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Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage

Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage
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There is a fascinating element to this combination of multiple processing cores, a fast architecture and even more performance: The new Core 2 Quadro processors are out to beat the pants off everyone else in the x86 field and to extend Intel's lead over the competition. Check out the summit of the processor elite as we compare the upcoming Core 2 Quadro CPUs with Core 2 Duo/Extreme, Pentium Extreme Edition and the AMD Athlon 64 FX.

Are there any limits to the performance frenzy? Even expert opinions are deeply divided, ranging from "more cores are absolutely necessary" to "why do I need something more than my five-year-old PC system?" Although the Core 2 quad-core processors are not expected to hit retail channels before October, Tom's Hardware Guide had the opportunity to examine several Core 2 Quadro models in the test labs. We would like to make it clear that these samples were not provided by Intel.

Basically, Intel packs two Core 2 Duo processors into one package. This poses several questions: How fast are four cores versus the not-exactly-a-weakling dual-core version? What will the heat dissipation and power consumption figures be like in a PC system with a quad core processor? Which applications can truly benefit from the increased core count? Is the current platform still sufficient? And finally, the question real enthusiasts are sure to pose: What can be expected in terms of maximum clock speed?

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