Sneak Peek : Intel's New Quad-Core

Setting The Stage For Benchmarking

Setting The Stage For Benchmarking

We were given two identical systems, both configured with the following hardware :-

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (2.66GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB L2 cache) and Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
  • Pre-production Intel BadAxe 2 Desktop Motherboard (D975XBX2 Rev. 303)
  • BIOS BX97520J.86A.1446.2006.0913.1039
  • eVGA NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 (1GB)
  • 2 x 1GB Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5 DDR2 1066MHz (set to 800MHz 4-4-4-12 in BIOS)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (320GB)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

As you can see above, the dual core part is actually clocked 266MHz higher than the quad-core processor. Therefore, you should note that this is not a clock to clock comparison between dual- and quad-core.

The following benchmarks were executed on the two systems :-

  • DivX 6.2.5 high definition encoding with XMPEG 5.03
  • Sony Vegas 7.0a Build 115
  • POV-Ray Beta 15
  • 3ds Max 8 SP2
  • Futuremark PCMark 05 Professional (CPU)
  • Futuremark 3DMark 06 Professional (CPU)

You'll need a new BIOS in order to get your CPU recognized. Even so, Intel's BIOS did not recognize the CPU's L2 cache correctly, though this shouldn't affect the system's performance.

The CPU settings in BIOS. The Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is unlocked and can be overclocked very easily by changing the CPU multiplier. The Intel D795XBX2 motherboard also allows voltage selection for a better overclocking experience.

Two pieces of 1GB DDR2-1066 memory is installed in the system for dual channel operation. However, to keep the configuration mainstream, the memory was set to DDR2-800 at 4-4-4-12 timings.

CPU fan speed running at a quiet 3000RPM and processor temperature is kept below 50 degrees Celcius. Though this is not the best way to measure CPU temperature, it does give us an idea of the processor's running temperature (and noise too).

CPU-Z screenshot of the Kentsfield CPU.