Intel doesn't seem to be having much luck keeping its latest top-performing hexa-core CPU, the Core i7-990X Extreme Edition, under wraps. Already one gaming PC builder, Origin PC, has started offering the new processor in its systems. And now the first U.S. online retailer has put the i7-990X on sale, even though Intel hasn't officially launched it.
Mwave.com is listing the i7-990X for a whopping $1,199.99 on its Website. For that price, you get a six-core CPU that runs at a base clock speed of 3.46GHz (compared to the i7-980X's 3.33GHz), going higher when in TurboBoost mode, includes 12MB of L3 cache, and requires a Socket 1366 (LGA1366) motherboard. Since it is a Gulftown 32nm part, it does not make use of the LGA 1155 socket that new Intel Sandy Bridge processors use.
The i7-990X is expected to be the last Gulftown CPU developed, to be replaced by the Sandy Bridge 'E' platform (code-named Patsburg), which will use the new LGA2011 socket when it's released later in 2011. All signs point to the i7-990X's official launch imminently, when we'll get some benchmarks to see just how fast it will run compared to its predecessor.
[Update: You can also find it on Newegg.com now for $1,049.99.]