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Intel's quad-core chip for desktop gamers

Intel's quad-core chip for desktop gamers

Intel has launched a quad-core chip for desktop gamers, continuing a barrage of new products the company has announced in the past week.

The Core 2 Extreme QX6800 runs at 2.93GHz, the fastest speed yet of the 12 designs of quad-core processors the company has launched since it announced the "Clovertown" Xeon server chip in November. That speed makes the chip a good fit for gamers and digital designers, the company said.

Multi-core chips can speed up computers that run multi-threaded software, dividing large jobs into several parallel parts. Until now, that software has been available mostly for server applications, but software developers have announced an increasing number of multi-threaded games, including Supreme Commander from Gas Powered Games and Hellgate London from Flagship Studios. Microsoft is scheduled to join that group later this month when it releases a multi-threaded version of its venerable Flight Simulator.

The new chip will also reduce waiting time for high-definition media editing jobs such as video encoding, says Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group, in a statement.

Intel has unveiled a range of new products in recent weeks as the company keeps pressure on chip-making rival Advanced Micro Devices. AMD is scheduled to launch a quad-core chip design by the middle of 2007.

Last week Intel launched two low-power versions of its Core 2 Duo processor, the U7600 and U7500 chips, aimed at products like Gateway's E-100M ultraportable PC, set to ship on May 3. As well, Intel announced a plan to merge aspects of its vPro IT management package into its pending "Santa Rosa" Centrino notebook platform, due to reach markets in June.

Intel charges US$1199 for the new Core 2 Extreme QX6800, with an 8MB memory cache and 1,066MHz front side bus speed.


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