Intel’s 1366 platform shares the Core i7 brand with the 1156 and 1155, but little else. These larger chips use a huge 12MB L3 cache, a triple-channel RAM design and a superfast system bus called QPI (QuickPath Interconnect).
Intended for workstations, nothing could match the 1366 chips at launch in 2008. Thanks to Hyper-Threading, they’re still the most parallel processors out there, with the ability to service 12 threads simultaneously.
Today, however, the mainstream is catching up. Most 1366 chips struggle to keep pace with a Sandy Bridge Core i5. The Extreme Edition and X models are unlocked, but with a standard cooler we couldn’t get any to run stably at speeds above 3.66GHz, so the benefit is small.
Despite this, Intel’s 1366 processors still carry weighty price tags, and today they look like a colossal waste of money. The platform as a whole is set to be superseded later this year by a new set of chips and a new socket.
The only reason to invest in the 1366 platform today is if you must have the ultimate in multicore performance. That’s the six-core Core i7-990X: nothing else can touch its 1.17 score in our Multitasking test. But for $1179 you could buy two complete Phenom II X6 systems.
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