Intel Core2 Extreme QX6850 CPU Preview :: Intel Core2 Extreme QX6850 CPU

07-16-2007 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Doc Overclock

Intel Core2 Extreme QX6850 CPU Preview

Intel's new QX6850 Core 2 Extreme Quad Core Processor is manufactured on the same 65 nanometer process that was also used on earlier Core 2 processors in previous generation CPUs. Plans to move to the 45nm technology have been road mapped and we should see CPUs based on that process by Q4 of this year with the introduction of the Penyrn CPU line. Moving ahead to the 45nm process is one that should provide more die density, lower heat and more performance for the same die space. The QX6850 has four independent processor cores in a single package, hence the term Quad Core.


Intel Core2 Extreme QX6850 CPU Preview QX6850 Front

QX6850 Front

Intel Core2 Extreme QX6850 CPU Preview QX6850 Back

QX6850 Back


This CPU features their latest and fastest 1337MHz FSB, which is the highest FSB available on Intel CPUs, and the market at this moment. In reality the QX68500 processor is two Dual-Core CPU dies mounted on one chip, meaning there are effectively two Core 2 CPUs on the same LGA-775 die package. Two smaller dies equates to faster times to market, less engineering time and better overall yields in the total manufacturing process. The smaller the die the more CPU cores can be yielded in each batch. Better pricing can be found as Intel can now make more CPUs for the same silicon investment as before. The more CPUs they can get from each batch of silicon, equates to more available CPU cores and more profit for Intel.

The amount of cache on a processor is important, as the more L2 cache there is, the more performance you can effectively get from your CPU. Early Celeron CPUs didn't perform well and dogged in many applications and in multitasking due to the fact that they had no L2 cache, which meant even though the CPU was clocked at a high rate for that time speed, performance suffered badly. The QX6850 has 4 processor cores, with each processor having its own 32KB L1 cache and each pair of processors sharing an amazing 8MB cache between the Core 2 Extreme CPUs. Intel keeps improving their design and with each new generation of CPUs the technology keeps getting better.

Really the two main things of focus on the QX6850 are the new faster FSB speeds and the amount of L2 Cache that the chip has to offer. Like the Intel rep says himself these are just speed bumps in our CPU lineup, but nice ones nonetheless. These improvements are small giants that allow the both the CPU and its platform to move ahead to faster performance thresholds This round, some board owners will get lucky, and with just a BIOS update on many NVIDIA 680i/650i chipset based motherboards, support for the new CPU and its faster FSB are just a flash away. Intel however has moved to the new 3 series chipsets for the 1333MHz FSB CPUs, which once again forces users who want the latest gadgetry to go out and purchase a new motherboard as no current 965 or 975 chipset will officially support this new change. Will there be 96/975 boards that will allow this with a BIOS update? That is to be seen, but the official word from Intel is no. NVIDIA has confirmed that there 680i/650i series motherboards will be able to accommodate both this CPU and the new Penryn CPUs later this year from a new BIOS that will be available early next week.