updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu July 19, 2007
Core 2 Extreme at 3.33 GHz
Sources close to mainboard designers claimed today that the first processor to use Intel's 45-nanometer Penryn architecture will be a quad-core gaming model with an extensive boost to its clock speed, reflecting a dramatic reduction in power use and the resulting heat output. Although going without a formal model name, the chip would become the top model in the Core 2 Extreme line and would be clocked at 3.33GHz -- about 11 percent higher than the just-announced 3GHz QX6850 and also faster than the future 3.16GHz Xeon. This would also be accompanied by the expected boost in level 2 cache from 8MB to 12MB and the Core 2 Extreme's unlocked multiplier that allows for overclocking when using strong enough cooling.
Two other high-end but relatively normal Core 2 Quad models would also launch shortly after the 3.33GHz model with the same 12MB cache, the report said, though their clock speeds weren't revealed. The lineup would be effectively completed in early 2008 with four dual-core versions with cache halved to 6MB, including a budget model (likely part of the E series) that drops the bus speed from 1,333MHz to 1,066MHz and halves the level 2 memory a second time to 3MB.
Intel is expected to price the top Core 2 Extreme similar to its past releases, offering the CPU at $999 in bulk to system builders and resellers with retail versions priced higher.