Friday, April 17, 2009



With the relative simplicity of a processor, an overall introduction pictorial is really not required. What you see is what you get with a processor. The only real way a consumer is tell them apart is by their product number which is laser etched into the front heatspreader.

Disclaimer - As for the benchmarking, seeing this is an engineering sample sent to us directly from Intel and thus is multiplier unlocked, it wouldn't exactly be fair to say this is what you would be receiving when you order one in a retail package. Because of this, definitive overclocking benchmarks will not be undertaken for this review in particular. If we did, we couldn't guarantee you would get the same results.

Processor Cooling

Seeing the QX9650 was quite a cool running processor, I was expecting more of the same from the QX9770. But I also had to take in the difference in clock speed, on-board memory, and the increase in front side bus that I thought would have a small, but measurable influence in increase the idle and the load temperatures.

(At idle, the multiplier is dropped from 8 to 6 to drop the speed to 2.4Ghz which reduces power consumption and heat output.)

But through testing I did find out that the QX9770 runs quite a bit warmer than the QX9650 under the exact same room temperature and idle and full load conditions. With the load conditions at a climate controlled 21c, at idle the QX9770 had a temperature of 32c when compared to the QX9650's reading of 22c. At full load and all four cores chewing on all the data they could get their hands on, the QX9770 had a running temperature of 64c while the QX9650 was reading 46c. As you can see, there is a difference in running temperatures and a good cooler would not be a bad idea seeing the stock cooler gets the job done with the newer processor, but only barely. Mind you, in normal day to day computing and gaming, who is really going to put a QX9770 under full load? Probably nothing unless you are a CGI artist or someone constantly rendering huge image files.

The benchmarking platform is comprised of the following:

Gigabyte P35-DS4 P35 Motherboard - Shop for this HERE
Crucial Ballistix 2Gb PC2-8500 Memory Kit - Shop for this HERE
XFX Geforce 8800GTX 768Meg Videocard - Shop for this HERE
Maxtor 250Gb 7200rpm SATA-150 Hard Drive - Shop for this HERE
Kingwin 800watt Power Supply - Shop for this HERE
Windows XP Professional SP2 32bit

Processors Benchmarked:

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Quad Core 1600Mhz FSB - Shop for this HERE
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Quad Core 1333Mhz FSB - Shop for this HERE
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 Quad Core 1333Mhz FSB - Shop for this HERE
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad Core 1066FSB - Shop for this HERE
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 1333Mhz FSB - Shop for this HERE

Benchmarks Used:

3DMark 2006 (800x600 - Processor Dependent)
CineBench 10 Multicore Benchmark
Sisoft Sandra XII Lite CPU Arithmetic Benchmark
Sisoft Sandra XII Lite CPU Multi-Media Benchmark
PC Mark 2005 CPU Benchmark
Super Pi ( 1 Meg Calculation )

Benchmarking Method:

Benchmarking with be straight forward across the board. Nothing will be changed other than the processor and the usual BIOS changes to get the tested processor to work properly. Voltage and everything else is set to Auto. You can't get anymore simple.

Benchmarking was undertaken in a pure 32bit Windows XP environment seeing at this time, Vista is not stable enough for benchmarking and a 64bit computing environment is still basically a minority in computer industry at this time.

Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Quad Core Processor (3.2GHz, 4x3MB, 1600MHz FSB, LGA775 Socket T)
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Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Quad Core Processor (3GHz, 2x6MB, 1333MHz FSB, LGA775 Socket T)
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