Intel Core i7-980X six-core "Gulftown" CPU gets reviewed, benchmarked. Verdict: Fastest desktop processor ever.

Intel Core i7-980X six-core "Gulftown" CPU gets reviewed, benchmarked. Verdict: Fastest desktop processor ever.

Summary: Depending on your view, PC gaming is dead or is the only way to game. Clearly, Intel is of the latter view, which is why the company chose to preview its new "Extreme Edition" CPU at the Game Developers Conference—the Core i7-980X, the first desktop processor to feature six computing cores.

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Depending on your view, PC gaming is dead or is the only way to game. Clearly, Intel is of the latter view, which is why the company chose to preview its new "Extreme Edition" CPU at the Game Developers Conference—the Core i7-980X, the first desktop processor to feature six computing cores. At the same time, it allowed seemingly every tech site under the sun to put the new chip through the usual benchmarks, and they came up with a very "surprising" conclusion: It's the fastest consumer-based CPU ever. (Check out HotHardware for one report.)

There are, of course, the usual caveats. For applications that only make use of one or two cores, the Core i7-980X's horsepower is largely untapped, whereas for things like video encoding, the multiple cores make a noticeable difference. As much as a CPU can aid with 3D gaming, it also appears to provide a sizable boost, especially compared to AMD's Phenom II X4 quad-core processor. (AMD's six-core CPU, the Thuban, is due soon, but hasn't been released widely to the benchmarking community.) But as usual with the Extreme Edition of Intel's processors, you'll pay dearly for the performance and bragging rights that come with the Core i7-980X—to the tune of around $1,000.

While the processor hasn't been made officially available, PC Magazine did manage to score Maingear and Falcon Northwest systems running the new beast, and more desktop builders will announce i7-980X-equipped PCs soon enough. For those of us who can't spring for a $5,000 system, the wait is on for six-core processors to reach mainstream prices.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Mobility

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18 comments
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  • 6 Core 980X? Nice!

    It'd be nice if I could have an AMD 6-Core processor for $50. Okay, I'm dreaming. :)
    Grayson Peddie
    • Not quite dreaming....

      I don't think thats dreaming my friend, I think thats along the tune of drug induced coma! I think it will be a VERY far away day that you will be able to buy such a beast for only $50!! But by then we'll of course be rocking to 8 to 10+ core CPU's.

      Well on the other hand you mgiht be able to score a dead one for that cheap? When they come out that is.
      tmeers20@...
  • Or overclock.

    NT
    jacksonjohn
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    I will be waiting for the AMD offering. I refuse to buy anything from a company with business practices as such.
    Jimster480
  • blog doesn't really tell me much.

    When this cpu is really available, let us know. I'm betting it'll go for over $1000 though... betcha more like $1200
    Drakaran
    • Since when does price matter?

      Considering that back in '92 I bought a 486DX system in which the CPU amounted to 1/5 of the $5000 price tag, this isn't really all that bad!
      Old Greg
  • Oh, yes please

    Please send me 50 of each of the items above.
    RealGem
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    What's with the spam?
    cristiandelgado
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    all this means to me is that quad-core will drop
    in price. excellent.
    anonymous
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    Its ranked as the #1 high end cpu: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
    miletjs
    • cpubenchmarks - I am last!

      That's really funny. My home PC is dead last on the list. Granted I bought it almost 2 years ago and it is in a refurbed unit.
      trybble1
  • Well?

    All that huff in the headline & you can't give a simple number stating its speed -- you call that reporting??

    More like a come-on for "Click Links x Seymour Spam".
    BAH!
    Star*Hopper
    • Clock speed is irrelevant

      Just remember, the Core 2 Duo started at 1.6 GHz and outperformed the Pentium 4 3.4 GHz.

      The clock speed is completely irrelevant other than bragging rights.
      FatherJ
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    I guess I need to read hothardware.com to find out
    anything substantive...you'd think that the
    reporter would at least have told us the base
    speed, the Core speed of this new CPU!
    tech727
  • Spam Crappers

    Get this crap off of here Jerk. I don't visit this site to purchase ladys handbags. Take your Spam and sleep with it.
    Norml016
  • Great! But Where is the Software?

    Bigger, faster, better - more is always better when it
    comes to computer hardware, but where the heck is the
    software? Still waiting for the softies to play catch-
    up, and waiting, and waiting...
    jpr75_z
  • AMD is first as usually

    I have been using 6-core AMD processors in multi-node
    cluster for long time. Both performance & price
    excellent.
    drleos
  • RE: Intel Core i7-980X six-core

    Better I?ll wait for 8 Core for a better price....
    Xweera