RealTime IT News

Intel Mobile Gets 'Extreme'

Intel released its fastest mobile processor to date, the Core2 Extreme. Mobile systems based on the new dual-core processor are due out early next month. The Core 2 Extreme has been offered in high performance desktop and workstation systems designed for gamers, digital artists and multimedia creators.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800 mobile dual-core processor, with both cores running at 2.6 GHz, also has mobile-specific power-saving features the chip giant said helps notebook manufacturers deliver more energy-efficient and higher-performing designs. Intel said the X7800 offers up to 28 percent more performance than its previous-generation mobile processor.

The X7800 is available in quantity pricing for $851. Intel  said is has removed the mobile processor bus ratio locks so manufacturers can jack performance further by increasing the clock speed. Intel has been loath to encourage such tinkering, popular among gamers, which it says can reduce system stability and cause the processor or other components to fail. Intel said there is a still a risk in altering the standard clock speed and said it will not warranty the operation of its processor beyond standard specifications.

Analyst Roger Kay said Intel's mobile announcement is a further indication of a shift to mobile. "The delta between desktop performance and mobile keeps shrinking," Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, told internetnews.com. "There's always going to be a bigger heat envelope for desktops so you can get more performance there, but mobile processors are looking more like desktop and server processors than ever before."

Intel has been bullish on mobile for years and sees no let up in demand. "Laptops are the fastest-growing computing market segment," said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group. "And there is increasing demand from those who crave the ultimate in video, gaming and design computing performance yet want the freedom and flexibility that a laptop brings."

On the desktop side, Intel boosted performance of its Core2 Extreme with the release of the QX6850 quad-core processor running at 3.0 GHz with a new, faster 1333 MHz system bus speed. The QX6850 is priced at $999 in quantity. Intel also released a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Quad6700 ($530) and three new Core 2 Duo chips ranging in price from $163, $183 and $266 for the top-performing E6850 3.0 Ghz model.