Intel pulls curtain back on the Core 2 Quad Q6600

Since our first review of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, we knew Intel was planning to introduce a lower-priced quad-core processor at some point in the first quarter of 2007. Turns out today is the day Intel has chosen to unveil the Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, to coincide with the opening of CES 2007 in Las Vegas. As expected, the Q6600 is clocked at 2.4GHz and will carry a price tag of $851. Like Intel’s other quad-core processors, the Q6600 is actually two Core 2 Duo chips situated together on a single LGA775 package. Unlike its QX6700 big brother, the Q6600 has a more reasonable 105W TDP rating.

To understand the prospects for quad-core performance, let me suggest reading a couple of our articles. My original review of the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 compared this quad-core processor’s performance to a range of dual-core CPUs in a broad array of typical desktop apps. From this exercise, we learned that quad-cores benefits are rather limited, since even many multithreaded applications or tasks don’t use more than two threads. I then turned my attention to more highly multithreaded applications in my Quad FX review, in which the QX6700 was prominently featured. There, we found that that quad-core processors do hold some promise, given the right software, and that Intel’s quad-core offering is more attractive for power and performance than AMD’s Quad FX.

Due to its relatively low clock speed, the Q6600 will perform similarly to a mid-range Core 2 Duo CPU in single- and dual-threaded apps. And, of course, it will offer somewhat lower performance than the QX6700 due its 266MHz lower clock frequency. Damage Labs is locked into GPU-testing mode right now, so we don’t have any performance results for the Q6600 yet, but we’ll see about rectifying that before too long.

Comments closed
    • JokerCPoC
    • 13 years ago

    Question is, Is the multiplier of this new Q6600 cpu adjustable or Fixed?
    Yes I like to Overclock some. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Proesterchen
      • 13 years ago

      q[

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 13 years ago

    That’s good. Sign me up for quad core (or beyond) when I build my next computer at the end of the decade.

    • IntelMole
    • 13 years ago

    What’s the longevity of this chip gonna be like?

    I mean, sure, from a performance perspective right now, it’s not that great except when you get to dual threaded and greater applications. But they will come.

    If you bought this chip now, and kept up with the RAM and hard drive, five years from now I’d wager you’d still have a reasonably competitive chip.

      • DASQ
      • 13 years ago

      That WOULD be under the assumption that future games can truly distribute CPU loads properly across all four cores, otherwise clockspeed is likely to become a limitation within 1-2 years.

        • IntelMole
        • 13 years ago

        Let’s do some extrapolation. In nearly six years clockspeed has only doubled.

        ยง[<https://techreport.com/reviews/2001q2/pentium4-1.7/index.x?pg=1<]ยง So in five years time, it won't have doubled again. So assuming CPU is the dominant factor in game performance (which is a pretty poor assumption) we're talking about a 60% improvement (since performance won't scale perfectly with clockspeed), 75% maximum I'd say. If instead, people figure out how to scale across cores (which will happen, the lion's share of the console market is completely relying on this), you'll see a percentage improvement in three digits. I can't see clockspeed doubling in five years time barring some techonological innovation to control leakage, the technical challenges at these geometries are just too vast. We might gain another couple GHz, but that's about it. So in five years time, this chip will probably be fairly competitive for a five year old chip. Depending on how much money you have to spend, and whether you value longevity like this, this might be a wise investment.

          • StashTheVampede
          • 13 years ago

          So let’s all buy two and have some Octo core loving! I’m looking to buy a machine this year and I won’t buy into dual. Look at the game devs that are looking to make their engines for multi core systems — it’s clearly going to be the “uber” gamer rig in the future.

          • DASQ
          • 13 years ago

          Clockspeed wasn’t the correct term for CPU limitation, I meant either architecturally or through direct clock performance (relative in that family).

          Of course, we can’t really extrapolate 5 years of any new ways to use CPU’s, perhaps games take a ten-fold increase in AI complexity, and thus that single CPU core can’t keep up, maybe not even the 2nd core full facilitates the AI.

    • DASQ
    • 13 years ago

    Did you say GPU-testing mode??

    R600 review anyone?

      • Lord.Blue
      • 13 years ago

      or 8600, or intel’s new one….maybe even the 8800 refresh that is being worked on/done…

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Why people are complaining about the price? What part of the market honestly wants to buy these CPUs? Professionals, enthusiast or idiots with deep pockets.

      • flip-mode
      • 13 years ago

      The cheaper it is, the larger the number of people that will want to buy it, need it or not. Witness growing dual core sales, despite the fact that very very few people need dual core. Neither of the people that I know with dual cores need them at all. And people want it to be cheaper because they want to buy it because they want a more powerful chip because… its more powerful.

      • Beomagi
      • 13 years ago

      on a site like this, i’m sure there’s more than the normal amount of people that will appreciate this.

      • Forge
      • 13 years ago

      I honestly want to buy one of these CPUs. There are lots of times in an average day where I have >2 CPU-heavy threads going.

      I guess I’m back in the e6600/Xeon 3060 market, though if that ~550$ price cut comes before my budget gets together….

      • packfan_dave
      • 13 years ago

      At $851, if a Core 2 Quad Q6600 makes sense, then so does a $999 Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

      • cappa84
      • 13 years ago

      $851US + Poor Uni Student + Independent Filmmaker = Peed-off Cappa

      $531US + Poor Uni Student + Independent Filmmaker = Happy Cappa

      I’m using a E6400 atm and it struggles sometimes. With the amount of stuff I render in After Effects…I’ll take all the CPU cores I can get ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Ah, and the formula for supply / demand / lack of competition bodes true yet again.

    • cappa84
    • 13 years ago

    So much for the $531 price tag…

    • Proesterchen
    • 13 years ago

    Too bad they didn’t go with $531 immediately, as Xbitlabs.com had suggested last week.

    $850 just says ‘Please don’t bother us too much while we ramp volume and come back in a couple of months.’

      • Furen
      • 13 years ago

      Intel is doing with Quad-Core what AMD did with Dual-Core Opterons. It’s setting an insanely high price point since there is no competition. Prices will drop in Q2 in order to force AMD to sell these chips at lower price points and force it into a price war of sorts with newly-released products.

        • Mithent
        • 13 years ago

        Yeah.. and any hardware manufacturer might as well start off at a much higher price than they expect most to sell at in order to milk the early adopter market. There are always people who will pay any price to get stuff the moment it comes out, even at a massive premium.

          • moose17145
          • 13 years ago

          yea but at this price tag there will be no early adopters (at least VERY few anyways), all the early adopters already have the faster Q6700.

    • Shintai
    • 13 years ago

    105W vs 80W for the Xeon version /tramps foot and makes rude gesture.

    I wish Intel and AMD sat together at a freaking table and said, hey..lets settle on 80W etc and slowly lower it. They are both around 125-130W max and else around the same.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 13 years ago

      But … they would be sued in US court for a form of “fix’n”

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        Only price fixing would be illegal. Also, they will be forced to it sooner or later. Currently we are working towards something like this, tho with entire PC branding on environmental friendlyness in power.

      • blastdoor
      • 13 years ago

      I don’t think that suggestion makes sense.

      It will always be the case that more watts == more performance, and there will always be people who are interested in making that trade-off (up to a point).

      If you want a lower power processor, then buy one. The existence of a higher-power processor in no way hurts you.

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        You dont get it, if the topbin was say 80W, the performance bin etc would be lower.

        There is no reason not to make a 250W chip if you wanted the extra performance and just bundle Tuniq 120 towers with it or so.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 13 years ago

      You have a trade, right? You want the lower power, out performing version, then pony up to the more expensive motherboard and ram.

      Want to use a less expensive motherboard with cheaper ram? Pony up for the hotter chip.

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        Ehmm…que?

    • DrDillyBar
    • 13 years ago

    The bottom line is that while the software may not be around just yet to really utilize the power of 4+ processors, one day my P5W DH will get one of these, if supported. ๐Ÿ™‚

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