07 July, 2009

Intel Core i7 975 3.33GHz Processor Review

When Intel pushed the Core i7 out the door it was not to top its rival, AMD, but to top its own Core 2 CPUs. We saw the i7 simply trounce on just about all other single socket systems (and some multi-socket systems as well).

Intel did not sit back and relax, though; they took the C0 stepping and tweaked it to give it an extra edge. Soon everyone was talking about the D0 stepping of the i7; it had better headroom, better thermal tolerance and even seemed slightly faster than the same clocked C0 CPU.

Again Intel did not stop there. Instead they pushed out another flagship CPU. This is the i7 975, a D0 stepping monster that looks like it can take on all comers.

We managed to get our hands on one and take it for a spin against the current champ, the i7 965 C0 stepping CPU. Let’s see if it really is worthy of the crown.

What’s New?

Since the D0 has been out for a little bit now I am not going to bore you with the details here, but will simply say that the i7 975 has a couple of differences.

The first is the increased multiplier. Where the 965 has a multiplier of 24(x133 for a 3.2 GHz clock), the i7 975 gets a bump up to 25 (x133 for a 3.3 GHz clock). The voltage is slightly reduced on the 975 as well.

Core i7 Test System

CPU: Intel Core i7 975 XE (D0 Stepping Engineering Sample)

CPU (For Comparison): Intel Core i7 965 XE (C0/C1 Stepping Engineering Sample)

Motherboard: GIGABYTE X58 Extreme Mainboard (BIOS Version F5)

Memory: 6GB Qimonda Aneon DDR3 1600 (CL9) Kingston DDR3 1600 (CL9) for overclocking

Graphics Card(s): 2x Zotac GTX 280 AMP! Edition 1GB GDDR3 GPUs (in SLI)

Storage: LSI MegaRAID w/ 2x Seagate Cheetah 15k RPM 147GB SAS Drives (RAID 0)

Power Supply: Cooler Master UCP 1100

Cooling: Swiftech H20 220 Apex Ultima Kit (with Apogee GTZ for i7)

Case: Cooler Master ATCS 840 Enclosure

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate RC1

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