Detailed Review: Nehalem Speeding Up: Intel Core i7-975 XE and Core i7-950 Review
It is no secret to anyone anymore that in the nearest future we should witness numerous new CPU launches. Both, AMD and Intel, are going to refresh their model lineups significantly and to raise the performance bar of their most expensive processors. AMD is preparing to launch their Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, while Intel is working on another Core i7 – the i7-975 Extreme Edition model. In fact, the launches of such expensive processors rarely excite the general public too much. Solutions like that enhance the manufacturer prestige and serve mostly as a sort of theoretical demonstration of the technological advancement. In reality, these new processors do not differ that much from their predecessors: only their clock frequency is higher. From the consumer standpoint it is much more significant that the launch of new top solutions inevitably causes prices on the other CPU models to go down.
However, launches like that sometimes give us some other pleasant surprises. One of these surprises will shortly be delivered by Intel: the launch of Core i7-975 XE will take place together with the introduction of the new enhanced Nehalem processor stepping called D0. And luckily, Core i7-975 XE processors will be far not the only one to feature this new core. Intel will little by little introduce it into other Core i7 models. Moreover, the first solutions based on the new D0 processor stepping should start selling as Core i7-920 in the near future.
Therefore, we decided not to wait for the Core i7-975 XE official launch date in order to tell our readers about the changes made to the Nehalem D0 processor stepping. It is a very acute question for many computer enthusiasts, if these enhancements are worth waiting for and if they should search specifically for the CPUs with the new processor stepping. By a lucky chance we managed to find a preproduction engineering sample of the new Core i7-975 XE processor, which will help us today to investigate the peculiarities of the new D0 processor stepping.