Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Processor Review

So we get back to my original question: “Is the i7 all hype?” Looking at the physical architectural differences between the i7 and the Core 2 series, Intel has made some significant changes in their new processor line. The Nehalem is not just a warmed-over Core 2 Quad, there are enough changes in the architecture and processes in the new processor that I consider it very loosely based on the earlier CPU line.

The obvious performance differences between the two is considerable. Between the increased CPU power, more efficient processes, and increased bus bandwidth, it was very easy to see that this is a much more powerful system than the Core 2 series. Anyone that actually does stuff with their rig besides surf and check email will immediately see the performance differences between the two.

And as far as overclocking, I can’t really say much other than the i7 920 is an overclocking monster. Achieving a 50% overclock on my first attempt leaves me at a loss for words, considering I usually get better overclocks with the more experience I get with a new system. So just how far will this processor overclock? I guess that I’ll find out over the next couple of months.

Price upon release was in the $325 range, about the same place that the Q6600, the E8400, and the Q9400 started, the price point that Intel seems to place the low-end model of a new CPU line. Prices have already dropped some, the i7 920 currently sells for $295 at my favorite online retailer. With overclocking capabilities to get this processor running at or near the level of the top-of-the-line i7, I definitely consider this processor a value. gives the Intel i7 920 Nehalem CPU a 10 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!

rating10 10 small TC award editorschoice small

– Significant architectural and process differences with the Core 2 series
– Out of the box performance blows away the C2D E8400
– Overclocking monster with huge performance increases