Intel has traditionally adopted a hi-mainstream-low mix on their CPUs with the Core 2 Extreme, the Core 2 Duo and the Celeron D being the last mix of CPUs. Intel launched their 975X last year, have Core i5 CPUs for the mainstream and Core i3 CPUs for the budget conscious consumer. One issue has been that the difference between the Core i7 975 and the lowest end Core i7 CPU is the clock speed. The Core i7-980X Extreme Edition CPU changes the performance metric when it will be released in a few weeks but allowed us to do a review before the product hits retail.
The Core i7-980X is codenamed Gulftown and replaces the Core i7-975X CPU in Intelís lineup as their top of the line CPU. Gulftown is their first 6-core consumer CPU to hit the market. This also marks the separation from the mainstream i7 CPUs as the new CPU requires the X58 chipset and wonít work on the LGA-1156 CPU Socket found on the P55/H55/H57 etc chipsets. This CPU is also an Extreme Edition CPU, meaning that it is unlocked and can be overclocked higher by changing the multiplier as well as the BCLK upwards.