Model names and pricing revealed on upcoming Intel CPUs

Gulftown turns into the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition

CHINA SEEMS TO BE LEAKING all sorts of Intel roadmaps these days and details of Intel’s upcoming 6-core high-end consumer CPU based on the Gulftown core, alongside details of several other new CPUs, have made their way online. As expected, the first consumer version of the Gulftown core will be an Extreme Edition CPU and it looks like it will be called the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition.

The 980X should – no, it’s not guaranteed – work with most X58 motherboards on the market, but due to slightly different power requirements, it might not work with some early X58 boards. This is potentially bad news for those who invested in Intel’s X58 Core i7 platform early on, although we’ll have to wait and see which boards work and which don’t.

This is Intel’s first 6-core 12-thread processor, although there will of course be several Xeon versions based on the Gulftown core as well. We’re not sure how much of a point it is to release a consumer version, although it will be as fast as the current Core i7 975 Extreme Edition, as both CPU’s run at 3.33GHz. This is not a bad showing by Intel, especially as the 980X has the same TDP of 130W. Ok, so this is hardly a miracle as Intel has shrunk its manufacturing process to 32nm, while the older 975 is manufactured at 45nm.

The cache has been upped from a total of 8MB to 12MB, although the L2 cache is most likely still 256kb per core. The 980X supports Intel’s Turbo Boost overclocking technology and it could potentially overclock higher than the 975. The memory controller hasn’t changed and as such only DDR3 1066MHz memory is officially supported. Price-wise you’re looking at the standard $999 price point for Extreme Edition CPU’s and the 980X is expected to be launched in March of next year.

Other new additions during the first three months of 2010 will include the LGA-1366 based Core i7 930, which is rumoured to replace the Core i7 920, and it will launch at $284 on the 28th of February. It’s clocked at 2.8GHz, but otherwise it seems to be pretty much identical to the 920.

Intel is also set to unveil the Core 2 Quad 9500 on January 17th, and that seems to be a cheaper version of the Core 2 Quad 9505, as both CPU’s are clocked at 2.83GHz and feature the same 6MB of L2 cache. However, the 9500 lacks Intel SIPP support, which means that the 9500 won’t find its way into the corporate sector, but at $183, the 9500 is $30 cheaper than the 9505 and is most likely set to replace the Core 2 Quad 9300 and 9400 at some stage.

We will of course get the first Clarkdale processors on January 3rd with integrated graphics in the CPU packaging with the Core i5 6xx-series and the Core i3 5xx-series. However, the pricing and specs of these models haven’t changed in these new charts. The only new piece of information here is that the Core i5 661, which is the model with faster graphics, isn’t Intel SIPP approved just like the Core 2 Quad 9500. It seems like Intel wants to target certain CPU’s towards the consumer market, although we’re not quite sure what the deal is here.S|A

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