If unbridled performance is what you're after, this is the processor for you. It will make short work of even some of the most demanding multithreaded applications (software permitting). Even for a gamer that does not require as many cores/threads, this particular sample clocks extremely well, even on air. Gaming at speeds above 4.5GHz would be no challenge for it while still keeping voltages and heat in check.
It's nice to see an improvement in operational speeds at sub-ambient temperatures. This particular sample in combination with the hardware used has a cold bug of -144 with a cold boot bug on a hard reset of -108. While a lot better than most of the older Bloomfield processors which would bug out before hitting -100, there is still some ways to go before we see the same cold loving tendencies from the rivaling AMD processors.
Over the coming weeks when these processors become readily available there will be very few records that will not fall beneath it in the world of competitive benching. With the right sample, a large amount of liquid nitrogen and a fair bit of time, we will see a lot of benching at 6.5GHz or above and for the lucky few, possibly even 7GHz.
It is also troubling that during the making of this article the Seagate XT drive died completely; not something I expected after only two short months of limited use. Thankfully there was only a limited amount of data lost and could have been a lot worse had it been used as a storage drive.
Oh, and did I mention that this thing is a monster?!