• 1600MHz FSB (400MHz Quad Pumped)
    Yorkdale architecture
    45 nanometer process
    12MB L2 Cache split into 6MB for each of 2 cores
    3.2 GHz clock speed
    Intel Virtualization Technology
    Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
    Intel Execute Disable Bit
    Intel 64 architecture
    Quad Core Processing
    Chipset support: Intel X48, NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI official many others compatible with overclocking
    Intel Wide Dynamic Execution
    Intel Smart Memory Access
    Intel Advanced Smart Cache
    Intel HD Boost

  • The QX9770 is based upon Intel’s Yorkdale architecture. The Yorkdale is Intel’s first 1600MHz FSB series of CPUs. Intel uses a QuadPumped architecture meaning that the FSB is running at 400MHz which is multiplied by 4 to get the final FSB of 1600MHz. The Yorkdale CPUs with a 1600MHz FSB include the QX9770 being reviewed here and the QX9775 found in the Intel SkullTrail high-end platform.

  • Intel calls their Core 2 Extreme QX9770 CPU a “Quad Core” CPU since it has four processor cores on a single die. The QX9770 like other Intel Core 2 Quad CPUs consists of two Core 2 Duo CPUs on the same die, each with two processor cores on them. AMD calls their Phenom CPUs the first true “Quad Core” CPU as they have four processor cores on the same packaging. It’s a matter of semantics as either way you get four processor cores.
    Yorkdale and Wolfdale CPUs have large amounts of L2 cache, much more than previous Intel CPUs. The QX9770 has 12MB of L2 Cache with each pair of Intel cores on the die sharing a 6MB L2 cache. Yorkdale, like the earlier Intel CPUs based upon the Penryn core. The Socket that the new CPU uses is the same LGA-775 Socket in use since 2004 with the launch of the Prescott CPUs and the 925X chipset but this CPU is only officially supported by the X48 and nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipsets at the moment.

  • The clock speed of the QX9770 is 3.2GHz, which is the multiplier 2x 1600MHz for the FSB. The QX9770 is based upon Intel’s 45 nanometer process, while AMD is still stuck on the 65 nanometer process. The QX9770 has a die size of 214mm squared with 820 million transistors. The die of the QX9770 is really two Core 2 CPUs side by side accounting for the die size and transistor count as the Core 2 Duo has ½ the cache and die size.

  • Viruses are programs that replicate themselves into the memory and operating system of the computer infected. One issue with modern computers is the inability to stop executable programs from automatically executing. Intel’s QX9770 has their Execute Disable Bit (NX Bit) technology to help prevent virus attacks against the computer. Windows XP SP2 introduced this feature for CPUs that support NX Bit.

  • The QX9770 has the following instruction sets available to it: MMX, SSE1, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4, Intel 64 instructions. The introduction of Penryn included the SSE4 instruction set which adds 47 new instructions to the CPU instruction set. Intel’s Penryn architecture can run four instructions in a single clock cycle compared to two instructions on earlier architectures.

  • Virtualization technology allows different operating systems to be run on the same system to run as virtual machines. Each operating system is done on a partition and operates independently. VT requires support of the CPU, BIOS, chipset and memory. For example VT can be used to run Windows Vista, Windows XP, several distributions of Linux without a sweat. Each operating system has its own partition. Currently, the only Intel chipset that officially supports the QX9770 is the X48 chipset that was launched a month or two ago. The other chipset that officially supports the QX9770 and its FSB 1600MHz brothers is the NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset. Unofficially, the CPU has been shown to work with NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI and Intel X38 chipsets with a bit of overclocking of the FSB. I would suggest a supported chipset as they offer the latest features and if you’re buying a $1000+ CPU, buying a cheap motherboard is not the wisest of choices.

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Vishnu vardhan Reddy Boda is Tech Blogger and Software Engineer.

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