Intel unveiled its newest flagship processor for the desktop market, the Core i7 980x Extreme. The CPU pushes the envelope by including six physical cores, and hyperthreading technology to virtualize twelve cores, its almost like having twelve computers in one.
The Core i7 975 Extreme, the quad-core processor that was Intel's previous flagship CPU for desktops, matches the new Core i7 980x with a 3.3GHz core frequency, 3.6GHz turbo boost frequency, triple-channel DDR3 memory controller, as well as a 130-watt TDP.
The main differences between the two processors is that the Core i7 980x has six physical cores as opposed to the four cores in the Core i7 975x, and that the Core i7 980x has a 12Mb cache rather than the 8Mb cache of its predecessor.
Those six cores, or twelve cores once they're virtualized with Intel's hyperthreading technology, won't do much good, though, in most cases. While Intel and AMD continue to push the processor envelope and evolving technology to higher performance standards, most software development has not kept up. With the exception of the high-end processing tasks, most businesses will have little to no reason to upgrade to the new processor.