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 17 November 2008
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Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition Quad Core Processor Review
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Introduction

The Intel Core i7 is a new line of desktop processors based on the new Nehalem microarchitecture, which evolved from the Core microarchitecture which powered the highly successful Intel Core 2 line of microprocessors. Like its predecessors, the new Core i7 processors is manufactured using Intel's 45 nm fabrication process with high-k (hafnium) dielectric and metal gate technology. However, that is where the similarity ends.

Unlike the Core 2 processors, the new Core i7 processors have a monolithic design. That means the entire quad-core processor is fabricated on a single die. The quad-core version of the Core 2 processor, on the other hand, combines two dual-core dies in a multi-chip package (MCP). The Core i7 processor also introduces a slew of new technologies :

  • an integrated DDR3 memory controller
  • a three-tier cache design
  • QuickPath Interconnect
  • Intel Turbo Mode technology

At launch, Intel offers three Core i7 models - the Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition, the Intel Core i7-940 and the Intel Core i7-920. Today, we will be taking a close look at the Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processor. As Extreme Edition moniker hints, this processor comes with unlocked multipliers as well as a correspondingly hefty price tag.

Let's take a look at how the Core i7-965 Extreme Edition compares against its less-expensive brethren and some Core 2 processors.

Processor

Cores

Threads

L1 Cache

L2 Cache

L3 Cache

QPI/FSB
Speed

Multiplier

Clock
Frequency

Core i7-965 Extreme Edition

4

8

32 KB x 4

256 KB x 4

8 MB

6.4 GT/s

24x

3.2 GHz

Core i7-940

4

8

32 KB x 4

256 KB x 4

8 MB

4.8 GT/s

22x

2.93 GHz

Core i7-920

4

8

32 KB x 4

256 KB x 4

8 MB

4.8 GT/s

20x

2.66 GHz

Core 2 Extreme QX9650

4

4

32 KB x 4

6 MB x 2

-

1333 MHz

9x

3.0 GHz

Core 2 Extreme QX6850

4

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

-

1333 MHz

9.5x

3.16 GHz

Core 2 Duo E8500

2

2

32 KB x 2

6 MB

-

1333 MHz

9.5x

2.53 GHz

Core 2 Duo E7200

2

2

32 KB x 2

3 MB

-

1066 MHz

9.5x

2.4 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6600

2

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

-

1066 MHz

9x

2.4 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6420

2

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

-

1066 MHz

8x

2.13 GHz

For more specifications, take a look at our Desktop CPU Comparison Guide.

 

Packaging

The Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition came in plain white cardboard box. Actual retail packaging would certainly differ from this review sample. Inside, we found the stock cooler enclosed within two plastic trays. The processor was enclosed within its own plastic case.



 
   
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