So, Phenom has finally launched and inevitably therefore Intel has seen fit to (on paper at least) announce its latest top-of-the-pile CPU too. Of course we've already seen what the QX9650 can do and seeing as the current best Phenom you can buy competes with Intel's Q6600, a year old chip, Intel doesn't have any pressing need to get this processor out all that soon.
As well as being built on the 45nm ‘Penryn' process, about which I have raved before, and clocking in at 3.2GHz, the QX9770 will be the first desktop chip to herald in the 1,600MHz FSB, probably as high as we're going to see before Nehalem and Intel's integrated memory controller negates the need for high bus speeds.
As I already hinted, this is a paper launch and actual chips won't be available before next year, unless, and watch out this is subtle, you happen to be in the TrustedReviews labs and holding it right now. Going by pure clock and front-side bus speeds, expect about a five to ten per cent performance gain in the real world for the prospective $1,200 (per 1,000 unit) price. Of course the only way to know for sure is to keep an eye open for the write-up or pony up the cash in Q1 next year.