Although Intel doesn’t consider the launch of the Core i7 CPUs on the new D0 processor stepping to be any kind of a milestone, we think differently. Our short express-test session showed that CPUs using different processor steppings differ by their consumer qualities. And even though there may be no real difference in performance tests, all other features may differ quite dramatically.
Among the improvements we discovered in the new D0 processor stepping are lower practical heat dissipation and power consumption and a slight improvement of the overclocking potential. I believe it is quite enough to say that Intel engineers have made another small step towards making their flagship solution even better. Partially due to this small step forward we will soon welcome a new member of the Extreme Edition family – Core i7-975 XE with higher 3.33GHz nominal clock speed and the same thermal and electrical characteristics as those of the predecessor – Core i7-965 XE.
So, if you are looking to get yourself a high-end LGA1366 system, we strongly recommend waiting for Core i7-975 Extreme Edition, especially since it is launching in about a month already. However, you can get your hands on a CPU with a new core even sooner than that: Core i7-920 with a D0 processor stepping should start selling any day now. And according to the first lucky owners, these CPUs can absolutely unveil all the advantages of the new core, just like the upcoming Core i7-975 XE.