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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 & Q9450 in the test: The Ferrari among CPUs

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 & Q9450 in the test: The Ferrari among CPUs

Conclusion

Damn fast and not exactly cheap. A little red paint on the heat spreader and you'd think there was really a Ferrari under the hood. CPU definitely has the power and the price. Andmore: As a result of the price, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 will also take on the extravagance of the sports car. Because only a wealthy group of customers will be able to (or want to) adorn themselves with the processor.

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770

With the new processor, Intel shows what the Penryn architecture is capable of. The performance requirements of the Core 2 Extreme QX9770, which will be released in the first quarter, are still below that of the old 65 nm flagship, and the performance is consistently higher. The processor scores particularly well in the theoretical tests, which is due on the one hand to the increased front-side bus of 400 MHz and on the other hand to the additional 200 MHz that Intel has given the QX9770. The interplay of clock speed increases and the corresponding, fast memory ensures noticeable increases in performance, especially in the multimedia sector, but conventional Windows applications also benefit from it. Traditionally, the entire test field in games (despite our tests in low resolution) moves closer together - where dual-core processors are hardly an advantage, four cores do not work miracles. On average across all applications, the performance of the new processor is around five percent higher than its predecessor. Compared to the last remaining “Extreme” model in the dual-core series, the X6800, the lead with the new QX9770 has grown to a good 25 percent.

The expected performance of the upcoming Core 2 Quad Q9450 that we simulated is pleasing. The “real” Yorkfield with 2.66 GHz and 12 MB L2 cache knows how to defend itself against its predecessor QX6700 - no wonder, it also struggled with a frontside bus of 266 MHz. The distance to Intel's current entry into the world of four cores, theCore 2 Quad Q6600 is astonishingly large, which is again partly due to the increased FSB and the additional 266 MHz clock frequency. The rest of the additional performance is provided by the new production and optimization. The simulated Core 2 Quad Q9450 is less than three percent behind the QX6850, the flagship of the current 65 nm generation. For less than a third of the price (316 to 999 US dollars), this deficit should be bearable. The Q9300 component, which is difficult to assess, a quad-core processor with 2.5 GHz but only 6 MB L2 cache, could still have a say in the entry-level segment thanks to its 50 US dollar price advantage. To what extent the missing cache and the even lower clock rate have an impact on the performance, we will determine in an upcoming test. Until the new processors appear on the market in January, one way or another: Wait!

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