Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 965: Not Just A Speed Bump

Introduction & Related Information

About three months ago, we took a look at the Pentium Extreme Edition 955, which was Intel's first Extreme Edition processor built using the company's then brand-new 65nm manufacturing process. Each of the 955XE chip's two cores hummed along at a lofty 3.46GHz, and we found its performance to be quite good when compared to Intel's previous dual-core and single-core offerings. The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 was clearly Intel's fastest desktop dual-core processor in our tests, and due to the inherent benefits of the more advanced manufacturing process, the chip consumed much less power than its predecessor under-load, even though it was clocked almost 10% higher and was equipped with double the amount of L2 cache (4MB vs. 2MB).

Today, Intel is taking things a step further with a new Extreme Edition processor that's clocked even higher than the 955XE. The 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition 965 we'll be showcasing here is more than a speed-bump, however. We know Intel is going to eventually move away from their Netburst architecture; the company has been relatively vocal regarding the upcoming Conroe and Merom cores, but they still saw fit to re-vamp the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 with a new stepping of the Presler core that is more power friendly and in-turn operates at more reasonable temperatures.  And as Intel's new current flagship processor, the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 turned in some respectable benchmark scores too. Read on and see for yourself...

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 965
Specifications & Features
  • 3.73GHz Dual Core Processor
  • 1066MHz "Quad-Pumped" front side bus
  • .065-micron manufacturing process
  • Hyper-Threading Technology
  • 4MB on-chip, full-speed L2 cache - 2MB for each core
  • Intel EM64T Extensions - 64-bit computing
  • Execute Disable Bit - For enhanced security
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions - SSE2, SSE3
  • Supported by the Intel i975X Express chipset
  • LGA775 Packaging - Land Grid Array


  • 1.20 - 1.33V operating voltage range
  • 95 - 130 watts TPD (Thermal Design Power)
  • Die Size: Approximately 140mm2
  • Approximately 376M Transistors

Presler / Cedar Mill Die

We have tested and evaluated a number of products related to the brand new Pentium Extreme Edition 965 over the last few months here at For some more background on the technologies employed in the Pentium Extreme Edition platform as a whole, we suggest taking a look at few of these related articles for more detailed explanations of some of the features common to Intel's legacy products and the new 965XE processor:

We cover some specifics regarding Intel's 65nm manufacturing process in our recent 955XE / i975X evaluation, and outline Intel's AMT (Active Management Technology) and IVT (Intel Virtualization Technology), among other things, in our Pentium D 820 7 i945G/P evaluation.  We also cover more of the features integrated into Intel's dual-core processors in our Pentium Extreme Edition 840 preview. And in the Pentium 6xx series & 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition review, we detail many of the features of the Prescott 2M core, which has much in common with the Presler and Cedar Mill execution cores.

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