Intel Core i7-990X reviewed: best performance ever, but far from best value

As T-Pain once so wisely proclaimed, "it ain't hardcore unless it's hexacore." Intel should have no worries with its Core i7-990X, which has enough processing units to satisfy even the most demanding of hip hop moguls, but it pads out its extreme credentials anyway with an audacious 3.46GHz default speed. That can be Turbo Boosted to 3.73GHz (yes, we are talking about a CPU that can run at 3,730MHz right out of the box) and there's 12MB of L3 cache and three channels for DDR3 memory to justify the $999 price tag. Well, to partially justify it, anyhow. Tech Report and Tom's Hardware both ran this new chip through their benchmarking suites and both concluded it's the fastest consumer processor around, but neither was willing to recommend it as a terribly astute purchase decision. Then again, when has an Extreme Edition of anything ever been a good value proposition?