Chief among the new developments is the availability of cheaper—err, less expensive—quad-core options like the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Athlon 64 FX-70. Intel and AMD like to showcase their top performing chips in order to show off what they can do, but top-speed-grade processors are rarely the best values. What's more, we've found that practically any top-speed-grade incarnation of a processor tends to be in a rough spot with respect to heat and power consumption. Lower speed grades promise higher performance per watt.
For instance, the basic power and heat rating, or TDP, of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is 130W. Although it's the same technology and runs only 266MHz slower, the Core 2 Quad Q6600's TDP is an Al Gore-approved 105W. Officially, the Athlon 64 FX-70's thermal power rating is the same considerable 125W per chip (in a two-chip solution) as its bigger brother, the FX-74, but we had a hunch the 2.6GHz FX-70 wouldn't be the same class of double-barreled blowtorch as the 3GHz FX-74. There is, of course, one way to find out: test 'em. And so that's what we've done.
We've also recently made the transition to Windows Vista for our test platforms, a move that promises to take better advantage of these quad-core system architectures in various ways. Join us as we fire up our widely multithreaded suite of test applications, many of them 64-bit executables, to see which quad-core solution offers the best mix of price, performance, and energy efficiency.
|Gigabyte SA-SBCAP3350 puts formidable power on a single board||6|
|Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 help M.2 SSDs beat the heat||3|
|Corsair Lighting Pro Expansion Kit lets builders turn up the lights||7|
|Adata D16750 power bank is tougher than the average juice pack||8|
|Deals of the week: fast memory, an AM4 motherboard, and more||12|
|Corsair RMx White Series PSUs take a walk on the snowy side||22|
|Intel crams 100 GFLOPS of neural-net inferencing onto a USB stick||38|
|Toshiba's XG5 1TB NVMe SSD reviewed||9|
|Microsoft and Johnson Controls put Cortana in a thermostat||23|