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The Intel Core i7-990X is a top-of-the-line hexa-core processor that claimed the place of Intel's flagship commercial processor

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extreme performance - 6 cores with 12 threads running at 3.45GHz (3.73GHz with TurboBoost)

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unlocked multiplier - easily overclocked for the enthusiast looking for the best performance possible

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built on a 32nm fabrication process - smaller transistors than the competition, allows for faster clock speeds while using less power, producing less heat

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fastest consumer chip available

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bragging rights

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massive cost

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130W TPD - designed to run quite hot, needs enthusiast cooling to run quietly and efficiently

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will be outperformed in 3 years by a processor a small fraction of its cost, energy consumed, heat produced, etc...

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performance gains over CPUs in the $200-300 range are minimal, not worth it for the vast majority of consumers

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Tricky to install and MASSIVE stock heatsink.

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The Intel Core i7-990X is a top-of-the-line hexa-core processor that claimed the place of Intel's flagship commercial processor from the Intel Core i7-980X. The 990X improves upon the 980X in terms of clock speed only as it is clocked at 3.46GHz as compared to the 980X's 3.33GHz (with a max turbo frequency of 3.73GHz with Turbo Boost technology as opposed to 3.6GHz). Otherwise, the two hexa-core processors sport the same features and technologies, including: a 12MB cache, 32nm micro-architecture, Hyper-Threading technology and a 130-watt max TDP.

The i7-990X's 32nm architecture allows it to provide more processing power than 45nm chips while requiring less power than a 45nm chip of equivalent processing capability. Its Hyper-Threading technology allows the i7-990X to effectively behave as if it had 12 cores as each physical core is seen by a computer's OS as two cores, allowing each core to handle twice as many tasks simultaneously. Meanwhile, the i7-990X's Turbo Boost technology allows it to automatically boost its clock speed as needed to ensure optimal performance.

  • Clock speed: 3.46GHz
  • Max turbo frequency: 3.73GHz
  • Turbo Boost technology
  • Unlocked multiplier for extreme overclocking
  • 12MB cache
  • 32nm micro-architecture
  • Hyper-Threading technology
  • 130-watt max TDP
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