The Intel Gulftown chip with its six cores, expected to be called the Core i9, isn't even close to being ready for the market. But somehow engineering samples have been leaking out into the hands of testers. Just last week, we saw benchmarks of an early engineering sample of Gulftown, which impressed with its six cores.
Such engineering samples are sent out from Intel to a very exclusive crowd, all of which are bound by explicit non-disclosure agreements. Break such agreements almost always burns bridges, so you'd think that seeing a Gulftown processor on the public market for sale would be impossible. But shockingly, one such Gulftown engineering sample found its way to Ebay.
A listing on Ebay described the product as a "Intel 6-Core Xeon Westmere Gulftown 2.4GHZ LGA1366 ES Processor (opens in new tab)" and qualified itself as tested and working sold at a final price of $1,200. The chip was pictured in the listing without any of it identification marks blurred, meaning that Intel will be able to track which one of its chips ended up on Ebay.
The seller of the chip lists the item as being located in Taiwan, which leads us to believe that it could be an engineering sample leaked out from one of Intel's chipset partners – but we'll likely never know for certain.
Gulftown engineering samples in the wild aren't limited to just Taiwan, however, as Nordic Hardware reports that an even faster chip was sold on the OCTeamDenmark forums (Google cache version here) for around $850.
What do you make of this – crazy deal, or just downright crazy?
Follow us on Twitter for more tech news, reviews, and exclusive updates!
Let's say I wanted to start a new hardware website. I could create instant, and massive, traffic with this processor alone. I'm not obligated to withhold information like those stuck behind an NDA, and any acrimony from Intel would only help the site more.
For someone wanting to start a site, this is worth much more than $1200. Oh, and when it's actually out in the wild, you have a pretty capable machine as well.
I'd call it a bargain.