The 1000-dollar Core i7-980X Extreme may not be Intel's only six-core processor for the foreseeable future. Fudzilla reports that a more affordable derivative, dubbed the Core i7-970, "could ship within the next couple of weeks." The site talks of early listings for the chip, and sure enough, European price search engine Geizhals lists one Core i7-970 listed at Dutch e-tailer Cool-Prices.nl.
The e-tailer quotes a 3.2GHz clock speed and 12MB of cache, suggesting the processor has the same Gulftown silicon as the Core i7-980X. (Bloomfield-based Core i7-900 chips with four cores only have 8MB of L3 cache.) 3.2GHz doesn't seem like much of a step down from the i7-980X's 3.33GHz base clock speed, which is probably good news for bargain hunters.
Those folks might have to wait for prices to drop before placing their orders, though. Cool-prices.nl pegs the chip at €840, and Fudzilla quotes a potential suggested retail price of €799. Considering the same e-tailer lists the i7-980X for €936,30, and Newegg carries that CPU for $1,089.99, it seems like the i7-970 might cost at least $800 stateside.
Charging that much for a lower-priced derivative of a new Extreme Edition processor wouldn't be a first for Intel. When it launched in January 2007, the quad-core Core 2 Quad Q6600 carried an $851 price tag for bulk orders, yet it was still the cheapest quad-core processor on the market.