As the Pentium IV lineup from Intel finally nears the end of production (with Conroe now well and truely on the horizon), another processor nestles its way into the flagship position today, dubbed the Extreme Edition 965. This processor is a dual-core 3.73GHz offering (based on 65nm packaging) and given the EE tag it sports 2x2MBs of cache.
Intel's official announcement doesn't seem to be live yet, but theres already a number of sites around the web to have acquired samples, and as such have posted their take on performance and what not.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN you pack a quad-SLI graphics subsystem, a Sound Blaster X-Fi audio processor, a physics acceleration chip, a RAID 10 disk array, four gigs of DDR2-1200 memory, and Intel's next-generation dual-core processor into a single box with a 64-bit OS and fire up Unreal Engine 3? I have no idea, but to tide us over until that's possible, today Intel is introducing a new speed grade of its top-end desktop CPU, the Pentium Extreme Edition 965.
Before you nod off to sleep and plant your face in the keyboard, realize that this CPU is actually a pair of chips wound up to 3.73GHz and, well, that's a lot and stuff. Perhaps more importantly, thanks to refinements to its 65-nanometer manufacturing process, Intel has found a way to crank up the clock frequency while dialing back the heat on this double-barreled blowtorch of death. In fact, it's more like a blowtorch of pain now, with power consumption actually reduced from the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 we reviewed a few months back, despite the 965's increased clock speed.