Intel’s next flagship – 32nm Westmere based six-core Gulftown, is set to be branded Core i7 980X. Long rumoured to be branded Core i9, the most logical choice, Intel have yet again opted for a confusing nomenclature.

The 980X fits into the LGA 1366 socket, much like the Bloomfield Core i7 9xx CPUs. However, the Core i7 980X offers a much greater leap in performance over the Core i7 975 than the branding might suggest.

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Intel’s next flagship – 32nm Westmere based six-core Gulftown, is set
to be branded Core i7 980X. Long rumoured to be branded Core i9, the
most logical choice, Intel have yet again opted for a confusing
nomenclature.

The 980X fits into the LGA 1366 socket, much like the Bloomfield Core
i7 9xx CPUs. However, the Core i7 980X offers a much greater leap in
performance over the Core i7 975 than the branding might suggest.

Thanks to the next generation 32nm fabrication process, Gulftown, in many ways, is Bloomfield + 50%. The core count and thread count are up to 6 and 12 from 4 and 8. The L3 cache is up to 12MB from 8MB. The TDP remains constant at 130W, and incredibly, the rumoured clock speed is identical to the i7 975 – 3.33 GHz, though this is yet to be confirmed. The i7 980X is also expected to replace the i7 975 at the same price point – $999.

The 980X is expected to release some time in March 2010, and will remain the fastest CPU all the way through 2011, unless Intel decides to release a faster 985X or 990X variant.

AMD’s 6-core CPU, Thuban, is expected to hit a few weeks after the Core i7 980X, though performance-wise they will compete for a completely different market – perhaps taking on Intel’s Lynnfield Core i5/i7 quad core CPUs.

Confusing branding and exorbitant prices aside, the Core i7 980X is all set to be the new King of CPUs.

Reference: Fudzilla