..:: Review Conclusion ::..
On a performance basis, I’m quite impressed with what Intel has brought to the table. The Extreme Edition 955 brings back to long lost 1066MHz FSB, and adds an additional 1MB of cache for each processor core. This brings the total level 2 caches to 4MB or 2MB per processing core. The amazing thing is, even with all of the additional transistors requires for this doubling of the level 2 cache, Intel still managed to cram it all onto a core smaller than that of Smithfield.
When our results weren’t hampered by an aging graphics card, we saw that Intel has made some clear strides in performance with the Extreme Edition 955. Performance gains of 18%+ aren’t something you often see in the world of processors. Remember, other than the added cache, this is the same processor as Smithfield. Clearly, the resumption of support for 1066MHz FSB, along with the added 1MB of cache per core has helped boost Intel up a rung or three in the world of performance processors.
On a power consumption basis, we’re still seeing Intel kick out processors that run hot, and swallow power. The Extreme Edition 955 does make some small strides over the Extreme Edition 840, but it wouldn’t be readily obvious to the average Joe merely due to the heat that the processor is still kicking out. With any luck, we’re going to see this problem get a big kick in the arse with the upcoming “Conroe” cores.
Overall, if you’re in the market for an upgrade I’d have to say to stick it out for “Conroe” variants if at all possible. The Extreme Edition 955 is the fastest Intel processor we’ve handled to date, and when paired with a proper graphics setup there’s no doubt that Intel has closed the gap between itself and rival AMD. In our case, we were limited to the gains we saw thanks to an “older” graphics processor. If you’re simply looking for a mid-term upgrade to wait until “Conroe” or after when the prices come down, then I’d suggest looking at the Pentium D’s. If you’re looking to upgrade now, and want one of the fastest processors available, then by all means give the Extreme Edition 955 a good, long look. Until next time, thanks for reading!