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Intel quad-core can slow you down

Certain applications will run slower under the Intel quad-core processors released today, according to a company spokesperson.

Certain applications will run slower under the Intel quad-core processors released today, according to a company spokesperson.

The new Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and Intel Xeon 5300, with four CPUs on one die, are targeted at servers and multimedia editing, and programs would need to be optimised for multi-threading to utilise the extra cores, said Brett Hannath, Intel's Group Manager of Solutions Marketing and Alliances.

The CPU features a speed of 2.66GHz versus the previous flagship X6800's 3.0GHz, so if a program can only use a single core there will be a slight speed decrease.

Programs that can currently take advantage of multi-core CPUs include Oracle Database, Adobe Photoshop, Cakewalk and the game Call of Duty 2.

The desktop quad-core chip will remain under the Core 2 Extreme branding until Q1 2007, when Intel will rebrand it as Core 2 Quad and introduce a range of processors from budget to high end.

The introduction of the Core 2 Duo, and a new architecture, has revived the fortunes at Intel, which had until recently lost the performance crown to its competitor.

"We were suffering at the hands of a nimble competition in AMD," said Hannath. "But we were able to focus on architectures once we put our minds to it, and we are now committed to revising our architectures every two years."