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Intel "Coffee Lake" Company's First 6-core Mainstream SKU

Intel's upcoming "Coffee Lake" micro-architecture, or the 9th generation Core processor family by Intel, is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2018. It succeeds the 8th generation "Cannon Lake" family of notebook processors (which likely doesn't see a desktop launch), and the 7th Gen Core "Kaby Lake" socket LGA1151 processors slated for January 2017. While it's not known if mainstream desktop "Coffee Lake" chips will continue to be based on the LGA1151 socket, the possibility is diminishing, looking at a platform layout diagram leaked to the web by, supported by new connectivity interfaces coming out of the CPU package. The biggest selling-point of "Coffee Lake," is its core-count.

The 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake" family could introduce Intel's first 6-core processor to the mainstream desktop platform. The company's first 6-core client part was launched in its LGA1366 HEDT (high-end desktop) platform with the Core i7 "Gulftown" processor, way back in 2010. An increase in core-count from 4 has eluded the mainstream-desktop lineup. The 6-core "Coffee Lake" silicon will be built on a highly-refined 14 nm node by Intel, with a die-size of 149 mm². Quad-core parts won't be carved out of this silicon by disabling two cores, but rather be built on a smaller 126 mm² die. For reference, the quad-core "Kaby Lake" die is expected to be 123 mm², and the current quad-core "Skylake-D" die measures 122.6 mm².

Intel Readies Skylake-X As its Next High-end Desktop Platform

Intel's next high-end desktop (HEDT) platform to succeed the current "Broadwell-E" LGA2011v3 will be the X-series "Basin Falls" platform. This consists of the "Skylake-X" and "Kaby Lake-X" processors, and a chipset derived from Intel's upcoming 200-series. Just as Intel changed sockets for its previous three HEDT platforms (LGA1366 for "Nehalem" and "Westmere/Gulftown," LGA2011 for "Sandy Bridge-E" and "Ivy Bridge-E," and LGA2011v3 for "Haswell-E" and "Broadwell-E,") the company will launch a new socket, the LGA2066.

As with its HEDT predecessors, "Skylake-X" and "Kaby Lake-X" will be multi-core processors devoid of integrated graphics, with double the memory bus width and up to triple the PCIe lane budgets as the desktop ("Skylake-D," eg: Core i7-6700) processors. In an interesting move, Intel will launch both "Skylake-X" and "Kaby Lake-X" in quick succession, with a catch - "Skylake-X" will come in 6-core, 8-core, and 10-core variants; while the "Kaby Lake-X" will initially only be offered in quad-core. The "Kaby Lake-X" chip will further only feature a dual-channel memory bus, and the LGA2066 motherboard will have half its DDR4 DIMM slots disabled, besides a few PCIe lanes.

Leaked Roadmap Reveals Two Lines of Enthusiast Sandy Bridge-E Processors

In Q4 2011, Intel will unveil its new Sandy Bridge-E (enthusiast) platform, consisting of new multi-core processors in the 2011-pin LGA package, and Intel X79 Express chipset. A roadmap slide leaked to the Chinese media reveals an interesting way in which Intel will approach the platform to monetize it best. To begin with, it appears like Sandy Bridge-E will keep up with the trend set by LGA1155 processors where only certain models can be overclocked, while others are greatly limited. Among those that can be overclocked (or "unlocked", as Intel puts it,) there will be two classes.

The first class are the 6-core chips at the very top of the pile, probably branded "Extreme Edition", which feature both unlocked BClk multipliers, and have 15 MB of L3 cache, among several other features enabled. Traditionally these processors cost around US $1000. The first of such chips will be clocked at 3.30 GHz. The second class of "unlocked" chips are those which make overclocking more accessible at lower price points (we're thinking under $600), probably branded with the "K" brand identifier extension (eg: 2600K). These 6-core chips will feature unlocked multipliers, while having 12 MB of cache enabled. The first of these chips will be clocked at 3.20 GHz.

Intel to Bid Farewell to LGA1366 with Core i7-995X Extreme Edition

Intel is preparing its next high-end/enthusiast desktop platform for release in Q4 2011. That platform will be driven by a new socket, the LGA2011, and the new Intel X79 Express chipset. Before that, Intel will give its 2-year old current enthusiast platform, the LGA1366 and X58 Express, a fitting farewell with a new high-end processor model, the Core i7-995X Extreme Edition. The i7-995X is a six-core processor based on the 32 nm "Gulftown" silicon. It features a default clock speed of 3.60 GHz (27 x 133 MHz), 3.86 GHz max Turbo, though the BClk multiplier is unlocked to help with overclocking.

The six x86-64 cores are aided by Intel HyperThreading technology to give the OS a total of 12 logical CPUs (threads) to deal with. The processor features a triple-channel (192-bit wide) DDR3 memory controller, and connects to the X58 chipset over a 6.4 GT/s QuickPath Interconnect link. Intel will launch its new chip some time in Q3 2011, i7-995X is expected to be priced at $999 (in 1000-unit tray quantities), displacing the current SKU at this price, the Core i7-990X Extreme Edition. For now, a lucky few (read: "industry partners") have access to engineering samples.

Intel Cuts Prices of Various Desktop Processors

Intel has formalized a wide range of price cuts and changes for processor models from across various segments and platforms. The most noteworthy of these include addition of new SKUs, and repositioning (price-cuts) of certain SKUs. To begin with, Intel formally introduced the Core i7 970 six-core desktop processor. This "non-XE" model comes with a clock speed of 3.20 GHz, and Turbo speeds of 3.43 GHz, and is based on the 32 nm Gulftown die. Earlier expected to be in the $500~$600 range by sections of the press, the SKU is positioned at $885, a mere $115 cheaper than the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition (which is priced at $999).

Most of the action lies in the LGA1156 platform, with the Core i7 870 getting a massive 47.6% price cut, sending its price plummeting down to $294, from $562. This cut may have been influenced by the Core i7 875K, which is a multiplier-unlocked SKU which is priced just a little under $350, with the same clock speeds as the i7 870. Interestingly, no price changes for the i7 860 were noted. An energy-efficient variant of the i7 870, the 870s, was introduced, it is priced at $351.

Intel Core i7 970 Starts Surfacing at e-Tailers

Intel's next six-core desktop processor, the Core i7 970, has started to surface on online stores, with UK-based Digital Fusion listing it for an uncomfortable £ 600.44 excluding applicable tax. The listing confirms the processor's clock speed to be 3.20 GHz, while it is known to be based on the 32 nm Gulftown die. The processor comes in the LGA1366 package, and should be compatible with all LGA1366 motherboards, with some requiring BIOS updates.

Intel to Release Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Six-Core Processor in Q4 2010

Intel is working on a newer high-end processor SKU based on its 32 nm "Gulftown" six-core design, the Core i7 990X Extreme Edition. It is reportedly slated for Q4 2010. As with most other Extreme Edition SKUs, the 990X will feature a higher default BClk multipler, and a higher resulting clock speed. Like the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition, it will feature an unlocked BClk multipler to help with overclocking. Gulftown features six cores on a monolithic die, with a triple-channel DDR3 IMC, and 12 MB of L3 cache. The launch of 990X is said to have been pulled forward by a quarter, as it was earlier reported to launch in Q1 2011.

The other six-core processor that is said to release before the 990X is the Core i7 970, a standard (non-XE, limited BClk multiplier) SKU that will be positioned in the upper-Performance segment, above current Core i7 quad-core SKUs. The Core i7 970 is slated for Q3 2010.

Shuttle Launches New 6-core Capable SX58J3 Mini-PC Barebone

Shuttle Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of multi-form-factor solutions such as the world-famous XPC Mini-PC Barebones, proudly announces today the launch of Europe-wide delivery of the new XPC Barebone SX58J3. This new model offers extraordinary computing power and its key features places it at the top end of what is currently feasible in terms of miniaturisation.

The SX58J3 is particularly remarkable thanks to its compatibility with Intel's ground-breaking 6-core processor, the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition (codename: Gulftown), as well with all Core i7 CPUs for socket 1366. To complement this, the four slots on the Barebone are able to accommodate up to 16 GB DDR3 memory. The central interface for all components is provided by an Intel X58 Express chipset which was especially developed for high-performance systems.

The Spiders Have Landed at Lian Li and They Brought Some Friends - Including Gulftown

Some of you may have seen the YouTube video of the Lian Li PC-T1 Spider, which the Company is showing at the CeBIT. The unit is pretty impressive up close and personal. Besides that we got to take a look at the Lancool K62 with a white interior paint job. The chassis will is also available with a red interior. We also noticed that one of their cases was filled with high-end components, including a Gulftown CPU with six cores. Lian Li is also getting into the bench table segment and they are showing off two early prototypes of such units - one for ATX and one for ITX boards.

ASRock Shows off Gulftown-based Demo at CeBIT

A few weeks ahead of Intel's launch of its Core i7 980X "Gulftown" six-core processors, ASRock used the chip in a live-demo for one of its new motherboards. ASRock was probably trying to show off high performance numbers for its X58 Extreme3 motherboard using [perhaps] the most powerful LGA-1366 processor ever made, with a benchmark application best suited for it: Cinebench R10. Being a multi-threaded benchmark, the Core i7 980X scored 25,711 points. A quad-core Core i7 processor typically scores around the 20,000 mark. The exhibitors also confirmed that the 980X will be an Extreme Edition part with a clock speed of 3.33 GHz. As for the exhibit itself, ASRock pleaded innocent saying it had necessary permissions to display performance numbers of the 980X, well ahead of its launch. While tech forums are rife with unofficial benchmark scores of Gulftown, by forum members who test engineering samples with a level of anonymity, this is the first time a motherboard partner came all out with an official demo of the chip's capabilities. Intel's Core i7 980X will be released in a few weeks' time. ASRock's X58 Extreme3 is said to support the chip out of the box, though most socket LGA-1366 motherboards should be able to support it with a simple BIOS update.

Upcoming Intel Core CPUs Detailed

Intel is poised to release new performance and high-end processors across its various Core family brands, within Q1 2010 and later. OCWorkbench, citing sources in Japan, released tentative release dates and information of new Core family processors. Among a few known names such as the six-core Core i7 980X, there are a few new ones. Details and dates are as follows:
  • Core i7 980X "Gulftown": six-core, LGA-1366, 3.33 GHz (turbo: 3.60 GHz), March 16
  • Core i7 970 "Bloomfield": quad-core, LGA-1366, 3.33 GHz (turbo: 3.46 GHz), Q3, 2010
  • Core i7 930 "Bloomfield": quad-core, LGA-1366, 2.80 GHz (turbo: 3.06 GHz), February 28
  • Core i7 880 "Lynnfield": quad-core, LGA-1156, 3.06 GHz (turbo: 3.73 GHz), Q2, 2010
  • Core i5 680 "Clarkdale": dual-core, LGA-1156, 3.60 GHz (turbo: 3.80 GHz), Mid-May
  • Core i3 550 "Clarkdale": dual-core, LGA-1156, 3.20 GHz, Q2, 2010
  • Pentium E6700 "Wolfdale-2M": dual-core, LGA-775, 3.43 GHz, Q2, 2010
Although the Core i7 960 is available in its OEM form, the company doesn't plan to retail it with its retail packaging.

ASUS Rampage III Extreme 32 Megapixel high-res photo

According to ASUS the Rampage III Extreme is "Designed for those who know the Dark Art of Overclocking". It comes equipped with all features that overclockers dream of, and also has new stuff like ROG Connect for example.
The board supports CPUs for Intel Socket 1366, which means Core i7 including Gulftown (yes, I asked). As chipset Intel's X58 and ICH10R is used like on the Rampage II Extreme. ASUS has routed 32 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes to the PCI-E x16 slots, so you can either run x16+x16, x16+x8+x8 or x8+x8+x8+x8 - all without the added heat and latency of NVIDIA's nForce 200. As we hear this does make quite a difference in a 4x HD 5870 configuration for example. Major improvements have also been made to the power solution which is now 8-phase digital 250 - 1000 kHz. Of course support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s is included as well.

While exact details are not known, the price of the board will be "highest priced ROG" - my guess is around $400, with availability starting around the Gulftown launch which should be some time in March.

Big, big picture, about 5 MB, can be found here.

Gulftown Product Name and Tentative Price Surfaces

Contrary to older reports, Intel will stick to the Core i7 brand identifier to sell its first consumer (client) six-core processor based on the Nehalem architecture, codenamed "Gulftown". The first offering of these socket LGA-1366 processors, is the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition. Its positioning and pricing shows that Intel will replace its current flagship desktop processor, the Core i7 975 Extreme Edition with it, and at the very same price-point of US $999 (in 1000 unit tray quantities).

A future price list also shows that the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition is slated for March 2010. A month ahead of its launch, Intel will introduce the Core i7 930, which succeeds the Core i7 920 at its price-point of $284. The Gulftown core will be manufactured on Intel's brand new 32 nm HKMG process, it features 6 processing cores with 12 threads (HyperThreading Technology), triple-channel DDR3 memory with its integrated memory controller, 6.4 GT/s QPI link to the Intel X58 Express chipset, 12 MB of L3 cache, compatibility to platforms that support the Core i7 9xx processors, and 130W TDP. The Core i7 980X Extreme Edition comes with a clock speed of 3.33 GHz, The Core i7 930 on the other hand, is a quad-core processor which runs at 2.80 GHz.

Gulftown Seamlessly Compatible with X58 Chipset Platform

Nearly an year away from launch, Intel's 6-core Gulftown processor is creating buzz in the media. The new processor which has already been sampled, and tested, some of its first documentation has been leaked to the media in the form of a slide that lists out some details. To begin with, Gulftown will be the first high-performance processor built on the 32 nm second-generation HKMG process. Intel's first commercial 32 nm based processors are dual-core chips which will sell alongside the much larger 45 nm CPU lineup. Next of-course, is that it has six processing cores with HyperThreading enabling 12 logical CPUs. With TurboBoost, the processor powers down inactive cores and overclocks the active ones, thus boosting performance on single/few-threaded apps while reducing power consumption.

Next up is its integrated memory controller supporting DDR3-1066 memory. The same standard is listed for current Core i7 processors, though they are proven to work at higher memory bus speeds. The part that perhaps matters the most is that the processor is seamlessly compatible with the X58 chipset, is based on socket LGA-1366, and has the same TDP rating as Core i7 900 series processors: 130W. Existing motherboards that handle Core i7 processors are technically capable to handle Gulftown. The processor will only be available in the high-end (enthusiast) category, and according to the latest roadmaps, is slated for Q2 2010.

Intel Updates Mainstream, Performance, and Extreme CPU Roadmap

Intel issued a confidential roadmap for CPU product releases that looks as far as Q3 2010, leaked to sections of the Chinese media. The roadmap covers prominent Intel processors in their designated market segments drawn out by Intel, covering three grades of mainstream, one each of performance and extreme. The roadmap marks a definite transition of architectures from Intel's Core (penryn) to next-generation Nehalem, and the advent of Intel's first 32 nm based Westmere CPUs.

To begin with, there three models of Intel's first LGA-1156 processors scheduled for Q3 2009, the quad-core "Lynnfield" based Core i7 870 (2.93 GHz, HTT) in Performance, Core i7 860 (2.80 GHz, HTT) in MS3/upper-mainstream, and Core i5 750 (2.66 GHz, no HTT) in MS2/middle-mainstream. The HTT-enabled Core i7 800 processors were earlier believed to have been scheduled for Q1 2010, but are combined with the Core i5 750 for a grand platform launch. The Core i7 800 models will remain seated in their segments for the better part of 2010.

Core i9 ''Gulftown'' Comes to Life

Intel's posterboy processor for the 32 nm Westmere architecture, the six-core Gulftown is now living, breathing silicon. The company seems to have already dispatched samples of the chip. Gulftown is based on the LGA-1366 socket. Featuring 6 cores and 12 threads with HyperThreading enabled, it holds 12 MB of L3 cache to support the additional data load over the QuickPath Interconnect.

A noted enthusiast has two Gulftown processors running in a dual-socket setup. This 12 core, 24 thread monstrosity uses 24 GB of DDR3 memory using 4 GB modules (perhaps 2 x 3 modules). The processors are running at 2.40 GHz (18 x 133 MHz). The machine was put through WPrime multi-threaded benchmark. It crunched WPrime 32M in a little over 6 seconds, and 1024M in 145.6 seconds. Going by older information, Gulftown should be implemented in a commercial product in Q1 2010, when Intel plans a host of other important product launches. When released as Core i9, the processor will target the premium enthusiast market.
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