Intel is expected to introduce a 6-core processor designed to crunch through the most 3D-intensive games in the coming weeks.
Midlife Gamer spoke exclusively to an industry insider who confirmed that the new chip codenamed ‘Gulftown’ has yet to be given a definitive launch date but is certain to ship in the next few weeks. While other sources speculate that the first glimpses of the chip running 3D-intensive games such as Napoleon: Total War could happen at the 2010 Game Developer’s Conference next week. The official roll-out of Intel’s 6-core “Westmere” processors, however, is expected later this month.
The Core i7-980X is distinguished primarily by being Intel’s first 6-core “Extreme Edition” processor based on the chipmaker’s cutting-edge 32-nanometer process technology. Generally, the smaller the manufacturing process, the more circuitry can be packed onto the chip, increasing performance. Most Intel processors still use “fatter” 45-nanometer technology.
Like other Core i series processors, it features Hyper-Threading, which can double the number of tasks–or threads–a processor can execute. So, a 6-core processor can handle 12 threads. This technology is not offered on prior-generation Core 2 chips.