For those of you who hadn't seen this coming -- you should have -- Intel's desktop quad-core "Core 2" processor is on the way. Intel's most recent launch update claims the chip will come in two iterations, the first of which will be here in November 2006. Both chips have Socket 775 packaging and utilize a 1066MHz front-side bus.
The Extreme Edition 2.66GHz chip, dubbed Core 2 Extreme QX6700, is poised to launch this year in November. Like other "Extreme" chips from Intel, the estimated price tag is $999 for the new processor. The CPU is compatible with all second-generation Conroe-compatible Intel 975X motherboards, but not all "965" series motherboards. Unfortunately, there are no more details on which motherboards are compatible yet.
A mainstream quad-core Kentsfield will launch early next year, dubbed the Core 2 Quadro Q6600, and will debut with a 2.4GHz core frequency. A price tag for the Q6600 has not been set yet, but the processor will retail for less than the QX6700 but more than the Core 2 Duo E6700. The E6700 has a street price of approximately $530 USD, but price cuts will bring the cost of the CPU down before the Q1'07 launch of mainstream Kentsfield.
Intel's original launch scheduled claimed that only the Q6600 would launch next year. This has been revised several times by Intel representatives who have publically pre-empted AMD's quad-core plans. AMD retaliated earlier this year stating that quad-core demonstrations would come before the end of the year. Given that AMD has a traditional habit of demonstrating its new processor technology during the Intel Developer Forums (IDF) that occur twice annum, it's quite likely that we will see these first demonstrations at next week's IDF.
A server version of Kentsfield, dubbed Clovertown, is also expected to ship this year with Socket 771 packaging.
I think these processors are a little too pricy for me to get at launch.