The deluge of systems offering i7-980X CPUs has begun, with several gaming PC vendors adding the new Intel six-core processor to their lineups. That includes Maingear, which is selling its Shift performance desktop (pictured) for $3,290 with the first Gulftown CPU. Key specs at that price are 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 750GB hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, and complimentary factory overclocking. You also get USB 3.0 and SATA 6GBps support via the Asus motherboard.
For even bigger spenders, Digital Storm is offering its BlackOPS gaming desktop with the i7-980X for a cool $5,642. Along with the new Extreme Edition processor, you get some features similar to the Shift6GB RAM, 500GB hard drivebut the graphics firepower gets pumped up with a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5970 in CrossFireX configuration. You also get a free overclock to 3.9GHz from the factory-set 3.33GHz clock speed and liquid cooling for the CPU. If you want maximum overclocking without doing it yourself, you can get to 4.4GHz with a $248 upgrade. At least Digital Storm is currently offering a $450 instant rebate to take some of the fiscal pain away.
CyberPower PC and Velocity Micro are putting the new CPU into more than one of their desktop lines to give buyers a bit more choice. From its own Web site, Velocity Micro offers the Raptor Z90 starting at $3,354 with the i7-980X, along with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB hard drive, and an ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card, which is an older board. You can graduate to a Raptor Signature Edition for $4,999, which provides the same amount of RAM, but adds another 1TB drive (in a RAID 1 configuration) and upgrades the graphics to a Radeon HD 5870. You also get liquid cooling and even a Razer gaming keyboard and gaming mouse. TigerDirect will sell two more Velocity Micro options: the $3,950 Raptor Lx 665 (12GB RAM, pair of 1TB drives, Radeon HD 5870, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo) and the $4,691.99 Raptor Lx775 (12GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, two 64GB SSD drives, dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 card, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo).
Finally, CyberPower has three desktop lines that will offer the i7-980X. The Black Mamba does the Raptor Lx775 better for about $400 less, not only coming with 12GB RAM, liquid cooling, and a pair of 64GB SSDs, but also a 2TB hard drive and twin Radeon HD 5870s in CrossFireX configuration. For $3,775 there's the Black Pearl, which sports similar specs as the Black Mamba but has a 1TB hard drive and a pair of 300GB WD Raptor hard drives for storage. Or you can go a different direction with the Gamer Xtreme 3D 3000. While it only comes with 6GB of RAM, it has a 1.5TB hard drive and the twin Raptor drives, and swaps out ATI for two Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards in SLI configuration. For the $3,945 base price, CyberPower also throws in a 22-inch Samsung 3D LCD and a pair of Nvidia 3D glasses to make use of Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision technology.
No doubt more builders will be announcing their own i7-980X systems in the coming days, but it looks like we've already made a pretty good start.