Today was the day embargos expired for hardware review sites for the Intel QX9650 Wolfsdale quad-core processor, and the NVidia 8800GT video card. Both of these items are pretty big news. The QX9650 is the first CPU in the Penryn family, which is based on a 45nm manufacturing process, using what Intel calls High K Metal Gate components, which make it much more power efficient than it’s predecessors in the 65nm Conroe line. The QX9650 is their top of the line, quad-core solution, with a price to match. Early next year, this technology will move down into Intel’s mainstream processors.
The NVidia 8800GT is the new mid-range DX10 video card that performs just about as well as their high-end 8800GTS and 8800GTX parts at about half the price. Previously, there was a huge gap in performance between the 8600GT mid-range card and the 8800GTS part. Now, the "sweet spot" is definitely the new 8800GT.