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Core i7 bumped to 3.33GHz

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Intel has speed-bumped its top-of-the-line Core i7 Extreme Edition processor, increasing its lead as the fastest desktop chip that the company has ever offered.

The new 45nm Core i7 975, based on the company's Nehalem architecture, clocks in at 3.33GHz. It includes 8MB of L3 Smart Cache running at its four cores' clock speed.

Dual QuickPath Interconnects (QPI) transfer data at 6.4GT/sec, and such performance-enhancing niceties as Intel's SpeedStep (EIST), Virtualization (VT), and Turbo Boost auto-overclocking technologies are all enabled.

Its core-clock multiplier is set at 25X - but it's unlocked, should you feel the need to experiment with a bit of straightforward overclocking.

The Core i7 975 slots into the now-second-class Core i7 965's price point, which is $999 in lots of 1,000 - although processors at this rarified level are rarely if ever sold in those amounts. You can find it today in retail packaging at sites such as NewEgg for $1,039 and Platinum Micro for $1,078.

But if that's too rich for your Meltdown-melted wallet, you might instead pick up a Core i7 920, which can be found at various outlets for well under $300. It takes well to overclocking, and an Intel spokesman told The Reg that it will "most definitely" remain available for the foreseeable future. ®

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