Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 and Massive Price Cutsby Anand Lal Shimpi on July 16, 2007 3:04 AM EST
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Despite theoretical showings on paper, the 1333MHz FSB appears to do very little for performance even when feeding four of Intel's fastest cores. The Core 2 Extreme QX6850's performance is nothing to scoff at, but given its price tag we'd strongly recommend one of the cheaper quad-core offerings. With the Q6600 coming in at $266, it's tough to resist.
Our Q6600 recommendation really highlights the major focus of this story, and that is the escalating price war between AMD and Intel. Once Intel's price cuts take effect next week, it's going to be difficult to recommend any AMD CPUs above $150. We're still working on our low end CPU comparison, and we suspect that AMD is more competitive at the lower end of the price spectrum, but what we've seen here today doesn't look good at all for the mainstream segment. In order to remain competitive, AMD would either have to knock about $50 off its X2 6000+ price or count on Phenom making up the performance gap at the same price point.
It's tough to resist upgrading or building a new system today because of the tremendous value this last round of price cuts has given us, especially when you take into account that both Penryn and Phenom's respective launches remain largely unknown. Clock speeds, pricing and dates are still up in the air, and for once our recommendation isn't simply to wait and see what happens.
If you need a new system or CPU upgrade today, the chips are ripe for the picking.