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Intel Corp. on Monday began to officially sell its new Core i7-990X six-core chip designed for those, who have no limits in terms of performance or price in mind. The new processor is currently the world's highest-performing central processing unit (CPU) for desktops and ultra-high end desktop replacement notebooks.

Intel's new ultimate desktop chip has six cores with Hyper-Threading technology, is clocked at 3.46GHz, features 12MB of cache and triple-channel DDR3 memory controller. Thanks to the fact that the Core i7-990X belongs to the Extreme Edition family, it comes with unlocked multiplier and therefore can be easily overclocked to the maximum with the help of an advanced mainboard as well as proper cooling solution. The processor is made using 32nm process technology and is based on Gulftown core with a number of micro-architectural enhancements compared to the original Nehalem design. The chip is compatible with LGA1366 mainboards.

Later this year Intel plans to introduce one more high-end Extreme Edition product in LGA1366 form-factor. In the fourth quarter the company plans to launch a brand-new high-end platform for enthusiasts, which will support Sandy Bridge E-series processors in LGA2011 packaging with quad-core memory controllers and up to six cores with numerous advantages.

Just like its predecessor, the model 980X, the new Core i7-990X costs $999 in 1000-unit quantities.

Separately, Intel slashed pricing on six-core Core i7-970 (3.20GHz, 12MB cache) by 34% to $583 and also reduced the official price of the quad-core Core i7-960 (3.20GHz, 8MB cache) by 48% to $294.

Tags: Intel, Gulftown, Core, 32nm

Discussion

Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 02/16/11 01:12:35 AM
Latest comment: 02/20/11 09:26:04 PM
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1. 
why would anyone want to buy a i7-960 when the i7-2600K can be bought for around the same price?
Better performance, unlocked multiplier, better power management and reduced heat.
0 0 [Posted by: eltoro200  | Date: 02/16/11 01:12:35 AM]
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Well, the LGA 1366 isn't a crippled platform like LGA 1155 is. It's also not a defective platform.

If you need memory performance, and strong I/O, then you can't go with a crippled, brain-damaged platform like LGA 1155/1156. Sandy Bridge is a fine processor, no doubt there, and for most people would make the better purchase, but there are a lot of advantages that go to the LGA 1366 platform, that in some cases would make it desirable.

At any rate, you can't really get Sandy Bridge now, because it's got a defective platform. So, this is probably more aimed at preventing a defection to AMD, by making Intel's existing product line more effective. In that context, the i7 960 is a very attractive processor at $294. The i7 970 goes from almost completely unattractive to situationally useful in a few situations.
0 0 [Posted by: TA152H  | Date: 02/16/11 09:18:20 PM]
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If you need memory performance, and strong I/O, then you can't go with a crippled, brain-damaged platform like LGA 1155/1156.

Seriously? How many reviews do people need to change their minds? In most cases 1155 i7s perform as fast as or faster (due to better turbo) than 1366 i7s at a lower power envelop. Meanwhile the 1156 dual channel controller outperforms the 2.5-year old triple channel controller in the 1366 platforms. The myth that 1155 is brain-damaged was destroyed in September, 2009 when the 1155 platform was first launched.
The main benefit of the 1366 is the availability of six core processors. However, given the price premium, one might be better off using a dual CPU 1155 platform.
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 02/17/11 03:20:49 AM]
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You probably don't know much about i/o heavy workloads. LGA1366 has more PCI-E lanes, and much stronger I/O. On top of that, those three lanes come in real handy when you've got three processors. Sorry, but it's got more bandwidth than dual-channel, and some workloads really need bandwidth.

1155 wasn't launched in 9/2009. It's not a high-end platform, it's a compromised, low-end platform. A bad platform. A degenerate platform.

Sandy Bridge is a magnificent processor, but it's shackled to a crippled platform. Better to wait until it gets a real chipset before buying it, really.
0 0 [Posted by: TA152H  | Date: 02/17/11 09:10:07 PM]
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Sorry, I flipped the lga1155 and the lga1156.
While I'm well aware of the benefits (I/O superiority) of 1366 over 1156 on paper, I am yet to see significant real world advantage. All I know is that a 2-way high end SLI/Xfire will gain 1%-3% going from 2x8 to 2x16. This is not a real world difference. The only way you can tell 1%-3% is benching. But going to 1156 you gain better turbo for snappier (you can tell when you use you PC) single/dual-threaded performance in a lower power envelop.
While I agree that 1366 is a superior platform, 1156 is by no stretch of the word bad. You are either dramatically exaggerating the performance difference between the two platforms or you are blind, ignorant, prejudice and arrogant buttocks, in which case I do not want to waste my time any more.
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 02/20/11 09:26:04 PM]
Reply

2. 
why would anyone want to buy a i7-960 when the i7-2600K can be bought for around the same price?
Better performance, unlocked multiplier, better power management and reduced heat


...because they have an LGA1366 motherboard.
0 0 [Posted by: jephph  | Date: 02/16/11 06:31:27 AM]
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3. 
If they have a 1366 mobo, they already have a CPU for it. Why replace it with a 960? Waste of money.

Either get the 970, switch to 1155, or wait for 1356/2011. 1366 is a dead end.
0 0 [Posted by: Harry Lloyd  | Date: 02/17/11 08:51:27 AM]
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