There has been a lot of controversy between spending $980+ for an Extreme Edition, Core i7, or a lower clocked locked multiplier…
Many people consider Overclocking a CPU to be akin to running NOS through your moderatly priced import, as apposed to an Extreme Ed. Which is closer to buying a hot rod to begin with. But, what it ends up coming down to is the same in real life as switcing between a Nissan 350Z Sport (Locked) and a 350Z Touring (Extreme). Both are sweet, but paying for the performance package doesn’t get you too much, when you can put barely any time and money and have the Lower one running just as well if not better.
I have a 920 running at 3.80 Ghz (20x) with a Thermal Right Ultra, and t IS 24/7 Prime95 Stable. Whenever I attempt an OC, of which this chip is my first, I always make sure it’s rock solid. Because if you wanna brag, do it with your best constant effort. Benchmark stable isn’t a good indication of your skill. Because what good is it really? Wow, you achieved a benchmark worth nothing because it cannot be sustained.
As far as an Extreme Edition vs a Locked Chip goes. Whichever you prefer. Running my 920 at 3.8, I have never noticed a slow down anywhere. It’s cool, to have an Unlocked Multiplier, but you should remember, that anything that can be done with the multiplier can be done with the BClock.
As a side note, for those worried about QPI speeds, remeber the Base Clock influences everything else, from the Uncore to the RAM, at least with the i7. So, upping your BClock with a 920 should give you a higher QPI than a 975 with a straight multiplier OC, or at least even it up. You can also change the QPI Speeds depending on your Motherboard.
I love my 920, and at 3.8 Ghz only paying $233 for it, I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Sure the EE makes OCing easier, but so what? That’s called being a pollyanna! If you’re lazy and have money, go for the EE, and if not, then grab the 920 and OC it, and when the i7 980X (hexa-core) comes out, you’re $700 dollars closer to it than if you spent the $1k on the 975.