Todd Christ

Taking “Extreme” to a whole new level, with the Intel Core i7 980X EE Processor

I upgraded [my already extreme PC]( to the latest Intel Core i7 980X Processor a few days ago. I was truly excited to know that my existing Intel DX58SO “Smackover” motherboard would accept this new 32nm CPU (Codename: Gulftown) with a simple BIOS update!
Yes – this bad boy is a hexacore (6 CPUs) and has two threads per core, which gives me 12 processing threads in a single socket.

Before I could install my new 980X Processor – I had to prepare a few things prior to my upgrade:
– for any modifications, I usually clean my PC out thoroughly – it’s amazing how many dust bunnies accumulate in the nooks and crannies of your PC, especially if you have high-flow fans
– I had to grab the latest BIOS from [Intel’s site
]( – version 5020 added support for Intel‟s 6-core desktop processor, codenamed “Gulftown‟
– I also splurged a bit for this upgrade, and got two new [160GB Intel X-25M G2 SSDs]( and set them up in RAID0 (stripe) – so hopefully this new system drive will be able to feed my CPU with as much data as possible.
– I’ve also kept my nVidia SLI GTX260 setup as I’m currently only gaming on a 24” monitor at 1900×1200 max resolution
The first thing you’ll notice after the BIOS update is that the BIOS page has gone “Extreme” – with a nice Black background (instead of the usual blue)
Since I just upgraded – I haven’t had much “playtime” yet on the new 980X machine, but I did get a new copy of [Bioshock2]( and will be finishing up the campaign on [CoD:MW2]( – these are both multi-core enabled games so I should have a good chance at pushing this new 3.33GHz CPU to some new limits… expect more data soon!
Click [here]( to check my Steam profile – catch me online!

Todd Christ

About Todd Christ

Todd Christ is a Senior Systems Engineer for Intel and contributes as a PC enthusiast for "Inside Scoop." He has worked in the computer industry since the early '90s and has been with Intel for over 16 years. His current position is based around evaluating end-user experiences with Intel Architecture based products with Fortune 50 companies. His passion both inside and outside of work is computing, whether you're dealing with handhelds or servers - if you can use it, he's most likely had one or juggled a few machines over time. Todd grew up on the East Coast, but has been in NorCal since his career started at Intel. You may find "Toadster" active in several online-community venues; you'll find his stuff on Intel Communities, and various other 3rd party forums, some for work - and some for play. He is a believer in the social community whether it's social, gaming, blogging, forum-related or person-to-person. He is a 'real' gamer, so bring your l337 SkillZ or be prepared to be pwned. You can tweet/ joke/ befriend/game with Todd on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Steam as well.

13 Responses to Taking “Extreme” to a whole new level, with the Intel Core i7 980X EE Processor

  1. Alvin says:

    Out of curiosity, how much did that rig end up costing you?
    Also, how are you liking the performance of the SLI 260s?

  2. Todd Christ says:

    Hi Alvin – I’ve pieced this machine together over the past 15 months – but if I was to price everything out (not deal-hunting) – it comes to ~$2,700. I didn’t spend that much as I’m a pretty avid deal shopper – but for ballpark figures that seems pretty realistic for a quick shopping spree.
    To be honest, I snagged the GTX260s during a great deal last year I found online, I got them for about 30% discount – they feed my 24″ monitor pretty well. I can’t go beyond 1900×1200 resolution so it’s overkill to do more unless I REALLY want to play Crysis again :)

  3. Dolly says:

    That’s really exciting. I would have imagined that Intel’s introduction of “Extreme” processor will require a completely new investment in another set of motherboard. Hopefully this works on my motherboard as well.

  4. Shane Dickson (OregonSlacker) says:

    Awesome to know the Smackover boards only need a bios update, in fact I was just asked that question today and didn’t have an answer, thats a win/win solution right there..
    let me know how things run in BFBC2!!

  5. Intel Motherboard with Nividia card says:

    You’re lucky because of your choice of motherboard.I will buy Intel motherboard over G******* in near future because I don’t do much of the stuff that will harm your hardware. I also like the choice of your Graphic card. I’m a serious Graphic & HD user and nothing beats Nvidia.

  6. Aki says:

    I have a similar set up, minus the new cpu. i have an i7, sli 260s etc…
    my powersupply isnt powerful enough to do things properly.
    What psu do you have? wattage, 12v rails, # of 6 pin connectors, etc.
    thanks a million

  7. Quite the setup you have there! I’m really anxious about the game experience! I never knew that it was that simple that you only needed a BIOS update, but sounds logic. I’m planning on buying an i7 these days. But with a bit lower stats than you have ;).
    Keep on gaming!

  8. Tom W says:

    Amazing build there, brother. Especially with the SSD’s! And in RAID, no less!!
    I purchased an Intel Core I7-965 EE cpu, 8 GB of 1600 mhz. DDR3, a single Nvidia EVGA 285 SSC, and two 1 tb Seagate 7200 RPM HDD in RAID 0.
    However, about a month later, the I7-975 EE cpu’s came out, virtually rendering my 965 obsolete. The price was exactly the same and since no one in their right mind would buy a lower speed cpu for the same THOUSAND bucks, I couldn’t sell mine to upgrade to the 980 if I wanted to. I feel kinda ripped off. If Intel planned the 975, why did they even make the 965? And why aren’t allowances allowed?
    Well, it’s fun to have a fast PC anyway. Not as fast as yours, (although my cpu eaasily overclocked to 3.5 Ghz.). Have fun and thanks for sharing!!

  9. Todd Christ says:

    Tom – glad to see you’re part of the “Extreme” crew! I understand your conundrum about up-leveling your PC and trying to sell off an older part… but from my experience, it’s that way with most technologies. I always equate it to buying a new car – it’s fantastic when you buy it, but slowly losing value over time. While you still may love it a year later – the market price goes down, and resale isn’t as high as when you purchased it. Now the 965 is still a smokin fast CPU, and I’d try shopping it around… there are lots reading this blog that still want one!