll bring you our impressions of Q6600-sporting retail PCs as they appear, so stay tuned. -RR