SBM 3: High-End System

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850

As four-core processors come down in price, it's nice to see that Intel's top part costs only around 10% more than the dual-core part we chose for our previous high-end build. Four cores might not advance our gaming tests significantly, but they have a huge performance advantage in several applications.

Clocked at 3.00 GHz with Intel's latest G0 stepping revision on a 1333 MHz data rate FSB, the QX6850 makes a great starting point for today's standard-speed test, while advancing our hopes for tomorrow's overclocking competition. A question still remains as to whether the high-speed four-core Core 2 Extreme processors provide enough average performance gain to make them a worthy value for our final comparison, but we're certain that the majority of enthusiasts would be extremely disappointed if we'd used anything less.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.