It seems hard to believe, but it's been a year and a half since we looked at the first Intel Core i7 processors. Back then, we tested the Core i7 920, 940, and 965 Extreme Edition, which was launched at $ 284, 562, and $ 999, respectively. For example, even though they are discontinued by newer Core i7 930, 950 and 975 Extreme Edition models that offer a slight increase in performance, the price of the Core i7 920 is still very close to the price on the start list.
This is an obvious exception to the rule for pretty much any component that has been on the market for over 12 months and is undoubtedly a current owner. To further improve this situation, Intel recently increased Core i7 customers' investment in the LGA1366 platform by providing an even more powerful upgrade alternative.
As early as 2008, when we reviewed the first batch of Core i7 processors, we found that an upcoming architecture code-named "Westmere" would contain 6 cores and would be created using the 32 nm design process. At the time, it was also said that these cores would have a shared 12 MB L3 cache.
Now, well over a year later, we are here with the first commercially available processor based on such an architecture. The Core i7 980X Extreme uses the same 32nm process as the Clarkdale Core i3 / i5 processors. As exciting as it sounds to run 6 cores with HyperThreading (12 threads) is the fact that this processor can be run through a simple BIOS update. Used on all existing X58 motherboards.
Even those who invested in the Core i7 platform on the day of its release can now purchase a new Core i7 980X Extreme processor and take advantage of the performance of 6 high-speed cores. However, it won't be a cheap affair. Today we decided to compare a handful of options covering the $ 250, 500, and $ 1,000 price ranges, from the Core i7 920 to the newly released 980X Extreme, to give you a better idea of what to expect when You climb up LGA1366 ladder.