Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 Review

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Intel Shows Off QX9770 – 1600MHz FSB Yorkfield!

Just a few weeks ago Intel released the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9650, which is the first 45nm Yorkfield Extreme Edition processor from Intel. Intel must be having great yields with the Yorkfield as the QX9770 will be part of the Q1 2008 high-end desktop processor lineup and is officially supported by the Intel X48 Express chipset that is not even out yet. The Intel QX9770 is the first 1600MHz desktop processor from Intel as the previous 45nm processors operated at 1333MHz. Some current Intel X38 Express motherboards boards on the market support 1600MHz FSB, so Intel sampled the QX9770 a bit early. If you want to purchase one of these you’ll still have to wait till the official launch date in 2008, so sit back and enjoy this performance preview of what is to come next year.

Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 Review

The Intel QX9770 has a 3.2 GHz core frequency (an increase of 200MHz), a 12MB chunk of L2 cache, and was built on the 45nm process and features a new SSE4 instruction set. Since the Intel QX9770 is really nothing more than a speed bump on the FSB and multiplier, please reference our review on the QX9650 for a more detailed background.

Intel Yorkfield QX9770 CPU-Z Shot

With a die size of just 214mm2 and 820 million transistors, it is smaller than its predecessor the QX6850, as it had a die size of 286mm2 with 582 million transistors. The TDP rating (Thermal Design Power) for the chip has changed though as it does use more power. The Intel QX9650 processor has a TDP of 130W and the Intel QX9770 is 136W, which means cooling requirements have changed just a bit. Other than the TDP change, the price is also going to be higher than traditional Extreme processors. Intel hasn’t said how much higher it will be, but we will find out next year when they are launched.

Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 Specifications:

  • 3.2GHz, 1600 FSB, quad-core
  • 45nm high-K metal gate transistor technology
  • 12MB L2 cache
  • SSE4 instructions
  • 820M transistors
  • Total Die Size – 214mm2
  • LGA775 socket, 136W TDP, “C-step”
  • Overspeed protection removed
  • Supported by Intel P35, Intel X38 or Intel X48 chipsets
  • MSRP – unknown at press time

Intel QX9770 Kentsfield Processor

The view of the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) hasn’t changed with the Intel QX9770, but if you flip it over and look at the LGA775 socket side some differences can be noted between recent cores. In fact, we will be testing the very three processors pictured above (Intel QX6950/QX9770, QX6850 and E6750) along with the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ to see how the new Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 processor does against other high-end offerings from AMD and Intel on Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

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