Intel Core i7-970 latest news roundup
Core i7-970 is the second six-core desktop CPU planned by Intel. The first six-core Intel processor for consumer market, Core i7-980X, was launched in March of this year. The 980X was an Extreme Edition with 3.33 GHz core frequency and unlocked clock multiplier, and, like all Intel Extreme CPUs, it was not cheap (read: very expensive). Similar to the i7-980X, the i7-970 model is also going to have six cores, 1.5 MB of L2 memory (256 KB per core), 12 MB of L3 memory, and include HyperThreading and Turbo Boost technologies. The differences of this CPU from the i7-980X are locked clock multiplier and lower core frequency - 3.2 GHz. The i7-970 microprocessor will be offered in tray and box versions, with tray part number AT80613005490AD and box part BX80613I7970. Production S-spec number for the CPU is SLBVF, and qualification sample has QDF number Q4EZ. Both production parts and qualification samples have the same B1 stepping. Picture and CPU-Z screenshot of the Q4EZ sample were posted a week ago in this forum. A month ago TweakPC.de ran various benchmarks on the CPU, and compared it with Core i7-980X and AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPUs:
As expected, the i7-970 was a bit slower than the 980X in majority of the benchmarks, but faster than the Phenom II X6 1090T.
Official price for the Core i7-970 CPU is not known yet, although many hardware news sites reported $562 introduction price. Qualification samples of this CPU are available on eBay, so if you have $800 to spare and if you do not want to wait for possibly cheaper production part, you can buy a sample from this auction.
At this time only one motherboard manufacturer posted support information for the CPU. A few days ago MSI website was updated to add support for the Core i7-970 to X58 Platinum and X58 Platinum SLI motherboards.
The i7-970 microprocessor is scheduled for the third quarter, but exact date is not known. We think it could be launched in July, and there are a few reasons for this. First, from the past experience we know that MSI support information for forthcoming Intel processors is posted reasonably close to their launch date. Second, recent Product Change Notification 110118-00 (PDF file) from Intel refers to a change in Core i7-970 boxed processor's fan design. According to the PCN, clients will receive boxed processors with the new fan no later than July 5, i.e. the stores will start stocking the CPUs before the second half of July. And the last reason - information about this model was posted on a website of one of Intel distributors, and they don't post information like that well in advance.
Jul 19: New Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs launched
Jul 09: Core i7-970 and Core i5-760 appear in online store
Jul 05: Prices for Intel desktop and mobile CPUs in Q3 2010
Apr 05: Specifications of upcoming Core i7-970