During a fascinating first day at the DP World Tour Championship, McIlroy overpowered the Earth Course with his trusty Titleist driver during an enthralling 66.
Ulster's world No 1 then revealed that he had taken the opportunity in recent months to sample privately the clubs he will wield in anger for the first time in Abu Dhabi in January.
"After the Ryder Cup, I started to test (them) a little bit," McIlroy said, adding that during his winter break he'll have "six or seven weeks to really get into it... but I'm pretty much set with everything.
"I've got a set of irons and I've got the woods sorted. It's just a matter of getting a little more comfortable and playing a few rounds with them," explained McIlroy, confirming that he had also tried out "a couple of drivers".
Adapting to "the feel of a new golf ball probably is the most important thing to get right because all the manufacturers make great equipment these days," he went on. "Once I get the ball dialled in, I'll be good."
McIlroy certainly doesn't expect the switch to a new manufacturer to be as "dangerous" as Faldo suggested.
"I'm very confident they'll get it spot on ... I feel that with any changes I've made in equipment, I've got into using (new) clubs a little easier than other players," he said.
Marc Warren, tied second with McIlroy on six-under and one shy of impeccable first-round leader Luke Donald, drew on lengthy experience in the Nike stable when he suggested that the switch would not pose problems.
"All the irons and stuff we use are hand-made," the Scot explained. "So basically, the player can tell them exactly what he wants. I'm with Nike 10 years and they've pretty much hand-picked guys (technicians) from other companies, they're as good as you get.
"Pioneering work they've done with the golf ball has now been taken up by every company," he added. "And I'm sure we'll see other cavity-backed drivers like the 'Covert' appearing on the market. Nike seem to be setting the benchmark now."
The first club McIlroy owned at age two was a cut-down John Letters five-wood made by his father Gerry. His first full set were Mizuno, followed, at age 14, by Titleist, who signed him on contract when he turned pro in 2007.
McIlroy made plain yesterday his intention to win his last tournament with Titleist and complete his domination of the 2012 Race to Dubai. Having taken the chequered flag in Singapore a fortnight ago, he revelled in a pressure-free environment yesterday.
Though slow out of the blocks, making just one birdie, at the par-five second, during his outward half, McIlroy thrilled the throng following him with an uninhibited display of power-and-glory golf on the way home.
The Earth Course was doused by an inch of rain during a two-hour deluge before play, keeping its fairways soft and taking the sting out of its greens, so McIlroy was in his element.
His Ryder Cup team-mate and playing companion yesterday, Peter Hanson, is a big man but McIlroy throttled him off the tee, regularly driving his ball 30 yards further, well beyond bunkers which occasionally swallowed the Swede's ball.
After landing five birdies in a brilliant seven-hole stretch on the back nine, McIlroy looked certain to match Donald's 65 – until he hit his tee shot at 18 straight into the stream which bisects this par-five. He did well to make par.
McIlroy must wait until tomorrow at least for a chance to play in the final pairing with Donald, winner of last weekend's Dunlop-Phoenix in Japan. "It's always a bit of a thrill playing the last group, especially when you're world No 1 and 2," he explained.
Undoubtedly, he would also relish an opportunity to scorch Donald with his after-burners.
Padraig Harrington, who summed up this year by saying "I'm looking forward to 2013", was bereft of expectation yesterday after enduring a bout of flu and his second successive missed cut in Hong Kong – and therefore played sublimely.
"I shot 67 doing handstands," he said of a fine performance which included a few wasted chances.
Harrington holed from 18 feet for two of his six birdies, but events at the par-five seventh encapsulated his frustrations this season.
From mid-fairway, he sent a phenomenal three-wood some 240 yards to eight feet. It should have been an eagle but he would three-putt for par, missing a tap-in birdie.