System Builder Marathon: Day Three

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800

Surprise, no Quad Core for this system: very few games can properly use even the two cores available on the X6800, and readily-available QX6700 processors typically under-perform the X6800 due to the latter's higher clock speed. Intel may have released a QX6800, but with availability so limited as to prevent even wealthy buyers from procuring one in a timely fashion. Rather than waste time, money, and silicon on cores that most applications can't use, we chose the fastest dual core processor.

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800

It's quite obvious that our particular X6800 has been around the lab a few times, but the new part price will go into the build cost calculations. Remember that processors don't slow down as they age - they operate at full speed until the day they die.

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