At the moment, the Core i7-3960X Extreme central processing unit is the most powerful chip in the company's enthusiast-grade CPU collection for desktops, but that will soon change.
Rumors about a newer and stronger six-core Sandy Bridge-E CPU have been roaming the web for months, albeit not very uproariously.
This time, amusingly enough, it was Intel
itself that jumped the gun on its own product launch. It quickly took the info down, but CPU World
had made a screenshot by then.
The company added the Core i7-3970X Extreme processor, compatible with the socket 2011 platform, to the PCU support list of the DX79SI motherboard.
Truth be told, the Core i7-3970X was first discovered back in July, and then got its specs confirmed in roadmap slides. This is just another piece of evidence that the info we have is correct.
We know some will frown at this being a Sandy Bridge-E chip and not Ivy Bridge-E (12-core max
), but they should remember that the latter series won't be out until 2013.
Besides, six cores at 3.5 GHz is quite the feat, as it implies an advantage of 200 MHz (per core) over the i7-3960X.
Speaking of which, the maximum Turbo Core frequency (dynamic overclocking when applications can only use a few cores instead of all) is 4 GHz.
That said, six cores need a lot of cache memory, and Intel doesn't disappoint. Like the 3960X, the Core i7-3970X has 15 MB.
Finally, Hyper-Threading is present and the TDP (thermal design power, which determines how much energy a PC needs to invest in cooling the unit) is of 150W, 20W over the Core i7-3970X Extreme.
Sadly, we do not know when Chipzilla will get around to launching this thing, only that it will happen this quarter (Q4 2012). The prices are just as unknown, but maybe we will get lucky and find them in another leak in the near future.