Seven months have passed since Intel officially launched its Core i7 processors, and for seven months they have remained at the top of our performance charts. Albeit pricey, Nehalem can’t be beat; it is the world’s fastest desktop microprocessor.

Just last week we previewed Intel’s upcoming more mainstream Nehalem, codenamed Lynnfield. Based on our early results and leaked Intel roadmaps, I’m expecting Lynnfield to pretty much negate the need for low end LGA-1366 Core i7 parts. Rather than allow Lynnfield to cannibalize Intel’s high-end LGA-1366 Core i7 platform, Intel is raising the performance bar with two new i7 CPUs: the Core i7 975 Extreme and the Core i7 950.

Processor Clock Speed Cores / Threads Maximum Single Core Turbo Frequency TDP Price
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme 3.33GHz 4 / 8 3.60GHz 130W $999
Intel Core i7-965 Extreme 3.20GHz 4 / 8 3.46GHz 130W $999
Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz 4 / 8 3.33GHz 130W $562
Intel Core i7-940 2.93GHz 4 / 8 3.20GHz 130W $562
Intel Lynnfield 2.93GHz 2.93GHz 4 / 8 3.60GHz 95W $562
Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz 4 / 8 2.93GHz 130W $284
Intel Lynnfield 2.80GHz 2.80GHz 4 / 8 3.46GHz 95W $284
Intel Lynnfield 2.66GHz 2.66GHz 4 / 4 3.20GHz 95W $196


The 975 replaces the 965 and is priced at $999 while the 950 replaces the i7-940 and is priced at $562. The chips run at 3.33GHz and 3.06GHz, respectively, with maximum turbo frequencies topping out at 3.6GHz and 3.33GHz. Intel really has no other external motivation to push for higher frequency parts, so we only see a bare minimum increase in specs here.

The Core i7 Extreme part, like its predecessor, ships unlocked so you can easily overclock it. Its un-core (L3 cache + memory controller) operates at 2.66GHz, just like the i7-965. The i7-950 is locked and runs its uncore at 2.13GHz, just like all other non-Extreme i7s.

Both of these chips use Intel’s new D0 stepping so they should clock up a bit higher than the original i7s.

The Fastest Processor for Single Threaded Tasks


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  • TA152H - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    Just an FYI, it's stated that the new i7 975 is 2.5 faster than Intel's fastest Pentium 4, but you didn't test Intel's fastest Pentium 4. The Pentium EE 965, running at 3.73 was it. It also had better power characteristics, since it was a later revision and, if I remember, correctly, had additional power savings modes enabled (EIST?).

    Also, you can't compare power draw between a 45 nm part and 65 nm and get disgusted. 45nm was a big advance for Intel in lowering power, and it would have been a very significant boost for the Pentium 4. Still, it was a terrible design, so your point is well taken, but it would not have been THAT terrible on 45nm. I think 5 GHz would have been easy, 6 GHz probably would not have been too difficult either. It's a pity we never got to see it, just out of curiousity.
  • aeternitas - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    Curiousity? Take the average gain of all CPUs in question and you can come up with a rather accurate line of performance per Mhz. It would take longer to get the CPU performance numbers than to do the actual math.

    6 and 7GHz CPUs come with instability. Thats why we stopped at about 4Ghz and started to work smart instead of hard, like the G4/G5 cpus of old.
  • BabaBlackSheep - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    I was just wondering how fast these stock fans for these processors are? The last time I got a new processor (Intel) was 3.5 years ago. It was insanely noisy. Has this changed? Reply
  • TotalLamer - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    As much as I would love to support AMD, reviews like this make it very, very difficult at the moment. Reply
  • stimudent - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    does this Intel processor have 'ethics violations' etched into the die too? Reply
  • TA152H - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    Why? Neither processor is even remotely attractive to most people. They're performance is fine, but they are too expensive for what they are, again, for most people. If you're running a business, and faster performing processors helps your workers work faster, the $999 for the 975 is essentially nothing, and well worth it. But, for most people, neither of these processors are relevant.

    AMD makes horrible, badly-designed processors, but, is that so different from Intel IGPs? For a lot of people, and AMD processor with and 790GX is a better platform than an Intel based processor with the G45, and a lot of people only need an IGP.

    I really do not think ATI was a bad purchase for AMD. It's made their platform a lot stronger vis-a-vis Intel. From a processor perspective, I agree, AMD sells trash, but as a platform, it can be very attractive because of ATI.

  • regnez - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    No one said AMD processors were trash, except you. You kind of have a back and forth on your own argument: On the one hand, AMD cannot compete on the ultra high-end, on the other, not many people buy ultra high-end equipment.

    However, to say that AMD is releasing trash is just nonsense. Their lower-end processors are decent and compete with Intel reasonably well at given price points. They just don't have anything to match Intel at the top, which is not a big deal to most folks.
  • aeternitas - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    "Most folks" do not read Anandtech. We need to look at the types that visit this site.

    I think that's a huge point.
  • Azsen - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    When is Core i7 due on the notebook? I.e. quad core goodness?

    I wish Intel and AMD would focus on releasing better performing and lower power parts for the notebooks rather than desktops. Desktops are old school, the notebook is the way of the future and you can't notice much performance difference for general applications and even the odd game. Sure if you're a hard core gamer or need workstation performance you'd get a desktop as you can throw whatever you like in it, but everything else in between is better off as a notebook.
  • RadnorHarkonnen - Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - link

    I7 is already on a notebook.

    My DT PSU is a 750W psu.

    Most laptops carry a 65w AC. People start complaining when they have to carry 6kg plus the 130w (or bigger) power brick. Computers are like cars, if you want performance, it will consume loads of juice.

    Lappy owner wants, batery life, portability and low weight. They hate when lappys got too hot. So you got everything agaisnt performance. Its like asking a Smart/1.4 HDI engines to compete with my 309 GTI or Delta HF Turbo. And keeping the low mpg. Some DT CPUs have a 140W heat dissipation packadge. Most of them are about 65W - 90W. This is just HEAT that the CPU dissiaptes, the value it consumes is higher. Most lappies AC Adap are in the 65W range...

    Most consumers that buy a lappy are ill informed or just don't know what they are buying. Most of them doesn't need that portability, and consider the computer slow soon after they buy it, when they start finding out what it "can't" do. Most time is branding in action or a bad sales monkey.

    Netbooks were the way of the future, until they started getting a 30% of return rate. Netbooks are only good as a seconday computers.

    I am not a hard core gamer. I don't need workstation performance. I do like a decent performance and i do heavy multi-tasking. You can say Microsoft Office is light (for example), and any laptop can do it, but my Ms for various reasons, when some tasks come, she just drops her lappy and come to my DT. Sometimes to apply a filter. that is just one example.

    Laptops/Desktops/Netbooks will never disapear, because they do diferent jobs. You know a laptop/netbook can't handle for very long a intensive (10+ hours daily) tasks. You can't carry a desktop. Well you can, but not everyday.

    Honestly ? I think the normal Laptop will disapear and it will be replaced by the netbook in one tier, and slim CULV/ULV cpus in a higher tier. If you need "some" performance and reliability for that matter, the Desktop is there for you.


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