Ballistics Report: 3.4GHz Extreme Edition
Performance: Does it really matter that Intelís 3.4GHz Extreme Edition is basically a souped-up workstation processor? Not really- the fact of the matter is that the new 3.4GHz Extreme Edition flies through gaming benchmarks. Itís even fast enough to best the Athlon 64 FX-51 in several situations, at which point youíre comparing Ferrariís Enzo to Lamboís Murcielago.
Compatibility: Thus far, we havenít had a problem finding motherboards to work with our Extreme Edition processors. Most third-party manufacturers have been diligent in releasing BIOS files that correctly recognize the chip. Moreover, the Extreme Edition doesnít have memory subsystem requirements, like AMDís Athlon 64 FX-51.
Price: Donít even think about Intelís new 3.4GHz Extreme Edition unless you have money to burn. The processor alone costs one thousand dollars, and itíd be a complete waste unless you built the rest of your system from premium components as well. Then again, if you have a luxury condo and are driving a 4.4L Range Rover, whatís an extra $500 dollars anyway?
The Future: Someoneís always saying ďdonít buy yet; wait just another month and youíll get much better prices.Ē Our motivations are different, though. If youíre interested in high-end hardware (and clearly, anyone willing to drop a grand on a processor has a taste for the finer things in life), the second quarter of 2004 will be an exciting time. PCI-Express, DDR2, LGA-775, Socket 939, 3.6GHz, and new models in the Athlon 64 familyÖthe list goes on and on. If everyone sticks to their roadmaps, the next few months will be particularly busy.