Back in November 2008 Intel launched the Core-i7 range of CPUs which were to replace the Core 2 range. At the time of the launch three models were released, the 920, 940 and 965 Extreme Edition, all of which performed better than the Core 2 range but were priced accordingly. Since then Intel has refreshed the line-up with the release of the 975 Extreme Edition, added the 950 to the product range and moved to a revised D0 core which appealed to overclockers as it had more headroom than the previous C0.
While the i7-920 has dropped in price since the initial launch, the cost of building a system around it remains reasonably high and so in the mainstream market the Core 2 range of processors has continued to sell well. Today that could well change as Intel are releasing CPU’s based on the Nehalem architecture but with prices and specifications designed to appeal to mainstream consumers.
Today we will be putting two of these models through their paces and comparing them to existing i7 CPUs as well as AMD’s top Phenom 2 model and the best Core 2 CPU. In addition to that we will cover various memory configurations and throw a handful of the more interesting P55 based motherboards into the mix with two aftermarket coolers.
By the end of this review you should be fully clued up on the new Intel P55/Lynnfield ecosystem.