Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition Processor Review

Performance Analysis and Conclusion

Performance Summary:  To be perfectly frank, discussing the performance profile of the new Core i7 975 Extreme Edition is a tad on the mundane side.  In short, we're looking at a 4% clock speed boost that, by and large, offers a 4 - 5% performance increase versus the previous Intel high-end Extreme Edition Core i7 965.  In fact, the results were so linear and predictable, that we're rather impressed at the efficiency of IPC (Instructions Per Clock) production as clock speeds scaled with Intel's new leading-edge desktop processor architecture.  We witnessed virtually a 1:1 scaling of clock speed versus most benchmark results.  It was all a bit uneventful perhaps.  Then again, it was also refreshing to see a processor architecture scale so cleanly at various clock speeds.

In terms of overclocking, the new Core i7 975 processor stepping offered more headroom in top-end clock speed versus previous iterations of the architecture.  Whereas historically we've seen the Core i7 965 hit speeds of 4GHz with relative ease, the new Core i7 975 was able to settle down cleanly at 4.1GHz and handle our entire battery of benchmark tests with only a small voltage bump and a stock retail Intel heatsink keeping it cool; so cool in fact, it never broke 50ºC on our test bench under full load.


Right then; with all of our benchmark data points lined up, our thermal profiles and power consumption testing in check, what are the key take-aways with Intel's new Core i7 975 Extreme Edition processor?  To put it succinctly, Intel's new Core i7 975 is what it is; a 133MHz speed bump for a processor that runs in excess of 3.2GHz.  Does the Core i7 975 offer earth-shattering performance over its Core i7 965 predecessor?  Not at all really, but more of a very good thing is just plain goodness.

Intel's new Core i7 975 Extreme Edition processor is set to retail at an MSRP of $999, which is exactly where the Core i7 965 debuted upon its launch.  Further, the new Core i7 950 is set to retail at the same price as the Core i7 940 it will be replacing (current street pricing around $559 - $579) .  So, in reality, the Core i7 975 is another 133MHz of "free" performance for the product line, though clearly at $999, there are better values for the mainstream consumer in the Core i7 lineup, especially if you're into overclocking; take the Core i7 920 for example.

Nevertheless, when you get right down to it, the new Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition is quite simply the fastest X86 desktop processor on the market right now.  You can't find a faster CPU from any manufacturer on any desktop platform, or whether you consider yourself a "PC" or a Mac, for that matter.  What does that say of Intel's seemingly omnipotent new processor line-up?  You just have to hand it to them.  Enthusiasts and Average Joes alike can attest - Intel is simply "killing it" right now and the Core i7 975 Extreme Edition, though pricey to be sure, is the fastest desktop chip money can buy.  What else needs to be said?  As we've echoed many times over the years, the numbers speak for themselves.

OEM Access: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More Right Here.



  • Excellent Performance
  • Power Efficient
  • Highly Overclockable
  • Quiet PIB cooler
  • Smallish speed bump over Core i7 965
  • Pricey processor with relatively high total platform costs.

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