Intel's redemos six-core Gulftown
Gamers watch and wait
Intel has given developers another peek at its upcoming Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor.
Intel's plans for the six-core, 12-thread, 32nm Core i7-980X - formerly code-named Gulftown - were made clear by the venue for the demo: the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC 2010) taking place this week in San Francisco.
New details about the high-end desktop part were scant-to-nonexistent in Intel's announcement, but its gaming cred was underlined by Chipzilla's choice of demos on display at GDC 2010: Sega's recently shipped Napoleon: Total War; the upcoming RUSE from Ubisoft; Geomerics' Enlighten real-time radiosity lighting technology for game developers; and Sonar, the audio-software studio from Roland's Cakewalk division.
The Core i7-980X is taking its own sweet time before it ships. After it was demoed at the Intel Developer Forum last September, word on the street was that it'd be released this February. In December, Asus made it clear that the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition would appear in one of that company's LGA1366-socket motherboards - although it didn't specifically name the processor, give a release date, or offer any other information.
Various reports - including ours - have pegged the Core i7-980X as having 12MB of L3 cache and the ability to connect to three channels of DDR 3 memory clocked at up to 1333MHz. No word yet on clock speed, but presumably, the part will support Intel's Turbo Boost technology, which allows cores to run at a higher clock speed if the other cores in the chip are shut down when idle. It can also boost all cores briefly for particularly demanding work.
Although Intel's Tuesday preview of the Core i7-980X was appropriately targeted at the game developers crowding GDC 2010, the chip is also rumored to be on its way into a refresh of Apple's Mac Pro line. Yes, Cupertino still makes pricey Macs for professional content creators - and not just consumer-electronics gadgets. ®
Did no one watch Terminator?
The end is nigh!
As opposed to Operon's 12 cores
Due later this month. Opterons are already 6 core and hyper-threading is a gimmick. Opterons already run more instructions per clock cycle than any Intel chip.
THG got their hands on one.
Dont know whether this will make it past the moderatrix, but Toms Hardware Guide got their hands on one and benched it.
May be worth updating the story with the clocks from there.
Mac Pros use dual-socket Xeon 5500s, rather than the single-socket Core i7 line.
So the upgrade would be likely to be the dual-socket Xeon 56xx range rather than a i7-980X. Going from a pair of quad-cores to a single hex-core would normally be considered a downgrade.
I remember when you still got change out of 16k.