By Agam Shah, IDG News Feb 14, 2011 6:20 pm
Intel started shipping the six-core Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor on Monday, calling it the fastest Intel desktop processor ever.
The processor runs at a clock speed of 3.46GHz and has overclocking features that allow users to manually crank up the speed, Intel said. The chip includes 12MB of cache and draws 130 watts of power.
The processor's overclocking features could appeal to hardcore gamers, 3D artists and media enthusiasts, Intel said in a blog entry on Monday.
In addition to manual overclocking, the chip includes a feature called Turbo Boost, which can ratchet up the clock speed to as high as 3.73GHz, depending on the power drawn and the performance demanded by an application.
The Core i7-990X Extreme is Intel's top-of-the-line desktop processor. Intel and rival Advanced Micro Devices routinely up the ante in desktop chip performance in order to gain the performance crown.