Intel is planning to update their fastest CPU – the Core i7 980X – in Q4 2010. The 980X is easily the fastest desktop CPU in the world today, and the most expensive, at $999. The Q4 refresh, the i7 990X, is likely to replace the 980X at $999. No clock speeds were mentioned. However, given the nomenclature, six cores at 3.46 GHz seems most likely.

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Intel is planning to update their fastest CPU – the Core i7 980X – in Q4
2010. The 980X is easily the fastest desktop CPU in the world today,
and the most expensive, at $999. The Q4 refresh, the i7 990X, is likely
to replace the 980X at $999. No clock speeds were mentioned. However,
given the nomenclature, six cores at 3.46 GHz seems most likely.

Core i7 970, the “cheap” six-core, will release in Q3. However, when the 990X hits in Q4, it is likely to be replaced at the $580 price point by “?i7 970″. Now, given the “?” sign, it is possible that the i7 970 remains, but it is likely that it will be replaced by a non-extreme Core i7 980, running at 3.33 GHz, but with no unlocked multipliers. As for the Core i7 970, we can only hope that it will be available at a lower price point.

Intel’s Sandy Bridge releases in early 2011. However, the first products are mainstream CPUs, limited to four cores. It is likely that Core i7 990X will remain the performance flagship till the enthusiast Sandy Bridge, with upto 8 cores, releases later in 2011. Perhaps this is why Intel is refreshing the Core i7 series so close to Sandy Bridge.

Reference: Xbitlabs