Back in 2008 when we reviewed the first batch of Intel Core i7 processors, we noted that an upcoming Nehalem die-shrink would bring six core chips built using a 32nm manufacturing process. The release was expected to enhance the investment that Core i7 customers made in the LGA1366 platform by providing an even more powerful upgrade alternative.
Now, well over a year later, here we are with the first commercially available processor based on such architecture. The Core i7 980X Extreme features the same 32nm process used by the Clarkdale Core i3/i5 processors, and perhaps as exciting as it sounds to run 6 cores using HyperThreading (12 threads) is the fact that through a simple BIOS update this processor can be used on all existing X58 motherboards.
Upgrading to one of these is not going to be a cheap affair, of course. Today we've set out to compare a handful of options covering the $250, $500 and $1,000 price ranges, from the Core i7 920 to the freshly released 980X Extreme, which will give you a better idea of what to expect as you move up the LGA1366 ladder.
Read the complete review.