Six-core Intel CPU debuts in Falcon Northwest Mach V

First review of a desktop with Intel's new six-core Core i7 980X Extreme

Rich Brown Former Senior Editorial Director - Home and Wellness
Rich was the editorial lead for CNET's Home and Wellness sections, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to Louisville in 2013, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years in New York City. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D printing to Z-Wave smart locks.
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Rich Brown
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Intel's new six-core Core i7 980X Extreme made its public debut today, and we have a review of Falcon Northwest Mach V to show it off. A problem with the graphics card complicated the system review, but the chip, which Falcon clocked to 4.183GHz, from the 980X's stock 3.3GHz setting, helped the Mach V set records on all of our non-gaming tests. You can read our full review of the $4,999 desktop here.

Falcon Northwest's six-core Mach V. Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're in the market to build or buy a six-core powerhouse of your own you'll have to wait a few weeks until they officially go on sale. In an uncommon move for Intel, the new CPU uses an motherboard chipset that's already in the market, so if you own an Intel X58-compatible motherboard, you'll only need to flash the BIOS, and then drop $999 or so for the Core i7 980X Extreme. You might consider a new motherboard purchase anyway though, as the newer X58 boards feature foward-looking USB 3.0 jacks and 6Gbps SATA 3.0 hard drive data ports.

Other boutique vendors aside from Falcon Northwest will also offer Intel's new six-core CPU. And in addition to our review of the Mach V, you can research the chip itself at the usual enthusiast sites. Anandtech, HotHardware, PC Perspective, and others have reviews. Our conclusion thus far is that the chip offers outstanding multithreaded performance for the applications that use it, as well as a ton of overclocking headroom as shown by Falcon Northwest's Mach V that hit nearly 4.2GHz. Gamers though, at least for now, will see a larger benefit from more graphics horsepower than from adding more CPU processing cores.