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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles March 26, 2010

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    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


    Page 1 The Core i7 Architecture
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 PCMark Vantage Performance
    Page 5 SiSoft SANDRA 2009 Performance
    Page 6 Everest Ultimate Edition Memory Performance
    Page 7 CINEBENCH 9.5/10 and WinRAR Performance
    Page 8 MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, and High-Def Video Encoding Performance
    Page 9 3DMark06 Pro, 3DMark Vantage and Crysis Performance
    Page 10 Company of Heroes, UT3, World in Conflict, & ET: Quake Wars Performance
    Page 11 Benchmark Analysis, Overclocking and System Power Consumption
  • Page 12 Value and Conclusion

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