Intel raised the performance bar with ease back in November when it launched its latest and greatest architecture to date, Nehalem, in the form of three Core i7 processors topping at 3.2GHz. However, according to some recently leaked information, a successor to the flagship 265 Extreme Edition model is already in the works.

The 45nm Core i7 Extreme 975 processor will support current LGA 1366 sockets and reportedly provide users with a factory core speed of 3.3GHz. Although this is hardly a big step up from the current 965 part, the chip is said to feature a new D0 stepping, and such a change usually implies a refined silicon package that could result in lower power consumption and provide greater overclocking headroom. In fact, a couple of users at the Xtreme Systems forum claim to have already pushed the chip all the way up to 5.2GHz using a 29x multiplier and a 181.4MHz QPI base clock, along with a core voltage of 1.504V.

Of course, Intel hasn't officially announced the Core i7 975, but some expect the new enthusiast CPU to be launched around June. You can find the results and more details of the test setup here.