Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Review (Page 1 of 10)

By: Jonathan Kwan
June 1, 2008

Last week, we took a look at the so-called "budget minded" Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 desktop processor. Okay, it may be slapped with the 'budget' tag, but it certainly isn't budget performance -- our benchmarks indicate that it performed on an average of 2-5% better than the previous generation's midrange E6600 CPU, yet retails for only roughly $140 -- not to mention that it overclocks very decently. Today, we'll examine something on the other end of the spectrum -- the second fastest consumer desktop processor offered by Intel. So far, the fastest as far as I'm concerned is the QX9770 on LGA775, but one down is another 'Extreme' model with an unlocked multiplier -- and that's the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor, with an impressive 12MB (2x6MB) L2 cache over four cores operating at 3.0GHz stock. If you're looking for something that spells 1337, pwn, omgwtfbbq, and whatever else you can describe it as, look no further than the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650. Plus you can sit back and relax to see how much it owns in the benchmarks. We won't waste anymore of your time.

Our Intel processor review units came in a UPS medium box from Intel's California headquarters. Using UPS Express Saver, it's by no means slow; in fact it arrived in a day -- it's quite amazing. It was quite a big box; and with tons of paper and bubble packaging inside, our engineering sample CPUs arrived in perfect working condition. Time for the fun, baby.

For us, small black boxes were used to hold these precious units, somewhat reminding me of jewelery. Except the one on the left is something a geek would really want -- look at the Sharpie label on top. Yep, we said that last week, but it's really the same pictures since it came in the same box anyways haha. Take a look at the one QX9650 on the left. Drooling already? Be sure to check that your keyboard isn't wet (and nasty and saliva-y).

Before we move on, let's have a quick look at the specifications from Intel of the Yorkfield core CPUs, before we go deep in the next section:

- Quad Core
- Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology
- Intel® EM64T 1
- Intel® Virtualization Technology
- Enhanced Halt State (C1E)
- Execute Disable Bit 2
- Intel® Thermal Monitor 2

sSpec Number: SLAN3
CPU Speed: 3 GHz
PCG: 05B
Bus Speed: 1333 MHz
Bus/Core Ratio: 9
L2 Cache Size: 12 MB
L2 Cache Speed: 3 GHz
Package Type: LGA775
Manufacturing Technology: 45 nm
Core Stepping: C0
CPUID String: 10676h
Thermal Design Power: 130W
Thermal Specification: 64.5°C
VID Voltage Range: 0.85V – 1.3625V

CPU-Z screenshot of the QX9650 with Intel SpeedStep enabled.

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. Intel QX9650 Architecture; Test System
3. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
4. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
5. Benchmark: PCMark05
6. Benchmark: 3DMark06
7. Benchmark: Cinebench R10
8. Benchmark: SYSMark 2007
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M; Overclocking
10. Power Consumption and Conclusion