If you look hard enough, you can find a handful of Polish computer shops selling Intel's upcoming Core i7 990X Extreme Edition processor online. Pricing starts at around €900 (US$1,240) and goes up from there.
Intel hasn't yet officially launched this latest Gulftown part, though some OEMs already have it as a configurable option. The Core i7 990X will take its place as Intel's newest flagship part with six cores operating at 3.46GHz (3.6GHz via Turbo Boost). Other specs include 256KB of L2 cache for each core, 12MB of L3 cache, and a 130W TDP.
The 990X also represents the end of the road for Gulftown, which Intel will replace with Sandy Bridge E silicon in the third quarter, Fudzilla says.
Enthusiasts with deep pockets will have another six-core Extreme Edition processor from Intel to line their rigs with, but not until the first quarter of 2011. That's when Intel will reportedly drop its upcoming Core i7 990X processor into the high-end market.
There won't be any big surprises here. The 990X is essentially a faster clocked Gulftown, which means it won't come built around Intel's 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture. According to reports, the 990X will come clocked at 3.46GHz with a Turbo clockspeed of 3.73GHz. Compare that to the 980X, Intel's current flagship processor clocked at 3.33GHz with a Turbo frequency of 3.6GHz.
Like all Extreme Edition CPUs, the 990X will ship with an unlocked multiplier. Other familiar features/specs include a tri-channel memory controller and 130W TDP.
No concrete release date has yet been set, only that it will ship sometime in the first quarter of 2011 for $1,000. And if Fudzilla's info is correct, there won't be any other six-core parts from Intel before then.
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.