Intel Core i7 980X review

The world's fastest PC processor. Shame about the planet-sized price tag

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

The fastest PC processor we've ever tested. But so expensive, nobody can afford it.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Hexa-core (6 Core)

View full specification


  • Epic performance by every metric
  • Money no object, the finest CPU money can buy


  • Money is an object
  • LGA1,366 socket is a dead end

Want the finest CPU money can buy? Look no further than the Intel Core i7 980X. It's the undisputed world heavyweight champ among chips. Just remember you'll need a lot of it. The money, that is.

But what a processor you get in return. The Core I7 980X is, of course, a six-core beast. But this is six-cores Intel style, so that's two threads per core and a dozen of those little green graphs when you fire up task manager. That's unparalleled, er, parallelism in a PC processor.

In that context, even AMD's Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition looks rather ordinary. It may have six cores. But each is single-threaded only. Moreover, AMD's underlying CPU architecture is pretty ancient while the Intel Core i7 980X is literally the latest thing, right down to is impossibly tiny 32nm underpinnings. What it isn't however, is unique. The recently released Core i7 970 is largely the same six-core, 12-thread processor at a slightly less offensive price point.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreHexa-core (6 Core)
Thermal Design Power130 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i7 Extreme Edition i7-900
L3 Cache12 MB
Clock Speed3.33 GHz
Processor SocketSocket B LGA-1366
Brand NameIntel
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification67.9°C
QuickPath Interconnect6.40 GT/s
Product Seriesi7-900
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli7-980X
Product NameCore i7 Extreme Edition Hexa-core i7-980X 3.33GHz Desktop Processor
Product LineCore i7 Extreme Edition
Manufacturer Part NumberAT80613003543AE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Hardcore multitaskers rejoice. Fly through everything you do on your PC from playing intense 3D games to creating and editing digital video, music, and photos. With the high performance platform capabilities of Intel X58 Express Chipset-based motherboards, along with faster, intelligent multi-core technology that applies processing power dynamically when its needed most, PCs based on the Intel Core i7-980X processor Extreme Edition deliver incredible performance with a rich feature set.

Process Technology32 nm