The current state of play in the high-end desktop CPU market can best be described as one of anticipation with an undercurrent of stagnation.
Most folks know that Intel and AMD's processor refreshes, codenamed Penryn and Barcelona, respectively, are due to be launched pretty soon.
AMD's filled in the interim gap by launching its fastest-ever dual-core processor, X2 6000+ and slashing prices across the board.
Intel knows that, on balance, it has the performance lead for both dual- and quad-core CPUs, so it's in no rush to launch the enhanced Core microarchitecture (Penryn) before it's good and ready.
Intel could simply wait for the arrival of AMD's quad-core Barcelona SKU and hit back with a faster-clocked version of its quad-core Kentsfield core, or, knowing that the Extreme series is more about prestige and brand visibility than volume sales and profits, launch another QX6x00 now.
Intel's decided on the latter and the 'new' Core 2 Extreme QX6800 takes the form favoured by companies when new architectures aren't a pressing issue - a clockspeed increase!
We know that QX6700 was fast, so QX6800 will be faster. Let's find out by just how much.