Today we are going to have a look at the top of the line CPU offering from Intel, the QX6700 Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition. This CPU is the fastest desktop CPU Intel or AMD has built to date and lives up to the Extreme Edition Moniker very well. Not only is the QX6700 fast right out of the box but it also has good overclocking potential if you are so inclined.
Read on to see how well the Intel QX6700 Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition performs.
Intel’s QX6700 is a quad core CPU which means that there are four CPU cores inside the processor. The specifications for the QX6700 are as follows:
- CPU Speed- 2.66 GHz
- Front Side Bus- 1066 MHz
- L2 Cache- 8MB at 2.66 GHz
- Package Type- LGA 775
- Manufacturing Technology- 65 nm
- Thermal Design Power- 130W
- Thermal Specification- 65 C
- Core Voltage- 1.100 – 1.372V
The Intel QX6700 Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition supports Enhanced Halt State (C1E), Intel Speedstep technology; execute disable bit, Intel EM64T, Intel Thermal Monitor 2, and Intel Virtualization Technology.
The good news for those of you running most if not all existing Core 2 processors is that the quad core parts will work with your existing mainboards with the worst case scenario being that you need to update your bios for the new quad cores. I do want to point out that if you go from a dual core CPU to a new quad core processor on the same system that you will want to check bios and see if the quad core is set correctly there.
When I changed from my X6800 to the QX6700 the bios for some reason has two of the cores turned off by default on my EVGA 680i mainboard. I have also heard of problems from some other QX6700 users that revolve around the bios picking CPU multipliers that are less than default making the processor run slower than intended. Moral of the story is to just check your bios settings and be sure you are good to go before you go off to game or benchmark and wonder why your scores are lower than they were on your previous system.
Again as with my review of the X6800 I’m not going for a deep technical review of the QX6700, think of this as the QX6700 cheat sheet for those that don’t wish to wade through some of my peers 14 page reviews. You can also hop over to Intel for a look at the QX6700 data sheet for more details on the technical specs of the processor.
The test system specs I am using for this review are as follows:
- CPU- Intel QX6700 Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition
- Mainboard- EVGA nForce 680i
- Graphics- XFX 8800 GTX SLI
- RAM- Crucial PC2 8000 2x 1GB
- HDD- 1x Raptor 74GB, 1x Seagate 750 GB
- Display- Eizo CE240W 24” LCD
|Intel QX6700 Core 2 Quad Core Packaging
To benchmark the CPU I used FEAR and other applications to get an idea of how well the QX6700 performs. I like to game on my PC as most that would spend the near $1000 price this processor demands online. So to start off testing I used FEAR, one of the most popular PC games around. I ran FEAR at the highest settings allowed in game and a 1920 x 1200 screen resolution, everything was on high and the NVIDIA control panel was at default settings. The in game test loop recorded the following frame rate data.
- Min- 57
- Avg- 106
- Max- 184
As you can clearly see 100% of the time the frame rates were greater than 40 fps which is to be expected with 8800 GTX SLI and the fastest CPU on the planet. The next test I ran was 3DMark06. 3DMark06 relies heavily on the graphics cards in your system; however, it does figure CPU power into the overall score as well. I left the CPU at stock clocks and frequencies as well as the NVIDIA control panel and 3DMark06 and recorded the following numbers.
- Total 3DMarks- 13914
- SM2.0- 5313
- HDR/SM3.0- 6678
- CPU- 3958
To compare a bit with the Intel X6800 CPU on the same system the total 3DMarks using the X6800 was 13012 with a CPU score of 2492. After 3DMark06 I started using dedicated CPU testing applications to test the QX6700 starting with CPU Mark 2 and recorded the following results.
- Test 1- 1400.6
- Test 2- 600.2
- Test 3- 8403.4
- Total- 7763.1
When I reviewed the Intel X6800 Core 2 Duo Extreme a while back I recorded a final score of 7685.3 on this same test. The next test up was Cinibench which is an application that draws a castle scene with lots of textures and stone blocks. The final scores from this test looked like this.
- Render 1 CPU- 434 CB-CPU
- Rendering (XCPU)- 1417 CB-CPI
Next up I ran several tests from SiSoftware Sandra Lite XI, I will paste screen shots below for you to see the test results in applicable Sandra CPU benchmarks.
After all the dust settled the Intel Core 2 Quad Core QX6700 Processor is a fantastic performer at stock settings. I am typically not much of an overclocker, but thought it might be fun to see what the processor could be pushed to on stock air. I decided to use 3DMark06 to compare performance of stock versus overclocked performance of the QX6700. First off I went into the bios and tweaked the CPU multiplier; this is the most appealing feature of the Intel Extreme Edition processors, unlocked multipliers that make overclocking easier. I started off at 11 which gave the QX6700 the same 2.93 GHz clock speed as the Core 2 X6800. At these settings I had a highest 3DMark06 score of 14693.
I decided to go for broke and see how high I could push the score to go along with the Dell Performance Shootout that Dell and Futuremark are currently running. I ended up after much tweaking, again on stock air cooling, maxing the multiplier out at 12 and 3.45GHz with a fsb of 1125 MHz, my ram running the same 1125MHz speed and mild overclocks on my pair of 8800 GTX graphics cards amounting to 50 MHz more on both the core and the memory clocks.
The final run with as much overclocking as I can get on stock air I scored 17331 total 3DMarks (click the link to see the ORB results) with a CPU score of 5059 3DMarks which is a very impressive gain over the stock 13914 total 3DMarks. Friday night when I was making these runs that score was good enough to put me at #17 on the 20 place hall of fame for 3DMark06. Today when I checked I had been bumped off the top 20 list completely. Dell has yet to update their numbers on their site for the Shootout rankings, but looking at the current numbers I would be in second place overall. Pretty nice overclock and scores from a CPU on stock air cooling. Throw some liquid cooling on the QX6700 and I would be surprised if I couldn’t squeeze a thousand or more 3Dmarlks out of this CPU. Put the beast on phase change cooling and scores in the 20,000 range on 3Dmark are doable.
At the end of the day it is obvious that the Intel QX6700 is a heck of a performer both stock and overclocks well. This CPU is a great upgrade path for those currently running other Core 2 CPUs as you can just plug it into your mainboard with the only catch possibly being the need for a bios update. There is no denying the speed of this processor; AMD simply has nothing that can touch the performance of the QX6700 on paper or in the real world. If you are an overclocker, gamer or serious video editor this is the CPU for multitasking. The only drawback is that all this performance comes at a price, which may be more than many gamers can squeeze out of their budgets.
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