New Intel Quad-Core Chip Makes Its Debut

If you were just getting comfortable with all the terminology, features and benefits related to Intel's Core 2 dual core processors, get ready to get uncomfortable all over again: Intel has just introduced it's first version of a quad-core processor -- the high-end Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

At a suggested retail price of $999, the QX6700 is mainly for ever-tech hungry early adopters and power users. The chip boasts four cores running at a  2.66GHz-per-core clock speed, and two separate 4MB L2 cache allotments -- giving each pair of cores a 4MB cache pool to draw on.

On the heels of the chip announcement, Dell and Gateway let loose that they are building two PCs that incorporate the QX6700. Dell's system is the Quad-Core XPS 710 -- basically the same system as the dual core XPS 700, but with a more turbocharged graphics setup and, of course, the new chip. The new Quad-Core Gateway FX530XL boasts a superb array of components for a sticker price apparently under $4,000.

According to Intel's quad-core release schedule, we should see more plebian, and less expensive, versions of the chip for sale sometime in the first quarter of 2007 -- and a host of new home and business PCs incorporating the technology.
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