Skip to main content

Can CPUs Make PCs Faster & Quieter?

Build 2: Intel Quad Core 6800 Processor (QX 6800)

We chose the Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core QX 6800 for our testing, to observe what kinds of noise levels a desktop built around this type of high-end processor would manifest. At the time we requested this processor from Intel, they hadn’t yet released the QX 6850 model, so it represented the pinnacle of CPU desktop power. We chose the new Gigabyte P35T-DQ6 motherboard because it not only offers plenty of features and capabilities, as well as DDR3 memory support and durable components, but also because it’s passively cooled as well.

Gigabyte GA-P35T-DQ6


Intel P35 Express (MCH)


Intel ICH9R

Voltage Regulator

Six Phases


AMI 0502 (04/03/2007)

333.25 MHz (FSB1333)

333.25 MHz (+0.0%)Connectors and Interfaces


2x PCIe x16

3x PCIe x1

2x PCI

4x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)

1x COM

1x Printer

1x TV out

1x Floppy

1x Ultra ATA

8x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s

1x Front Panel Audio

1x S/P-DIF In/Out

1x TPM header (testmodule)

1x IEEE-1394 FireWire

1x Fan 4 pins (CPU)

1x Fan 3 pins (Chassis)

1x Clear CMOS Jumper

IO panel

2x PS2 (keyboard + mouse)

1x RJ-45 Network

4x USB 2.0

1x IEE1394a port

1x eSATA port

1x LPT port

1x COM port

1x optical S/PDIF output

1x coaxial S/PDIF output

6x Analog Audio (5.1 Channel, Mic-In, Line-In)Mass Storage Controllers


6 x SATA 3 Gb/s (RAID 0,1, 10, 15)

1x Internal SATA 3.0 GB/s (RAID 0,1)

JMicron SATA JMB 363 Controller

1x Ultra ATA 133/100/66Network

GbE LAN controller

Realtek RTL8111B PCIeAudio

HDA Controller Interface

Realtek ALC889S 8-channel HD audioFireWire


3x IEEE-1394a (400 Mb/s)Graphics

Integrated graphics


Dual channel

4x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM

Up to 8 GB of unbuffered 1333/1066/800 MHz DDR3

The heatpipes and cooling fins on the Gigabyte P35T-DQ6 posed some interesting challenges as we put our system together. Many of our favorite LGA 775 coolers simply wouldn’t fit within the clearances left over after memory was installed and the CPU seated. None of the conventional flower style coolers we tried would fit, including a couple of Zalman models (the Fatal1ty and the CNPS 9500) that we keep around for system builds. We ended up choosing a modified flower design, the Thermaltake TMG i2 CL-0372, because its design lets it fit into the close quarters available on the P35T-DQ6 motherboard. This was an interesting situation, because case clearances posed no problems ; rather, it was the motherboard we had to fit very closely here. On the other hand, the Super Talent DDR3 modules were relatively low profile and posed no installation problems whatsoever, despite their breathtaking cost.

QX6800 System Hardware

Socket 775 Processor

Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core

(Kentsfield 65 nm, 2.93 GHz, 8 MB L2 Cache)


Super Talent W1600UX2G7 DDR3 PC3-8500 1066 MHz (CL 7-7-7-15)

2x Seagate 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA/300

Graphics Card

Gigabyte GV- NX86S256H GeForce 8600 GTS SilentPipe 3 - 256 MB

Power Supply

Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450W power supplySystem Software & Drivers


Windows XP Professional Media Center Edition 2005 Build 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2

DirectX Version

9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

Platform Drivers

Intel Platform : INF

Graphics Driver

Forceware 162.18