New Processors: Core i7-975 XE and Core i7-950
In fact, new Core i7 processors have nothing innovative about them. It is simply “legalized” overclocking by the manufacturer. We could even say that Core i7-950 is a Core i7-940 with 133MHz higher clock frequency, while Core i7-975 XE is a Core i7-965 XE with 133MHz higher clock frequency. All other CPU specs remained the same, and their clock speed has been increased by simply increasing their clock frequency multiplier by one point.
So, this is what the complete model lineup of the Core i7 processor family looks like today:
I would like to add that formally Core i7 processors only support triple-channel DDR3-1067 memory. Luckily, things are way better in reality. All mass production CPUs support higher multipliers for the memory frequency, QPI bus frequency and frequency of North Bridge integrated into the CPU. Therefore, nothing can prevent you from raising the memory or any other frequency.
Core i7 processors from the Extreme Edition (XE) series also allow changing the primary multiplier that sets the CPU clock speed. Therefore, these processors can be overclocked not only by raising the base frequency, but also in a much simpler way: by raising their clock multiplier.
Intel is launching new Core i7-950 and i7-975 XE models and at the same time discontinues Core i7-940 and Core i7-965 XE. They also promised to stop shipping Core i7-920 a little later, it will be tied up to the Core i5 line launch. As a result, Core i7 processors will remain somewhat elite. The junior models in this lineup do not get cheaper with the time and the entire lineup is not getting any bigger.
In conclusion to our discussion of the new CPUs features, let us offer you a few CPU-Z screenshots that will provide more info on the newcomers’ specs:
The screenshots are pretty much what we expected them to be, except for one little thing. Namely, new CPUs have new D0 processor stepping. However, this is not a total surprise to us. We have long known about this processor stepping. Moreover, you can even purchase CPUs using this new processor stepping. Core i7-920 based on the new semiconductor dies have been selling since early May. Now this new stepping has also come to the top models, which is a good reason for us to take a real close look at it now.