As we know currently the most powerful six-core desktop CPU available for purchase is Intel’s i7 980x which was first released about eight months ago. The 32nm CPU uses Socket LGA 1366 and operates at 3.33GHz coupled with 12MB of L3 cache and TDP of 130W. As usual the prices for Intel’s top processors are about $1000 USD and this model is not an exception, moreover, the price for the last six months has not almost change. Bear in mind that AMD is also preparing its new high-end platform which is able to compete with Intel’s performance CPUs with more attractive prices, Intel is getting ready to present its new flagship — CPU i7 990x — on January 9th 2011.
The i7 990x looks more like a refreshment of i7 980x with only difference in default clocks — 3.47GHz the rest specification remain the same. The release of i7 990x will also affect the price of i7 980x meaning the last will become more affordable and i7 990x will take its(i7 980x) place in the price and performance segment. But wait, there is more!
Intel is already working on a upgrade version for not yet released i7 990x — i7 995x. The last one is planned to be launched in Q2 2011, and again it is only 133MHz faster that 990x with 995x default clock set at 3.6GHz. The new 32nm flagship is based on Westmere architecture with six-cores and twelve threads. It will have LGA1366 socket which x58 motherboards are equipped with. The TPD and L1, L2, L3 cache remain the same as for 990x.
Colleagues from Chinese source Chipphell first got hold of engineering sample of i7 995x. CPU-Z screen-shots reveals some details of the new CPU. The rest specification (including Turbo mode clocks) are prohibited to show as the lucky owner has signed NDA.
But the war between Intel and AMD won’t stop. With the new platform AMD is preparing its 32nm 8-core CPU based on Bulldozer architecture which is planned to see the light in 2H 2011. On the other hand, Intel will come up with its 8-core Sandy Bridge-based model which will have LGA1356 Socket (note: X68 motherboards will support LGA1356 Socket — not officially confirmed). All of this is just a theory. The true picture, as we see it, is 2011 will be dominated mostly by i7 990x and 995x models and X58 series motherboards. By the way, the life cycle of X58 series motherboards will then account to more than three years, which is very rare in history of motherboards and chipsets.