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Cocnlusion: Core 2 QX9770 with 3.2 GHz - Top Performer, but not Before 2008

Update: Core 2 Extreme QX9770 at 3.2 GHz
By , Daniel Schuhmann

The launch of the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor, which currently exists only on paper, symbolizes Intel’s fear of AMD’s Phenom processor.

With this launch, Intel is presenting another 45 nm processor in the over -€1000 (£715) price range that also requires a new high-end platform based on the equally as-yet-unavailable X48 chipset. Intel’s intentions here are crystal clear, namely to disrupt AMD’s launch, try to win a battle in the technology war, and to turn a profit. Also, this is the first time in the company’s history that it has announced two new €1000+ (£715+) processors based on the same technology within the space of three weeks.

Barely two months after the introduction of the X38 chipset, Intel is announcing a new CPU that will no longer run on this supposedly high end platform - and some motherboard companies haven’t even had the chance to introduce a product based on this chipset! What does Intel expect its customers to do now, when they are only adding to their confusion and insecurities in this manner?

Since the currently available Core 2 processors all run flawlessly with the P35 chipset, which is actually on sale as a real product in the market, we can’t recommend buying an X38-based motherboard. As soon as the QX9770 goes on sale, you’ll be able to find an appropriate X48 board for the same price X38 boards sell for now. It’s definitely not worth purchasing an expensive X38 board now that may not be compatible with newer processors later due to upgraded specifications , e.g. FSB 1600.

Intel is offering an excellent CPU with the 45 nm Penryn processor - however, both the way these processors are being introduced and the sudden, seemingly haphazard change to their specifications are anything but consumer friendly. For now, the 45 nm technology remains unaffordable for buyers on a normal (read sane persons) budget.

Let’s hope that the mid-range and budget 45 nm processors expected for 2008 are not all locked on FSB1600 - otherwise, users looking to upgrade will be forced to exchange their entire platform (X48 motherboard plus DDR3 memory), just to use a new processor.

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