It was shocking to see Intel release the Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 for preview so soon, but I’m guessing that it was done to head off AMD’s launch of the Phenom series of Quad-Core processors that happens tomorrow morning. By showing off the Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 performance numbers early it means that many of the review sites will include these numbers to go along with the Phenom processor model 9900 (2.6GHz) as it too won’t be out till next year. I guess it’s fair for both companies to preview their upcoming products as many other industries like the automotive industry, for example, show off upcoming models many months in advance.
When it comes to performance, the Intel QX9770 was the front runner in all the benchmarks (except Sandra) and that is no surprise as it has a higher clock speed and faster front side bus than the previous leader – the Intel QX9650. When it came to overclocking the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 was marvelous. I was able to overclock it from 3.2Ghz to 4.5GHz in a matter of minutes thanks to water cooling and an increase of some key voltages that are available in any enthusiast’s BIOS. With better cooling or improved BIOS revisions, this processor may even have more in it! Not many processors can overclock 1.3GHz above stock settings right out of the box with no modifications to any hardware, but the Intel QX9770 sure can.
The only down-side to the Intel QX9770 is the increased TDP, and the fact you have to wait several more months for these 1600MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) processors to hit the market. When they do, those that want an extreme machine will have an easy choice. Just be sure to purchase a good cooler it you plan on overclocking up to 4.5GHz like I did. A water cooler is pricey, but when paying more than thousand dollars on a processor an extra $150 shouldn’t be a big deal. If you are craving one of these 45nm Yorkfield processors, don’t forget you can purchase one right this second as the Intel QX9650 is available for $1,199.99 and can be overclocked to 1600MHz FSB if you’d like to get this level of performance today. Both the QX9650 and QX9770 LR has reviewed were stepping 7 processors, so the results should be close to the same.
Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9770 offers a 1600MHz FSB and a 200MHz higher overall clock speed over the previous flagship processor from Intel. The result is a processor that is the fastest Legit Reviews has ever seen and it is one that AMD will be chasing after for many months to come.