Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Simply put, the new Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is the fastest, most powerful desktop PC processor we have tested to date. Due to its 2.93GHz clock speed, which matches that of the fastest dual-core Core 2 processor, the X6800, the new QX6800 is as fast as the X6800 while running single-threaded applications, as is the case with most game engines and office productivity tools. While running multi-threaded applications that can fully utilize the additional processing resources afforded by the quad-core design of the QX6800 however, the new Core 2 Extreme QX6800 clearly offers more performance than any other desktop PC platform currently available. Performance scaling isn't always 2x that of the dual-core X6800 when running multi-threaded applications, but the quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6800 does offer significant performance increases in many scenarios. And as more and more multi-threaded applications are released, the advantages of a quad-core processors will pay dividends over time.
While the launch of the Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is technically nothing more than a speed bump of an already established design, it is still significant none-the-less. What Intel has done with the QX6800 is bring their flagship quad-core desktop processor up to the same frequency as their fastest dual-core offering. By doing so, any performance disadvantage the 2.66GHz Core 2 Extreme X6700 had versus the higher clocked 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800, while running single-threaded code, is now absorbed. Conversely, any advantage Intel's quad-core processors had over their dual-core offerings, or AMD's for that matter, is even more amplified. Ultimately, what the new Core 2 Extreme QX6800 represents is the best of both worlds. Aside from its exorbitant $1200 price tag, which is high even for top-of-the-line Extreme Edition processors, the Core 2 Extreme X6800 is a no compromise solution. Its thermal profile and power consumption were in-line and its overall performance was superb. If you're a PC enthusiast looking for nothing less than the highest performing desktop processor, look no further - the Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is it. What more is there to say?