Intel were kind enough to send us one of the first 990x processors available to reviewers. Our sample is so new, the box artwork hasn't even been printed yet.
Inside, Intel include a small tube of thermal paste, and an upgraded ‘reference' Intel cooler, which is actually a huge step up from previous designs, a few years ago. We would assume that a large portion of the audience spending £800 on a processor will be using their own cooler, but at reference speeds we found this to be actually pretty good.
The Core i7 990x is Intel's new flagship processor to replace the 980x, which served KitGuru for a long time in one of our high end test beds. The chip is clocked at 3.46ghz with a maximum turbo frequency of 3.73ghz. It has a 12mb smart cache with 6 physical cores and 6 logical cores. A full list of specifications is available over here.
System validation is available over here.