Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme Processor QX9770
- Very quick, runs relatively cool
- Won't run on all chipsets
The Core 2 Extreme QX9770 is for demanding users who want the current fastest quad-core performance on the market.
What makes a CPU 'extreme'? For the Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme Processor QX9770 it's a 3.2GHz clock speed, a 12MB level 2 cache and a 1600MHz front side bus. Why would you need such a fast and well equipped CPU? Mainly for video rendering and other applications that will benefit from a fast clock speed and multithreading. For the average computer user, who will be browsing the Web, playing the odd game and working on office and photo applications, this CPU is overkill.
The QX9770 is very similar to the QX9775 CPU, but it's aimed at professionals and enthusiasts who want the fastest four-core solution they can find. Indeed, both the QX9770 and QX9775 are quad-core CPUs and they share the same clock, cache and front side bus statistics. Both are built using Intel's 45nm (nanometre) technology, but the QX9770 is designed to work in a single-socket motherboard. It's still based on a 775-pin socket, whereas the QX9775 is based on a 771-pin socket and is designed to run in Intel's dual-CPU-based Desktop Board D5400XS (Skulltrail) motherboard.
Technologically, the 45nm manufacturing process is the smallest process in use from Intel for its CPUs and is currently smaller than AMD's competing Phenom offerings, which are built using 65nm technology. This means that the QX9770 has room for more, smaller transistors – it packs over 800 million of them, in fact. The Q9770's core is essentially two dual-core CPUs in the same physical package and each dual-core portion of the CPU has its own 6MB level 2 cache.
To measure its performance, we used an ASUS Rampage Formula motherboard, which is based on the Intel X48 chipset, along with 2GB of 1066MHz DDR2 memory, a Seagate Barracuda ES hard drive and an ATI Radeon HD 3450 graphics card. In WorldBench 6, the CPU scored 127, which is a very competitive figure, but it was in the Blender 3D test where we found its performance to be identical to the QX9775.
Rendering a project using one thread, the QX9770 took one minute 45 seconds. Using two threads it took 55sec and four threads to 29sec. These results are identical to the QX9775, which we tested in the Skulltrail kit. It's not surprising though, as both CPUs have the same specifications. The 3.2GHz frequency is actually the fastest of the current crop of Core 2 CPUs and this speed is attributed to the faster front side bus speed of 1600MHz, which also means the CPU can interact with the memory at a faster rate than CPUs with a slower front side bus. Of course, we used DDR2 memory running at 1066MHz, but a motherboard with DDR3 memory running at a native 1600MHz speed should yield even faster results.
But if you're thinking about getting the QX9770 for your latest high-end machine, you'll have to make sure your motherboard's chipset supports it. While a motherboard with an Intel X48 chipset is sure to support it, boards based on the X38 might also be able to run it. As always, it's best to check on your motherboard manufacturer's Web site to make sure.
As for heat and power consumption, the QX9770 has a TDP (thermal design point) of 135W, but this is actually a competitive figure for a quad-core CPU, thanks to the 45nm manufacturing process. It beats AMD's fastest Phenom CPU – the 9900 – which is based on a 65nm process and approximately half as many transistors (over 400 million) for its TDP rating of 140W. Still, you'll need a decent heat sink and fan assembly to keep the QX9770 running cool, and a hefty power supply will be required, too (think over 500W, depending on the configuration of your machine).
Join the newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Toys for Boys
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Smart Security Premium
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Google Home Hub review: A different kind of smart TV
- 3 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 4 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 5 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
Latest News Articles
- New AMD processor spotted in Xbox console leak
- Intel's 10nm architecture will arrive in 2019
- AMD launch Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition
- AMD introduces 12nm Radeon RX 590 GPU
- Razer introduces the BlackWidow Lite
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?