Back in March 2010, Intel launched the sexa-core processor named Core i7 980X. 980X was based on the 32nm Gulftown core clocked at 3.33GHz, featuring 12MB L3 cache and 12 threads. This way they beat AMD to market with a sexa-core desktop CPU, although AMD fought back at way more affordable price points with their Phenom II X6 offerings. One year later Intel superseded the Extreme Edition product with the i7 990X clocked at 3.46GHz priced at the same $999. But apparently this was not the last Intel wants to bring to the aging LGA-1366 platform.
Leaked screenshot showing allegedly upcoming Intel Core i7 995X processor
On various overclocker forums, there are screenshots of an alleged follow-up dubbed Core i7-995X, upping the clock speed to 3.6GHz as default clock. Other than that it’s still the same chip, but to be honest – currently, there is no faster desktop CPU than Intel’s Gulftown. Due to its lower price point, Intel’s more recent Sandy Bridge CPUs are more popular among most enthusiasts, but this chip is only available in quad-core SKUs. People craving for more cores have to resort to the outdated Gulftown core based on the Nehalem/Westmere microarchitecture. As we have reported earlier, the high-end replacement will only arrive in the fourth quarter, based on Sandy Bridge.
The 995X is supposed to launch in the summer timeframe, which is coincidentally when AMDs Bulldozer based AMD FX high-end CPUs should hit the market. There is a writing on the wall, as ASUS and others already hit the marketing drum with motherboard support, NVIDIA readies SLI for Bulldozer, Intel cranks out more and more competitive chips although from a present viewpoint that wouldn’t be necessary. At this point there are still many unknown variables, but the industry seems to be gearing up for a massive CPU battle this summer.
According to AMD, their 32nm manufacturing at GlobalFoundries seems to be up and running so stay tuned for more as we approach the impending launches.