Boutique system builders have been all over Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip ever since it officially launched, and that includes iBuyPower, who just announced four new "high overclockable" Paladin systems rocking the 6-core part.
"Gamers looking to get the most out of their new six core systems can take advantage of the iBuyPower Labs' Power Drive Overclocking Service, which overclocks th CPU by as much as 30 percent and comes standard on the Paladin XLC V3," iBuyPower said in a statement. "Other innovative iBuyPower exclusive products and services include the Harmony Sound Reduction System, the Internal USB Expansion System, and iBuyPower's Specialized Advanced packaging System with Expanding foam inserts to prevent damage during shipping."
Surprisingly affordable, pricing on the refreshed Paladins starts at $2,159 (Paladin F890), which is the lowest we've seen for a system that includes Intel's 6-core chip. Other baseline specs include Cooler Master's HAF 922 chassis, Asetek self-contained liquid cooler, 6GB of DDR3-1333, ATI Radeon 5830, Asus P6T motherboard, 1TB hard drive, 22X DVD burner, Windows Home 7 Premium, and a 700W power supply. For a couple hundred bucks, you could upgrade to an HD 5870 videocard and end up with a pretty monstrous system for under $2,500.
Another day, another Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor announcement, this time coming from Maingear. The boutique system vendor says it has updated its Shift "everyday supercomputer" with Intel's flagship part, along with a few other upgrades.
"Our all new 2010 Shift is taking the pole position in the high performance consumer desktop market," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of Maingear. "By intelligently integrating best-of-breed hardware and supporting it with top-tier, in-house technical support by the same guys who built your system, we're delivering the best PC experience money can buy."
To equip the Shift with Intel's 6-core part, pricing starts out at $3,290 and includes an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 memory, 750GB hard drive, Radeon HD5770 graphics card, DVD burner, 750W power supply, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and a few other bullet points. Where you go from there is up to you, and your bank account.
Intel's new Core i7-980X Gulftown processor kicked some serious ass in our first round of benchmarking, but for the most part, it's over clocking potential is still unknown. Its 32nm process should help it run cooler, but the 2 extra cores generate a great deal of extra heat that cannot be ignored. Well if you're worried about buying an over clocking dud, or simply don't have the patience to mess around in the bios, custom builder Origin PC has you covered.
Each and every Core i7 offered has an over clocking option available directly out of the box, and that includes Intel's newest 6 core monster processor. For a mere $1,044 (only $45 over list), customers can get a 1GHz over clock on day one that comes with a manufacturer's warranty. The over clocking option forces you switch over to liquid cooling, but is a great option if you want the fastest rig around, and you can't be bothered to do it yourself.
Popular online computer parts vendor Newegg this week gave one of its suppliers, IPEX, the boot. The reason, says Newegg, is that IPEX was the one who supplied the vendor with fake Core i7 chips.
"Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us 'demo units.' We have since come to discover that the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier," Newegg said in a statement.
Initial reports had pegged D&H Distributing as the culprit, but the supplier has since been cleared of any wrongdoing.
"Contrary to any speculation, D&H Distributing is not the vendor that supplied us with the Intel Core i7 920 CPUs in question," Newegg added.
Fake CPUs weren't terribly difficult to spot. There were several misspelled words on the retail packaging, including a sticker that spelled "socket" as "sochet," eWeek.com reports. In some cases, the user manual inside the box was blank.
As for customers who were affected, Newegg said it is sending out replacement chips.
See here for an unboxing video of one of the counterfeit chips.
AVADirect this week announced the availability of the Clevo X8100 SLI laptop, calling it the "world's most powerful i7 SLI gaming notebook" on the planet. Judging by the spec sheet, AVADirect might be spot on.
The Clevo X1800 boasts a generous 18.4-inch full HD (1920x1080) display, but it's the hardware underneath the hood that's most impressive. Buyers can configure up to a Core i7 920XM processor, one or two Nvidia GTX 285M graphic chips, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, and up to 3 hard drives or SSDs in a RAID 0 or 1 array. Other specs include 3 USB 2.0 ports, Firewire, an eSATA port, HDMI output, a 7-in-1 memory card reader, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 2.0MP webcam and of course Windows 7.
"If you recall, June of 2009 we began to sell the Clevo M980NU. It was a Core 2 Duo based notebook with GTX 280's in SLI. It was a very exciting time for us as a boutique builder, because nobody out there had that type of product on the market. Now, we have the same chassis used by Clevo and a mobile Core i7 processor. Not only will this reduce bottleneck within the notebook, but increase performance up to 50%. Given the nature of it's size and power I can easily suggest the Clevo X8100 notebook for a desktop replacement. There is nothing like raw, mobile gaming power at the tip of your fingers." says Misha Troshin, CMO and co-owner of AVADirect.
Pricing starts at $2,500, which buys a Core i7 720QM processor, Nvidia GTX 285M graphics, 2GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Toshiba’s Portégé M700 line has been in need of a refresh for some time, and since it’s been raining mobile Core i7 CPUs lately, they decided to throw one of those in. The addition of the Core i7 620M makes the Portégé M780 a very desirable tablet machine. We don’t have all the details yet, but the specs seem solid.
In addition to the aforementioned Core i7 we will likely see 4GB of RAM, a 12.1in 1280x800 LED display, Intel HD graphics, 320GB 7200RPM hard drive, and 802.11n. The system should also have support for multitouch gestures and Wacom pen input. A cheaper Core i3 version should be available for $1279, while the speedier Core i7 model will go for $1799.
The convertible tablet form factor seems to be coming along nicely with the ThinkPad X201 already out. Is anyone in the market for one of these? Decided on which one yet?
Mushkin doesn't make the headlines too often, but the high-end memory maker this week announced one more addition to its Blackline series, the Blackline 4GB DDR3-2000 kit.
The new dual-channel kit sports Mushkin's now-familiar Blackline Frostbyte heatspreaders, but it's what's under the aluminum that counts. Mushkin rates its memory modules at 2000MHz with fairly tight 7-10-8-27 latencies at 1.65V.
This ranks as Mushkin's fastest DDR3 kit to date, although not the fastest on the market, and also the company's tightest-timed 2000MHz kit.
Mushkin says the new kit will be available soon for $180.
Huron River, which, like Calpella, will support Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, and will be based on the 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture. It will be made up of dual-and quad-core processors supporting Intel’s Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading. It will have faster integrated graphics and support for 1600MHz DDR3 memory.
Huron River options look to include a WiMAX chipset, Wireless Display support, and Bluetooth.
Good news for IT admins. Intel last week announced a new vPro platform for its Core i5 and i7 processors designed to make remote maintenance and management of PCs an easier task in the enterprise.
"Businesses, particularly those that haven't purchased PCs for several years, face a computing environment that no longer handles the applications many workers and IT are adopting," said Rick Echevarria, vice president, Intel Architecture Group, and general manager, Business Client Platform Division. "The integration of intelligent performance along with smart security and cost-saving manageability features in the Intel Core vPro processor family provide IT and SMBs a no-compromise platform. We also are excited about how Intel vPro Technology gives IT the flexibility to look at client virtualization, consumerization and rich cloud applications"
The new platform based on Intel's Core vPro processors consists of the new Intel Q57 Express chipset, Intel 82577LM Gigabit Network Connection for notebooks, and Intel 82578DM Network Connection for desktop PCs.
With all the talk of Core i7, Core i5, Intel's upcoming six-core Gulftown, and a plethora of swank X58- and P55-based mobos bombarding the market place, are you starting to feel left out puttering along on your LGA775 build? Well, you should be -- this is Maximum PC, after all. But outside of our niche of power users, LGA775 still reigns supreme, and by no small margin.
As Fudzilla reports it, LGA775 processors are the current king of the sales hill, accounting for a whopping 77 percent of sales. The dated socket won't be able to hold onto that pace throughout 2010, but by the end of the year, Intel expects LGA775 to still account for half of all processor sales.
So who's buying into socket 1366 and building high-end Core i7 foundations? Not many. Currently the least popular Intel socket of the bunch, higher end Core i7 chips only account for a measly 1 percent of sales.
Socket LGA1156, on the other hand, claims 18 percent of all Intel shipments and its market share is expect to grow to 44 percent by the end of 2010. And of course there's the ever-popular Atom series, which surprisingly only makes up for 5 percent of all Intel CPUs so far in this first quarter.