Intel launches Yorkfield-based QX9650
Sometimes we have to craft finely nuanced analyses of our CPU test results in order to summarize the various merits and weaknesses of different processors as fairly as possible. Not so today. Intel was already well ahead in the performance game with its 65nm quad-core processors, and the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 simply extends that lead by anywhere from a few percentage points to nearly 20%. What’s more, it does so on the strength of a handful of key revisions to the chips, including a larger L2 cache and a fast divider, that benefit a startlingly broad range of applications, from games to office apps and scientific computing. In the video encoding application we tested that supports SSE4, we saw even larger performance gains. The Core microarchitecture has always had strong clock-for-clock performance, but Intel’s design team has found ample room for improvement?and delivered it.