Santa Clara (CA) - Intel introduced a new quad-core enthusiast processor to bolster its product line for high-performance computers. The new QX6800 CPU increases the clock speed to 2.93 GHz and lifts the price of an Intel enthusiast CPU to a new record level.
Intel says that the new CPU is aiming to attract the attention of gamers and digital design professionals who are looking to squeeze more speed out of their computer system. While performance gains out of multimedia and digital design applications may not be too surprising - Intel claims that the QX6800 can encode video 65% faster than the dual-core EX6800 - advantages in the gaming field is something we are still getting used to.
Several new games scheduled for release this year are expected to make use of more than four processing cores. These titles include as Crytek’s Crysis, Gas Powered Games’ Supreme Commander, Flagship’s Hellgate London as well as versions of Valve’s Half-Life 2, which will use quad-core resources to enable physics processing.
According to Intel, the service pack 1 for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X, due out later this month, will also support the quad-core chip. "Flight Sim X SP1 greatly increases multicore utilization and will scale as more threads are available leading to reduced load times as well as frame rate improvements and greater visual complexity during flight," a Microsoft representative said in a prepared statement.
New about the QX6800 is also the tray price level of $1200, which is 20% above of any previous Intel enthusiast CPU, which are typically priced at $1000. The QX6700 (2.66 GHz) and EX6800 (2.93 GHz) remain unchanged at $1000. Some online shops have begun offering the CPU to consumers with prices ranging from about $1320 to $1410.
Boutique PC builder DigitalStorm was among the first companies to offer a PC system equipped with a QX6800 processor. The firm charges $345 for an upgrade from a QX6700 to a QX6800 processor and offers basic 2.93 GHz quad-core systems from about $3200.