Intel Hexacore Gulftown to be Core i7 980X EE

Along with the revamped Nehalem-based Westmere chips, Intel will be bringing a hexacore variant codenamed Gulftown.

Many figured that this new class of desktop chip with its six cores and twelve threads would put it in a class that Intel would see fit to name Core i9 – but if leaked Intel slides are to be believed, Intel is keeping it within the Core i7 family.

Chinese website PCOnline shows a slide that clearly describes an Intel Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition as one built on a 32nm process with 12MB Intel Smart Cache and a 130W TDP.

While this leaves some of us wondering what, if anything, Intel will slot into a possible Core i9 class, the positive side is that Intel won't have to print up a whole different set of system badge stickers for the new Gulftown CPU.

This is just the latest in a string of Gulftown leaks. Last month, a Polish website got its hands on an engineering sample and put the chip through its (quick) paces.

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  • mi1ez
    Or they want to make their naming system even more retarded. Great...
  • AW-Levi
    If they consider this as part of the i7 family than it seems that the i9 family definitely be something faster and much stronger.
    Since its not on the market this is not sure.
  • wild9
    Secretly leaked? Sure ;) I'd say it's more like propaganda.

    Nice to see LGA1366 having a bit of looks like Intel is taking a leaf out of AMD's book in terms of not abandoning it's support base.

    However it seems it's not all roses..

    . 130W TDP on a 32nm process.

    . 6 physical cores..I reckon AMD could possibly do 8 by that time, using a similar manufacturing process.

    . They are general-purpose i86 cores, at a time when GPGPU software is growing in popularity. Intel does not seem to be in a strong position in that respect, either with IGP solutions or discrete logic. Even with 6 physical cores + 6 threading units chugging away, I doubt the 980X EE would be able to get anywhere near GPGPU code even with a higher instructions-per-clock count than what is currently available. The GPGPU stuff will have matured even further (and smaller), by that time and you can already offload work to it using onboard graphics from AMD/ATI and nVidia.

    . Cost

    I think it will have to have something other than more cores - and at a reasonable price - in order to be attractive. Not saying it's a bad product either (I'm sure it would be a very fast), but is the market willing to pay for it or look elsewhere to something more efficient - and cheaper - for a given task?