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Spending upwards of $999 on the latest and greatest Intel processor might be overkill in most people's book, especially for the marginal performance gains you get compared to the next model down. But that isn't stopping a deluge of system builders from announcing products based on the recently announced Core i7-980X EE. The six-core, twelve-threaded part has already made its way onto gaming rigs by Alienware, Origin PC, CyberPower and Maingear – among others.
Prices vary from around $2,600 to $5,000 and beyond depending on your configuration. Alienware, for example, has updated its Area-51 line to include the six-core option with a starting price of $3,000, while Origin PC is offering not just the standard 3.33Ghz clocked version but one that's overclocked all the way up to 4.3Ghz.
For big spenders, 'extreme' configuration options are aplenty. Digital Storm is offering a version of its BlackOPS gaming desktop with the i7-980X for a cool $5,642 which will get you the new Extreme Edition chip overclocked to 3.9GHz, along 6GB of DDR3 memory running at 1600MHz, a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5970 in CrossFireX and a liquid cooling system.
Others like CyberPower PC and Maingear are putting the new processor into more than one of their desktop lines to give buyers a bit more choice. The latter will let you configure their F131 with an i7-980X, 3GB of DDR3 and ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics for $2,600, or The Shift starting at around $3,290 when including the six-core part, while CyberPower is now offering the silicon in its Black Mamba, Black Pearl and Gamer Xtreme 3D machines.
This is only the first wave of rigs powered by this chip as we suspect almost every other PC maker will be following suit soon. Enthusiasts are more likely to build their own rigs rather than going with a pre-built system, but it's always nice to see the latest and most advanced hardware hit the scene.