Intel Core i7-965 XE & Core i7-920 Review
By Vince Freeman :
November 3, 2008
The Intel 1KU pricing will be as follows: $999 for the Core i7-965, $562 for the Core i7-940, and $284 for the Core i7-920. These are Intel bulk prices, so expect retail levels to be a bit higher. The price of the Extreme Edition was a no-brainer as Intel has repeatedly told us to expect any XE processor to debut at or around the $1K price level. The 2.93 GHz Core i7-940 is again priced at expected levels, but the sub-$300 Core i7-920, even at 2.66 GHz, is still a bit surprising.
But what hasn't been taken into consideration is the requirement for a new motherboard and new memory, or at the very least, another matched DDR3 module for triple-channel operation, all of which can get real expensive, real fast. We'll have to wait a bit for the retail price of a high-end X58 motherboard, but don't expect them to be cheap, and DDR3 remains higher priced than standard DDR2.
* Please note that these prices were taken at the time of review and are not meant to reflect long-term trends.
The Intel Core i7 introduction is a very successful one, but it also comes with a few challenges to be aware of. The performance side is a huge positive for the new platform, and the combination a true multi-core architecture, an integrated memory controller and the bandwidth of triple-channel DDR3, are unbeatable in the system and gaming performance arena. Retail pricing is unexpectedly fair, and with a $300+ GHz Core i7-920 outperforming a $1400 Core 2 Extreme QX9700, it should make for some interesting buying opportunities. Intel also has a solid platform in the X58, but yet another change in the CPU package with no backwards compatibility, will be a sore spot to some.
- True Quad Core
- Fastest Desktop Performer
- Insane Memory Bandwidth
- Fair CPU Pricing
- Some Overclocking Headroom
- New CPU Socket
- Added Platform Expenses
- DDR3 Voltage Limit