Intel puts out "Extreme" chips for PC gaming addicts

The processor manufacturer will now let speed demons "overclock" their laptops.

Published July 16, 2007 4:11PM (EDT)

I don't get why you'd need an "extreme" gaming experience on your laptop, but if that's your bag, has Intel got something for you. Among the half-dozen new processors that the company announced today is the Extreme X7800, the first of Intel's "Extreme"-branded options for mobile machines. The chip is essentially the same as the company's Core 2 Duo line of processors, but one important thing's been left out: the locks preventing hardware tweakers from overclocking the processor to run at blazing speeds.

The chip runs at 2.6 GHz, but overclockers could take it to 3.0 GHz and beyond, building the fastest, video game-worthiest laptops around. The scenario, I guess, is you're a business traveler doing a lot of PowerPoint presentations by day and a lot of "Call of Duty 2" by night. Or maybe you've got a long morning commute that, to the chagrin of your fellow MTA enthusiasts, can only be enlivened by a hard-digging session of "Doom 3."

Or maybe you're just addicted, can't bear the thought of being a minute without any kind of fast-shooting floating-point polygons.

I can't see how this could be a big market, but for Intel it'll be a profitable one. The new chip sells at $851, $300 more than the company's current top-speed mobile processor.

And if you're thinking of jumping into one, do consult Intel's press release footnote No. 3:

Altering clock frequency and/or voltage may (i) reduce system stability and useful life of the system and processor; (ii) cause the processor and other system components to fail; (iii) cause reductions in system performance; (iv) cause additional damage; and (v) affect system data integrity. Intel has not tested, and does not warranty, the operation of the processor beyond its specifications.

In other words, overclock all you want, but if your machine blows up on your lap, don't go crying to Intel.

[Via Crave.]

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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