Without any announcement at all, Intel yesterday updated their price list (PDF) with a new six-core CPU. The chip is called Core i7-980 and replaces the previous i7-970 SKU. The processor is based on the Gulftown silicon, featuring previous generation Westmere architecture. The i7-980 is clocked at 3.33GHz and supports Hyper-Threading, thus reporting 12 logical CPUs to the operating system.

The chip is priced at $583 in 1k unit quantities.

Compared to the extreme edition i7-980X the regular model comes with a locked multiplier and a reduced QPI clock of 4.8 GT/s. This is done to make the i7-990X more interesting for overclockers. Unless you use applications that actually make use of all the cores of the Gulftown core, most people are better off with the high-end Sandy Bridge offerings, that come with only four cores, but architectural enhancements that allow it to perform better in a lot of applications, most notably games.

Not to mention that Sandy Bridge processors overclock higher and for the price difference between Sandy Bridge-based i7-2600K and i7-980, you can squeeze in a very good overclocking motherboard or 8-16GB of fast DDR3 memory.