Core 2 Extreme QX9650While in 2008 there will be four factories producing 45nm chips in volume, for the moment Intel has to rely on one development factory, the D1D, located in Oregon. Production is therefore limited and the release of more affordable models is planned for the beginning of 2008. In the meantime, Pennryn architecture comes in a single model which will be available in mid-November, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 set at 3 GHz.
Composed of two Penryn dies, this will be a quad core processor available like all the other « Extremes » for around 1000$. This price is still discouraging even if it’s a little more justified than with other classic Extremes because it is the only 45nm CPU available before January. Here are the details for the rest of the quad core line and then those of the dual cores:
This is the first area we decided to verify by measuring power consumption of the power supply stage of the processor with the help of an ammetric clip on theATX12V connection line which it uses exclusively. This allows us to better isolate CPU power use than an overall consumption measurement. The only thing we should keep in mind is that the CPU power supply stage has an efficiency between 80 and 90%.
In idle, we obtained 30 w and 131W in load for the Intel QX6850. On the QX9650, these figures decline significantly with 24W in idle and especially 82W in load. This is a very appreciable reduction and we can only wonder why Intel set the TDP of these two processors at 130W.
Our QX9650 was somewhat compliant in terms of overclocking. We were able to obtain a stable 3.4 GHz at 1.25V verified in 30 minutes of Prime95 and 3.7 GHz at 1.35V. These are encouraging results and give us an idea of Intel’s margin in this domain.
Due to a lack of an adequate bios, we should mention that the Penryn doesn’t yet function at its best with nForce 680i motherboards ; the result is several reboot and blue screens whether it’s with an eVGA or ASUSTeK model. The latter however specifies nForce 680i compatibility with this processor in its 45nm ready list
which you can imagine is quite long; however in practice we will have to wait for a new bios. This means you will need a good bios before installing a Penryn !
We now move on to a comparison with other dual and quadcore processors in our usual tests. Here are the configurations we used:
- GeForce 8800 GTX / ForceWare 169.01
- 2 x 1024 MB DDR2-800 4-4-4
- 2 x Raptor 74 GB
- Windows XP SP2 French
- Socket 775 : ASUSTeK P5K Deluxe
- Socket AM2 : ASUSTeK M2N32-SLI Deluxe
This was also the occasion to update some of our test protocol.