Culver City (CA) - You can expect a flood of benchmarks for Intel's quad-core 'Kentsfield' processor to hit the Internet in the next day. Intel's latest chip is officially called the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and is an enthusiast chip aimed at high-end gamers, graphical artists and others who run multi-threaded applications. Early benchmarks from Tom's Hardware Guide show the chip easily beating previous generation Core 2 Duo processors in some benchmarks, but the new chip is only marginally better in other tests.
The Core 2 Extreme QX6700 runs at 2.67 GHz on a 1066 MHz front-side bus and basically combines two Conroe dual-core chips into one package. Each chip has its own 4 MB L2 cache. Intel promises that the Kentsfield will be pin-compatible with the Conroe and most motherboard companies have promised full compatibility either from the factory or with a BIOS upgrade.
Almost two months ago, Tom's Hardware Guide published a preview of the Core 2 Extreme processor with several benchmarks. You can view the article here.
The Kentsfield's four processing cores may or may not speed up your productivity because some applications aren't programmed to take advantage of the extra cores. Games are a prime example. According to benchmarks by Tom's Hardware Guide, the Core 2 Quad had the same frames per second as the Core 2 Duo E6700 during a Quake 4 benchmark.
You will see a slight improvement with photo editing software like Photoshop. In a Photoshop CS2 benchmark that converted 150 photos from nine mega-pixels to .8 mega-pixels, the Core 2 Quad was about 6% faster than the Core 2 Duo E6700 and took 88 seconds versus 94 seconds.
The real gains will be seen in video creation, editing and conversion. The Core 2 Quad was completed a Premiere Pro 2.0 benchmark in 175 seconds versus the 308 seconds of the Core 2 Duo. In 3D Studio Max 8.0, the Core 2 Quad finished in 49 seconds versus Core 2 Duo's 88 seconds.
Some PC enthusiasts perceive the Core 2 Quad as a "glue job", a simple fusing of two chips to make a better chip, but Intel thinks differently. At the fall Intel Developer's Forum, CEO Paul Otellini said, "The public doesn't care what's inside a processor," when asked about the new chip's construction.
Intel's quad-core rings in a new era of enthusiast systems
Preview: Tom's Hardware benchmarks Intel's first quad-core "Kentsfield"
Fall IDF 2006: Intel's Core 2 Quad announcement