"The bottom end is now the high end!"4.5 starson by pianoman6954
Pros: -Impressive Single Thread Performance
-Insane Multi Thread Performance
-Integrated Memory Controller
-Support For Triple Channel Ram
Cons: -Huge Price Tag
Summary: Undoubtedly this platform is Intels new way to get you shelling out big bucks but is it worth the cash. Heck yes it does... With additions of quad cores like the Q6600 and AMD Phenom, users have been apprehensive about making the jump to a quad core die with good reason because this generally means a slow overall clock and slower single thread performance. The i7 answered the cries of us geeks who can't go without this performance. The chips makes leaps and bounds in legacy applications that only execute on one physical processor which resolves this former issue, even better though is the parallel performance this chip has to offer. Very few programs can use all four execution cores but they exist and one of the best is MediaCoder, this program is a common transcoder platform for video files and not only does it make use of all four cores on the i7, it also fills the HT threads as well. I have seen complete format changes take place at over 200FPS, to understand how powerful this is you need to take a look at Nvidea's new brain child decidedly named CUDA. CUDA is able to make use of a GPU's stream processors to execute code that would normally be performed on the CPU, badaboom being the only transcoding platform to currently utilize this gets undeniably great results even on the aging G92 based cards at about 150 to 200FPS. What this means is that the i7 920 is able to compare to the raw coding performance of a performance minded graphics card, and that is amazing.
There are however cons here and no product is imperfect. The i7 suffers from a voltage sensitive memory controller that strongly limits and complicates the overclocking process, this is unfortunate because the i7 is cool running enough to force some pretty amazing overclocks. At the fairly high price, it would have been nice to have a unlocked multiplier as well. We also have to note the stock cooler that came with this chip as well was fairly inadequate even at stock settings sometimes getting over 90C under load, we however think it is fair to consider a good aftermarket cooler for the i7 series as they seem well geared towards enthusiasts we decided to use the the Thermaltake V1. We also noted that although all X58 based boards seem to offer both SLI and CrossfireX, SLI was glitchy and unreliable at best, hopefully this will soon pass as new BIOS updates are released for some of the better known boards.
Gamers can of coarse appreciate a high performance CPU and this chip is no slouch. Even the most demanding games such as Crysis fail to fully load this processor leaving only your GPU as an excuse for poor performance and a notable increase in performance is there where the CPU is depended upon for physics such as volumetric smoke and water as well as physics involving manipulating solids. It is fair to say that the gaming performance here is enough for me to forget my Playstation for a while.