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  • DarkUltra - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    I would love to see a task manager screenshot during the different multi-threaded benchmarks, also games, so we can see how it utilizes the six cores and two threads per core? Reply
  • drewintheav - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    The INTEL i7 980X has dual QPI's and will run in a dual socket mainboard!!!

    Such as the EVGA W555 / Classified SR-2
    Reply
  • magnes79 - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    Where did you get that information from? On intel website it says 1 QPI. from what I know and what always was the case all i7 series are single QPI's.
    THats why you have Xeon series with double QPI.
    Please do not post incorrect information, because people get stuck with expensive equipment not able to use it properly.
    Reply
  • Aenslead - Saturday, March 13, 2010 - link

    This has got to be THE most worthless, useless, expensive pice of silicon I've ever seen. An average of 13% performance increase in SOME apps AND a decrease in gaming?

    Give me that 1k, and I'll get myself a GTX480, an SSD, and some DDR3 modules that will give me 2x, 3x or Xx times more performance in EVERYDAY use.

    Thank goodness for CUDA, Stream, OpenCL and all that cr4p.
    Reply
  • Cableaddict - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Aenslead,

    I think you're missing the whole point of this cpu. It wasn't built to go fast. It was built to due serious multi-tasking. The pro A/V crowd will buy these in droves.

    I can't wait to get one for my digital audio system. It will be worth every penny.
    Reply
  • Aenslead - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    I understand your point.

    I do video editing myself as well as some animation, but thanks to Furry Ball (Maya) and Elemental plugins for AE and Premiere, I've come to love GPU power more than ever.

    I've seen what's comming for CS5 and I do not see CPU playing an important role there.

    I see very few people, like yourself, actually finding bennefit from these product launches - same goes to PII X6, although I believe this one will be FAR better priced and far more atractive.

    Best,
    Reply
  • dastruch - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Now that's what I'm saving some money for. Reply
  • - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link


    Wondering how the i7 980X would do against a 6 core Opteron,Tech Report did some benchmark numbers when the 6 core Opterons (server) first came out,going head to head againt Xeons..interesting results when you compare the new i7. This is a rough estimate, but if AMD's 6 core is based on the 6 core Opteron this could be interesting..

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/11">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/11

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/7">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/7

    complete report
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/1">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/1
    Reply
  • - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    asH Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    I'm somewhat confused as to why, on your review, the PII X4 965 seems rather greedy, but on Toms' review of the i7-980X, AMD's offering does much better.

    Toms' test setups for the X58:
    Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) X58 Express, BIOS F4
    Corsair 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333

    Yours:
    Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
    I'm going to presume Corsair DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)

    Toms' test setup for AM3:
    Asus M4A79T Deluxe (Socket AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 2304
    Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333

    Yours:
    Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-UD5P (AMD 790FX)
    I'm going to presume Corsair DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)

    Toms' has the PII X4 965 idling 21W lower than the 980X and 32W lower at load (using Prime95), however you have the 965 idling 10W HIGHER and using 4W more at load. Is Prime95 just favouring AMD or is there some sort of problem with your 790 rig? I will concede that the AMD rig will be using less RAM on the Toms' setup which may account for some of the difference.

    One thing to note: up the resolution on a CPU-limited title such as Left4Dead and the performance gap narrows markedly. Enable AA and there's no difference at all. For graphically intensive games and/or highest settings, it won't make sense to fork out $1000 no matter how good the CPU.

    It'd be nice to see how good this CPU is with multiple graphics cards... :)
    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Monday, March 15, 2010 - link

    THG's power numbers are often screwed up, I would not trust them.

    Good sites for power numbers include this, TR, Xbitlabs, and lost circuits. I have never been able to come close to any of Tom's numbers even with identical HW.
    Reply
  • OBLAMA2009 - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    how come anand says he's excited about it and then later he says he'd never spend money on it

    personally i wouldnt spend that much on a cpu but i think this thing would be a good chip for so long that if you did it wouldnt be a bad deal even at 1000. itll probably be the close to the fastest chip for the two years
    Reply
  • Paladin1211 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I can't figure out why the i7 870 only gets 70.6 fps in WoW while the i7 920 gets 85.5 fps. Higher clock, higher turbo, same hyper threading, integrated PCIe lanes... yet the 920 is 21% faster.

    Someone enlightens me please :(
    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    That's a good question .... it shouldn't. Reply
  • p05esto - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I'm going through withdrawl. I've had my Core i7 920 since the day they were released and really want to upgrade, like yesterday. But I'm not spending $1k on a CPU, maybe $400 could work :) if they came out with something decent and overclockable to get near the extreme version. I feel like I'm stuck at the moment....I feel the need, the need for speed!!! Reply
  • bludragon - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Well it's a beast, no doubt about that. But the most interesting info here is that sandy bride is debuting as a mainstream part. Has this ever happened with a new cpu before? Is this just because they are going to start with less cores, or have they taken some other architectural departure? Reply
  • RamarC - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    btw, i'm trademarking "sexycore" Reply
  • Lazlo Panaflex - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    "I wonder where Intel will price the Core i7 970, allegedly also a 6-core Gulftown derivative"

    Hey Anand, if history is any indication, and there's no competition from AMD, I'll bet you a dollar that the 970 will retail for around $850 - the same price of the venerable mainstream Q6600 that was released a few months after the $999 QX6700... ;)
    Reply
  • aigomorla - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    i heard it was gonna be near the 600 mark.

    It wont be cheaper then the 960, and it wont be more expensive then a 980X.

    Reply
  • Robear - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    You start by saying, "I have to say that Intel's Core i7 980X is the first Extreme Edition CPU that I've ever gotten excited about. ... The 980X gives you its best regardless of what you throw at it. ... If money were no object, the Core i7 980X is clearly the best you can get."

    But then you conclude with a much more somber, "The Core i7 980X is such a difficult processor to recommend."

    What really threw me for a loop, though, was this comment: "You could pick up a dual-socket Xeon board and a pair of quad-core Nehalem Xeons for a bit more than a X58 + 980X"

    There are so many problems with that statement :( It's very un-anand-like.

    Foregoing any assumptions about what you mean specifically, I haven't seen any 3.0+ GHz XEONs sub $1,000. Even then, I'm not convinced a dual-quad would even outperform the 980 unless you went with a couple of EPs, and that's way off the price mark. Your conclusion ends with a mild suggestion towards a platform you didn't benchmark. The 980 can put you at 3.6 GHz in a single-threaded app which you can't get from a dual-XEON.

    The 980 truly is the best of both worlds, as you initially indicated.

    Given that that the 960 is 3.2 GHz @ 4 cores is running ~$600, you can snag a whole 2 more cores, a speed boost, AND other 980-only perks for an extra $400. Think back to what the EE got you at its debut - another 10%-20% clock and an unlocked multiplier for something like a 100% markup over the next highest model.

    This chip really seems like a bargain, but that's my opinion. I'm considering the 980X over a new 930 build just for the longevity it provides. It's just SO much power for the money. The simple fact that it puts it in the same league as a dual-quad XEON raises the hair on the back of my neck :)

    Can you elaborate on a XEON system that would be comparable in performance and price to the 980? Maybe that would be a good article. I wonder what kind of performance hit you take with the QPI between two chips versus what you get with the 980. Skilltrail did okay, but the FB-DIMMs really hurt gaming. I think a 980 v. XEON would be a great article.
    Reply
  • aigomorla - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    W3680 will be a workstation hexcore @ 3.2ghz

    Im guessing since its a 3600 series, it will be a 1 x QPI, so it will not work in tandium on a DP board.

    Xeons are uber expensive tho.
    And this one if its gonna be priced like the W3580's is gonna have a price of around 1499.

    :X

    Reply
  • Rev1 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I know the OC's were on stock cooling but being this chip starts out @ 3.33 ghz and having a smaller 32nm size, the OC capability seems very underwhelming. I heard this chip is good for extreme overclockers because they did away with the cold boot bug. This thing probably puts out to much heat for any current air or wc setup to get a good oc out. That being said i dont see replacing my D0 920 anytime soon. Reply
  • aigomorla - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    come to our cpu and overclocking forum.
    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=20576...">http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=20576...

    Or read one of my comments with a forum link.

    I showed people what it can do on higher voltages, when you take heat away from the equation of being the limited value.
    Reply
  • Hacp - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    With the 800 dollar premium over an I7 920, why don't you just build a second 920 system instead! Reply
  • aigomorla - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=20450...">http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=20450...

    ;)

    I welcome you guys to join our forums.

    You'll see more info on stuff on the OC potentials in that preview.
    Reply
  • atfuser - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Looks like the i7-860 is where gamers and people who run lots of multicore apps want to spend their money. Gamers will save $750 and will see almost no difference in performance. Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Yes, gamers will still be more than satisfied with their i7 920's @ 4Ghz. Especially considering those chips are only $200 at Microcenter these days.

    I just hope the upcoming Xeon CPU's will have more of a mainstream price.
    Reply
  • quickbunnie - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I think the L4D performance is actually due to the extra cores, as source engine games have n-1 multithreaded scaling. It's been shown to have diminishing returns past 3-4 cores, so a 6% bump for an extra 2 cores makes more sense to me than the extra cache, considering no other games show this level of performance increase Reply
  • vailr - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    What happens if you put this 6 core CPU in a non-upgraded bios X58 board? Do you then have the minimal functionality to be able to flash the bios to the updated version? Or does the system fail completely, to even show anything on the video display?
    Just wondering...
    Reply
  • aigomorla - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    If your bios can not handle gulftown, it will just refuse to post.

    eVGA boards are even more picky. If you somehow manage to get a hold of an A0 stepping gulftown, you can not use the same bios on a B0 or B1 gulftown.

    The b0 and b1 are the retail versions, while the A series were pure evaluation / testing samples.

    Some asus boards should support gulftown without bios updates, however its still recommended u get one.

    And if u guys come into our forums, you will see i pushed one up to 4.4ghz with HT ON, @ 1.388 vcore, so i think my 980X is better then the one Raja has.

    Sorry Raja.. :P
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    That depends on the board I believe. Intel's DX58SO may not post without the BIOS update.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Jammrock - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    One small title error. Intel's Xeon X7000-series CPUs are the first hex-core processors from Intel. Those are server only, but they are out there.

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=36947&cod...">http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=36...16M+Cach...

    Gulftown is the first desktop hex-core though.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Corrected :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • artifex - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    3x cores and threads for less than 2x the TDP of their dual cores? sexy! Reply
  • Isaac the k - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I must say, I do find this rather exciting.
    But since I'm running a poorly threaded data-simulation app with extremely high throughput, I'm debating whether the extra latency vs. the larger shared cache could potentially harm performance.

    If it wouldn't, I might actually request one for what my office is doing right now...
    Reply
  • mikeblas - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Aren't the Xeon E7450, Xeon L7455, and Xeon X7460 all six-core Intel processors that were released before this processor? Reply
  • semo - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    If I understand this right Nahalem is the name of the micro architecture and not any CPU in particular. On page 2, the first die shot is captioned Nehalem. Shouldn't it be Bloomfield?

    BTW Anand, you are doing a good job demystifying desktop products but the mobile space is even worse

    arandale http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?codeNa...">http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?codeNa... vs clarkdale http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?codeNa...">http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?codeNa...

    vPro is even more confusing. E.g. AMT KVM is supposed to work on AMT 6.0 + on chip GPU yet the i3 don't apply... or the i5-661 http://communities.intel.com/community/openportit/...">http://communities.intel.com/community/...ote-cont...

    it would be useful if we could get some articles on mobile chips and/or vPro
    Reply
  • iwodo - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Waiting for Sandy Bridge- which will hopefully be the true successor of Core 2 Duo.
    PCI - Express 3.0, SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 ( Light Peak will be even better ), Bluetooth 4.0.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 13, 2010 - link

    Light Peak is kinda dumb...I think that's just multi-lane USB3/PCIe, and using light instead of wires is pointless since no one needs really long point-to-point cables. Apple just wants it since they're all about marketing new flashy things. USB3 could just as easily use as many lanes as you want, but it'd be unnecessarily expensive since 1 lane at 5Gbps is much faster than anything. Reply
  • Pessimism - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This is not intel's first 6 core CPU. The 6 core Xeon 7400 was announced in 2008. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    [QUOTE]With up to 6 cores running at 3.46GHz, Gulftown is not only the fastest CPU in Intel’s lineup, it’s also the fastest quad-core Intel makes.[/QUOTE]

    I think you meant to say it's also the fastest "single-core" Intel makes.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    quote:

    Did I mention that with a BIOS update it’s fully compatible with all X58 motherboards? That’s right, even if you bought a board in November 2008 - you can upgrade directly to Gulftown.


    And for only one thouuuuusand dollars! What a deal!!

    lol yeah, anyone who spent $999 on an X58 CPU can now spend $999 on a new cpu 18 months later. $2000 for two CPUs in the course of 18 months. How you can spin that as being a good thing boggles the mind. What a waste!
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Well, maybe you spent the ~$280 or so on a 920 in November 08, which you could now upgrade to the 980X if you wanted. Considering Intel's past history of supporting new processors on older motherboards (see, for example, P965 and Penryn) it is nice that this is supported, even if the upgrade is extremely expensive. Reply
  • BelardA - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Kinda sad and funny... when core 2 came out, it destroyed the P4 line and of course kicked AMD down bad.

    Even todays $65 intels and $45 AMDs (running about 2ghz) are still faster than those older Pentium EE chips. And what was sadder back then was that even AMD's $200 CPUs were still faster than the $1000 intels... unless your were doing 3D work and encoding video.

    *sigh*

    Thanks to intel's back-room deals with the major PC companies, the illegal activities has hurt competition. AMD is doing better today, but have little to work with. And we see what the lack of competition does such as ATI vs. Nvidia.

    Reply
  • andyleung - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Why they keep the CPU frequency so high? All consumer quad cores go higher than 2.5GHz??? I really like Opterons, low frequency with more cores.

    Seriously I hope Phenom VI (I made it up, they may call it something else) could have a model of 6 cores with each running 1.2GHz.

    My own usage is mostly programming in JEE + documentation, so I need more cores but not that fast, so I could save a few bucks on my electricity bill in a year. :)
    Reply
  • yuchai - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    You can always underclock/undervolt if you don't need the performance from the extra speed but want the power savings.

    Note that this is the "Extreme" version, so it makes sense to have the fastest speeds possible. The mainstream versions that are coming will probably have lower clock speeds.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Maybe I missed it - but would this have any predicted implications on the 920 price over this year span?

    I'm rebuilding a rig a component at a time and Im wondering if there would be much variance if I picked a 920 now or in Q4

    /tard
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    "The first Core i7 did not power gate its L3 cache, Lynnfield added it and Gulftown has it as well."

    THANK YOU ANAND!!

    No wonder this is my #1 favored site. :D
    Reply
  • darkhawkff - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I don't know about anyone else, but I would have liked to have seen how this chip fares to overclocks of Intel's other Core i7 series. While I'm sure many people don't bother overclocking, I would wager that most people who visit this site do, and probably bought into the Core i7 920 series and overclocked it to 4 GHz or more. While I'm sure the Core i7 980X is a beast, I'd be more interested in seeing how it fares when overclocked parts are taken into account, because personally I see very little reason to make the jump from the 920 to the 980 after this review. 2 more cores are nice, but not when they are slower. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Anand, can you please include newer software for some benches. For instance you are still using 3DS Max 9 which was released in 2006.
    The latest is 3DS MaX 2010 (version 12).

    I only ask because i'm sure that anyone who can afford this CPU can ceratinly afford the latest 3D rendering/modelling software. And besides that they might have better support/performance for these type of CPU's.
    Reply
  • palominoforever - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Please test 7-zip compression with 7z 9.x which support lzma2 algorithm that can support 16 cores. It runs much faster than 7z 4.x on my i7 920. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I've had the 920 for 13 months now and seeing this review makes me want to do a little dance. (I also have a PII 920 I like very much) The 920 holds up well I think overall.

    Some will b e horrified to know that I run it at stock. It can go quite high and I've got it set up with aftermarket cooling but I haven't really found a need to OC it as it. Someday I am sure I'll run it into the ground but not yet! A good purchase over a year ago, and still a worthy buy today.. or the 930 I guess since that's it's replacement.

    Looks like it will be awhile before I move to 6cores. I wonder what AMD's offering will be like.
    Reply
  • Ben90 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Ill be your dancing partner. It seems Intel is having a problem cranking up gaming performance after the Core2 series compared to other categories. Not having a fat cache limited Bloomfield performance and it seems a slower L3 cache is dragging down Gulftown.

    I'm not expecting the 47% gains like in ray-tracing, and in general Bloomfield/Gulftown has increased gaming performance; however, there are situations where a previous generation has a more suitable architecture. It would be nice to have a "BAM! CHECK ME OUT!" product such as Conroe where it absolutely swept everything, and for current gamers, Gulftown is not that. I'm sure however in the future having the extra cores will lend themselves more improvements though.
    Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Come on people...

    You cant judge this CPU with games. It should be pretty obvious it wasn't going to do much in that area anyway.
    Theres still loads of games that are poor at making use of quadcore let alone 6 core. Infact every single game i have uses less than 30% CPU usage on my 4.1GHz i7 920. Alot are under 15%. Thats just pathetic.
    And only recently has quad started to make a decent difference over dualcore with some games.

    I'm sure this CPU will have a longer life span for gaming performance when games actually start using PC CPU's better in the future, but thats probably years away as most games are console ports these days which are made in mind with vastly slower console CPU's.
    Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I disagree. I don't thinkg this cpu will have a longer life span. My thinking is that when the current generation of cpu's finally start showing their age and can no longer cut it then you'd be upgrading anyway. Don't really matter if you have a 920, Q9X, a PIIX4, or even the 980X..

    ... They are just that fast. Sure, some are faster then others but were not talking night and day differences here.

    As an enthusiast and as someone who builds a great deal of computers I will likely have a new cpu long before I really need it. But that's more of a question of "WANT" rather then "NEED" You know?

    Those sitting on a dual core and thinking of pulling the trigger on this puppy will be the ones who benifit from a purchase like this. The rest of us ... mmm not so much.



    Reply
  • HotFoot - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    They can very well judge the CPU based on games, if games is what they do and the reason they'd consider upgrading. My most taxing application is gaming, and so I see little reason to move beyond my overclocked E8500.

    Otherwise, it's just trying to find a need for the solution, rather than the other way around. If I spent time doing tasks this CPU shined at, I'd be very excited about it.

    Further to my point, I disagree with the article stating this is the best CPU for playing WoW. I would argue that a CPU costing 1/10 as much that still feeds your GPU fast enough to hit the 60 fps cap is a better CPU for playing WoW.
    Reply
  • Dadofamunky - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    When a program like SysMark shows a crappy P4 getting 40% on average against the latest and greatest, it's definitely time for a new benchmark program. There's no way that P4EE ever comes that close in the real world. It's time to drop SysMark rom the benching suite. It's like using 3DMark03 for video card benchmarking. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    That would be true, except that it isn't a Pentium 4, and this synthetic benchmark isn't supposed to be accurate, just give you an overall idea of how a CPU fares in relation to others. The Pentium 955 in question is a 65nm Presler core, not an old socket 478 chip... Reply
  • Dadofamunky - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    It's helpful to know what you're talking about before you correct me. Presler IS P4. and I noted it as a P4EE. And of course ignoring my point is not a good way to refute it. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Presler IS a Pentium 4 Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    it's a 2-p4 mcm at at a lower node with a lot
    of improvements over the older p4 manufacturing processes.

    if i absolutely had to have netburst, that's what i would want.

    i think it's really nice that Anand includes it in the comparison, because it gives a sense of history to the article, and it shows how much faster CPUs have gotten in such a short time.

    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Yep. It might be based on P4, but you can't really considered a P4. It was based on two cedar mill cores rather than smithfield with double the cache and a 200mhz bus speed jump. Reply
  • Dadofamunky - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    And exactly the same NetBurst architecture otherwise. And I'm sorry, but seeing that POS coming up with 40% against Gulftown signifies either one of two things: Gulftown isn't that much faster; or, the SysMark software distorts the relative performance results. That isn't a realistic portrayal of 'history.' SysMark 2007 badly needs an update. It isn't a realistic tool for the 4-to-6-core world. Reply
  • danielkza - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Weird, other sites managed to squeeze up to 4.4GHz of the 980X on air, and 4.7GHz on WC. I thought initially of different stability requirements from both parts, but bit-tech ran all their benchmarks at both 4400MHz and 4720MHz. Maybe Anand's DX58 isn't holding up so well after all.

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/03/11/i...">http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2...-core-i7...
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Anand only used a stock cooler to test. The intel coolers never have much head room in them. Luck of the draw in both mobo and CPU might be a factor but so is bit-tech's better cooling. Reply
  • chrisfam - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Tomshardware got a 4.13 Ghz overclock with 1.4v and with Enhanced SpeedStep and Turbo Boost enabled. Neoseeker got a 4.16 Ghz overclock with just 1.35v. And both of these were with the stock heat sink. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I've been working on a follow up to go deeper into our overclocked numbers. A motherboard swap later and a little bit of work appears to be paying off...I'm over 4.1GHz already :-)

    Update soon!

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • chrisfam - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Updated overclock (4.13 Ghz, 1.359V) is much better. Thanks for the update. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    That's right, 3.7-3.8GHz is the full load limit of Intel's stock cooler with these beasts. We ran out of time to really push, but I'm sure we'll find out what these chips can do in due course.

    regards
    Raja
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Is the new tower cooler an improvement in any way over the old one? Is it quieter, as it doesn't seem to offer more OC headroom.

    Also, how does the CPU power consumption increase by 130W at load over idle, while system consumption only goes up 90W?
    Reply
  • - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    how are you getting your productivity numbers/percentages ??? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Also note that I limited my voltage to a ~15% increase. I believe with more voltage it's possible to go higher, but you really start driving power consumption up at that point.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • zartok - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I saw on tweakers.net they were able to run it 3.45GHz on 1V and on 4.26GHz on 1.38V (or 1.33V can't tell that well due to the image size), without even trying hard. So are sure that it's the CPU that's limiting the OC and not something else eg the motherboard? Reply
  • Bolas - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    How does this cpu compare to the 6-core 32nm Xeon server chips that are launching around the same time? Any cost information on those yet? I mention this because I'm seriously considering EVGA's new dual socket W555 motherboard, which requires the dual QPI cpu's. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Is Intel offering 18 months no interest no payment plans for this? I really want one but I also want to eat and live in something besides a box for the next six months. Good article and nice to know the X58 boards we already have should work with nothing more than a BIOS upgrade. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This processor isn't for you then.

    It's for people who have nothing better to blow money on AND have money.
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This is mostly a paper launch since few people will pay $1k for a CPU. As has been said so many times in the CPU/OC forums, keep your eyes out for the 32nm Xeon quads that will be appearing for LGA1366. They won't be 920 d0 cheap but they will be cheaper than the 980 and probably OC pretty well.

    Reply
  • erwos - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    If it's in the channel, it's not a paper launch. Period, end of story. Just because you can't afford it doesn't mean others can't. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    It's not that it's unaffordable . . . it's just that I'm not that crazy. Close, but not quite. Reply
  • JumpingJack - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Maybe a career change that pays more :) ... j/k. Reply
  • cactusdog - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This wont be the only i7 6 core desktop CPU. Intel are being sneaky to milk the market. There will be another one or possibly 2 at mainstream prices. The cheapest Xeon gulftown is only $400 (2.26Ghz) so why would Intel ignore desktop when X58 boards will happily run a Xeon? Reply
  • GourdFreeMan - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    That strategy could just as well backfire on Intel. If you have to wait six months for the other hexacore desktop Gulftowns, you might as well forgo Gulftown entirely and wait a year to fifteen months for hexa/octocore Sandy Bridge. The new AVX instructions in Sandy Bridge are likely to have a far broader impact on performance in terms of software anyway... Reply
  • Triple Omega - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Well I hope you're right. As right now it looks like even Sandy Bridge releasing at least 26 months after the 920 will still have only 4 cores maximum. Not much of a replacement.

    Also, did anyone notice they broke their own Moore's-Law rule? The 980X only has 1,6 times the transistors of it's predecessor.
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    As I posted above:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_future_Intel_...">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fu...rocessor...

    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    "Also, did anyone notice they broke their own Moore's-Law rule? The 980X only has 1,6 times the transistors of it's predecessor. "

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of Moore's Law, this is not unexpected because it is often misquoted or misrepresented in the less technically oriented press. The proper way to state Moore's law is the transistor count will double roughly every two years for the same die size, or for the same transistor count the die size will half. Yet the best way is to simply say the transistor density (transistor/unit area) will double.

    You can check the 32 nm adherence to Moore's law by following up on the technical presentations that float around the web, Intel published their IEDM 2009 32 nm stuff:
    Also, did anyone notice they broke their own Moore's-Law rule? The 980X only has 1,6 times the transistors of it's predecessor.
    http://download.intel.com/technology/architecture-...">http://download.intel.com/technology/ar...-silicon...

    See the scaling for gate pitch or SRAM cell size slides 5 and 6, they are clearly falling right on the Moore's law path.

    This is not by accident, a linear scaling factor of 0.7 when squared is 0.49 or roughly 0.5 i.e. half the area, this factor is chosen to get double the transistor density each technology node.
    Reply
  • talonz - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    "Moore's Law" refers to density, not actual transistor count. Anyone can build a big chip. Reply
  • tterremmotto - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Actually, Moore's law has nothing to do with density nor speed. It was about price.

    Moore's "observation" simply stated that the price per transistor halves every 18 moths. Wether that is due to density increases or process advancement is not a necessity.

    Never an observation has been so misunderstood, and yet have such a fantastic side effect.
    Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Actually, Moore's law is all about transistor density. I know. I see it everyday in the halls, in the elevator, at my desk, in the cleanroom. . . Reply
  • JumpingJack - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    He has a small point, Moores Law is just an obseravtion of the rate of shrinkage over time, the phenomena is driven by the economy of scale.

    Jack
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    where are you getting your xeon pricing info from?

    all i can find from any solid source is the current xeon quad core processors which are running about $2000 on newegg at the moment.

    xeons have always carried a premium for the intel dual processor support, and imho, a cheaper xeon is going to be more "enterprise" oriented and not be a real upgrade for the home x58 platform.

    again, this is pure speculation, but i think we are going to be stuck with our current i7 stuff until intel decides to do a 32 nm refresh on the home line up.
    basically, what i'm trying to say is that i think any xeon capable of creaming an i7 930 is going to be WAY more expensive than the 980x gulftown on display here.
    Reply
  • Meghan54 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    [QUOTE]where are you getting your xeon pricing info from?

    all i can find from any solid source is the current xeon quad core processors which are running about $2000 on newegg at the moment. [/QUOTE]

    Well, I question your search skills at Newegg, then, if that's all you can find there.

    Just an FYI, Newegg has MANY, MANY sub-$700 Xeon processors for socket 1366, like the W3520, a Bloomfield, for $310, or the W3550 for $600--both Bloomfield quad-core cpus.

    Learn to use search, (ps....main page, cpu/processors, processors-servers, power search, check box socket 1366, look at results. I'm hoping you do understand that there are mouse clicks between step.)
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    grow up... Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    no, i saw all of that stuff. i was looking at the six core chips and i typed quad instead.

    but thanks for getting all nasty and sarcastic anyway.
    i'll try to remember about those mouse clicks next time.

    the point i was trying to make is that the xeon line is going to be more expensive than the comparable home desktop CPUs and that it won't be a simple matter of non-server customers just buying xeons that will outclass the current i7 line-up. (specifically to compete against the 6 core model that this review is about)



    Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I think the point was that you could get 2x cheap quad core Xeons, and run with 8 cores (16 threads) at a small price premium over the $1000 Gulftown. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I will keep my eyes open for the Xeon, but for some reason, those typically are quite pricey. This $1k price will fall, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

    I am looking forward to both.


    Thanks for the read, Anand,
    vol7ron
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Here's a list of Gulftown quads for LGA1366:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_future_Intel_...">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fu...rocessor...

    The information isn't complete, but you should be able to do searches on the part that interests you most and get the information that you want.
    Reply
  • iamezza - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    it won't be dropping in price any time soon. Check the chart on Pg 3 - this is the top intel CPU until 2011 and I can't see AMD releasing a CPU that will compete performance wise with it before then. Reply
  • DarkUltra - Monday, May 03, 2010 - link

    I also miss memory and cache performance tests, and memory overclock results. Reply
  • Kn0xx - Monday, May 17, 2010 - link

    well, this new 6 core comer, will be ( probably ) the entry design for 128 -bit processors that Intel are already working on it.

    128 bit need new multi-core structures. so ..980X is an example of how can a 128-bit core would be =)
    Reply
  • unmaskedtruth - Sunday, May 23, 2010 - link

    does anyone know if protools le 8.0 is multi-threaded? for recording pro music, is it going to be able to take advantage of "6cores" if i was to go i7-980x route? or is quad-core more than sufficient? cause there is i7-930 which is cost like 80% less than the 980x. what do you guys suggest? Reply
  • Emcha_Audio - Saturday, January 08, 2011 - link

    Now that you've tested it with Sonar, might be worth it to test it with something more powerful and heavy than Sonar. I'd suggest Pro tools Le. Reply
  • chakrivenu - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    Hello, can anyone tell me what is the exact type or model of 3M tape used on the plastic plate.
    My motherboard had a problem and i removed the plastic plate. There are two strips in which one strip was spoiled while removing. Please help me..
    Reply

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