We found that all three processors would happily overclock to the same speed of 3.8GHz or 3.9GHz with air cooling and modest amounts of power. The exact speed depends on your motherboard and memory, but, broadly speaking, an overclocked Core i7 920 delivers the same performance as an overclocked Core i7 940 or 965 Extreme.
Anyone in the market for a Core i7 would be out of their mind if they considered any model apart from the 920, so Intel couldn’t follow its usual plan. If it brought in the 975 Extreme at the top of the range and reduced the price of the 965 Extreme, 940 and 920 it would effectively be throwing away profit.
So it has replaced the 965 Extreme with the 975 Extreme and further down the range the 2.93GHz 940 has been replaced by the new 3.06GHz 950. The Core i7 920 remains in place at the same 2.66GHz speed.
At the time of writing the prices of the five models are:
- Core i7 920 2.66GHz at £228 OEM, £240 retail
- Core i7 940 2.93GHz at £425 OEM, £431 retail
- Core i7 950 3.06GHz at £446 OEM, £485 retail
- Core i7 965 Extreme 3.20GHz at £770
- Core i7 975 Extreme 3.33GHz at £802
You may be wondering where Intel found the extra 133MHz for the new 950 and 975 Extreme models and the answer lies in a revision to the stepping. The three original models were all released on Stepping C0:
less power = less heat = less cooling required
This means less noise, greater stability and potentially increased headroom for further overclocking.
power draw? who cares?
I am sure that sounds very mean spirited and anti-earth, but who is reading these evaluations? Dell? HP? Nooooo, people who are going to build a few machines at best and likely only 1, this year. They want maximum smoke ... as in speed.
Ok, I know that is is all pc to talk about crunch per watt, so fine.
Damn, no bitey ;-)
To be fair, if you are running [good] water cooling then it will probably go usefullyt further than a 920 - but even if I had a hypothetical £2k to wang on a rig, I still think that, say, three or four high end GPUs SLI/Crossfired up would make more of a difference than the Extreme. especially once the OpenCL-esque code starts appearing in a couple of years for GPGPU tasking - such as on Snow Leper, er, Leopard, etc.
That said, if I had £3k to spend...well, you're then in the position to start being a badge snob, and I'm always a sucker for that if I can when it comes to tech kit....
[PS: Should I come into £3k, I'll get your psychologists number...]
the scaling is completely wrong given how close the chips benchmark.
> Are you seriously suggesting that a couple of extra hundred stable megahertz - at best, from
> what I have seen - are worth the £500 extra for an Extreme processor?
Steven, nowhere did I suggest that it was actually WORTH the money. My only comment was that there IS a minor difference between the 920 and the 975 that wasn't mentioned. As to why I bought one ... well, I'll ask my psychologist about that.
(Actually I'm convinced that with the watercooling I'm employing and some combination multiplier and other overclocking tweaks then I can far exceed the possibilities of the 920 with the 975 but it's a bit of a gamble and it's distinctly possible I'll fail.)