Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Reviewccokeman -
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So you say you want a high performance computer? You've bought the best components on the market for your build, and now you need that final piece of the puzzle, the processor. Will it be dual core or quad core? Each has its merits. With many of the newer DX10 games starting to use multiple cores, a quad core would seem to be the better choice. You can have a Q6600 that runs at a nice 2.4GHz, but will it be enough to feed the need since you don't want to overclock (blasphemy I say!)? If not, then Intel has something that just might fit the bill. Intel will soon begin selling the top dog in its Core 2 Extreme lineup, the QX9770. Featuring a 1600MHz bus speed, 12MB of L2 cache, 45nm manufacturing process, Hafnium Hi-K metal gates, 800 million+ transistors and running at 3.2GHz, it should more than cover anything you can throw at it.
Will the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 be just a speed bump from the 3.0Ghz of the QX9650, or will it be something more? Will the 1600MHz bus speed enable it to perform at a level beyond that of the QX9650? Follow along as I find out!
The rumor is that good things come in small packages. I guess the definition of good is subject to interpretation. But in this case, the little black box contains the latest and greatest from Intel's Core 2 Extreme lineup, the QX9770. The processor is shipped to us in a foam lined box, the purpose of which is to isolate the processor from damage during transit.
The Intel QX9770 that I received was an engineering sample. This can be good or bad, depending on when it was produced during the development process. Sometimes you get a diamond, sometimes a lump of coal. In other words, the amount of overclocking headroom over the stock speed that you achieve will vary from processor to processor. Is this one a diamond? Let's find out.