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Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition review: Just more of the same

By Koh Wanzi - 25 Nov 2019

CPU rendering & encoding benchmarks

Test setup

The configurations of the test setups we used are listed below. All results were obtained with the Ryzen Balanced power plan and Precision Boost Overdrive disabled. For the Intel processors, multi-core enhancement was turned off on the ASUS motherboards.

Intel Core i9-10980XE/Core i9-9980XE

  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 Riing RGB Edition with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  • ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore
  • 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Ryzen 9 3900X/Ryzen 7 3700X

  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 Riing RGB Edition with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  • ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
  • 2 x 8GB G.Skill Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 (Auto timings: CAS 16-16-16-36)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition

  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 Riing RGB Edition with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme
  • 2 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Intel Core i9-9900K

  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 Riing RGB Edition with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme
  • 2 x 8GB G.Skill Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 (Auto timings: CAS 16-16-16-36)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Test CPUs compared
  Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition Intel Core i9-9900K AMD Ryzen 9 3900X AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition Intel Core i9-9900K AMD Ryzen 9 3900X AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Processor Name
  • Intel Core i9-10980XE
  • Intel Core i9-9980XE
  • Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition
  • Intel Core i9-9900K
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Processor Model
  • Intel Core i9-10980XE
  • Intel Core i9-9980XE
  • Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition
  • Intel Core i9-9900K
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Rated Processor Frequency
  • 3.0GHz
  • 3.0GHz
  • 4.0GHz
  • 3.6GHz
  • 3.8GHz
  • 3.6GHz
Max Processor Frequency
  • 4.8GHZ
  • 4.5GHZ
  • 5.0GHZ
  • 5.0GHZ
  • 4.6GHz
  • 4.4GHz
No. of Cores
  • 18
  • 18
  • 8
  • 8
  • 12
  • 8
Base Clock
  • 3.0GHz
  • 3.0GHz
  • 4.0GHz
  • 3.6GHz
  • 3.8GHz
  • 3.6GHz
Bus Type
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
Bus Speed
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
L1 Cache (data + instruction)
  • 18 x 32KB (data)
  • 18 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 18 x 32KB (data)
  • 18 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 8 x 32KB (data)
  • 8 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 8 x 32KB (data)
  • 8 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 96K (per core)
  • 512 KB
L2 Cache
  • 18 x 1MB
  • 18 x 1MB
  • 8 x 256 KB
  • 8 x 256 KB
  • 6MB
  • 4 MB
L3 Cache
  • 24.75MB
  • 24.75MB
  • 16MB
  • 16MB
  • 64MB
  • 32 MB
Memory Controller
  • Quad-Channel DDR4-2933
  • Quad-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Dual-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Dual-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR4-3200)
  • Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR4-3200)
PCIe Controller
  • 48 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 44 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • PCIe 4.0
  • PCIe 4.0
TDP (W)
  • 165W
  • 165W
  • 127W
  • 95W
  • 105
  • 65
Instruction Set Support
  • SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1/4.2, AVX, AVX2, AVX-512
  • SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1/4.2, AVX, AVX2, AVX-512
  • SSE4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE 4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE 4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
64-bit Processing Technology
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) / AMD Cool 'n' Quiet
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Virtualization Technology
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
Packaging
  • LGA 2066
  • LGA 2066
  • LGA 1151
  • LGA 1151
  • Socket AM4
  • Socket AM4
Process Technology
  • 14nm++
  • 14nm++
  • 14nm++
  • 14nm++
  • 7nm
  • 7nm
Processor Codename
  • Cascade Lake-X
  • Skylake-X
  • Coffee Lake
  • Coffee Lake
  • Matisse
  • Matisse
No. of Transistors
  • 19.2 billion
  • 19.2 billion

Here's a list of the benchmarks used:

  • PCMark 10
  • SPECviewperf 13.0
  • Cinebench R15
  • Cinebench R20
  • Handbrake 1.2.2
  • Blender Benchmark
  • POV-Ray 3.7
  • 3DMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage.

The Core i9-10980XE was slower than even the Core i9-9980XE in terms of overall scores, and a look at the score breakdown shows it lagging behind in productivity workloads. In addition, it trailed the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X by around 9 per cent. 

 

SPECviewperf 13.0

SPECviewperf is used to assess the 3D graphics performance of systems in professional applications. Each individual workload, called a viewset, represents graphics and content from an actual real-world application. SPECviewperf actually runs a total of eight different viewsets, but we’ve picked the four which have the greatest performance variation across CPUs display here.

The new SPECviewperf 13.0 incorporates new models and raycasting for volume visualization. Select viewsets have also been updated with new models and fresh application traces.

The Core i9-10980XE lags behind in SPECviewperf 13.0 as well, consistently coming in behind both AMD chips. 

 

Cinebench R15/R20

Cinebench R15 is a better indicator of multi-threaded performance because of its ability to utilize up to 256 threads to evaluate a processor’s performance in a photorealistic 3D rendering. We ran both single-core and multi-core benchmarks to evaluate single-threaded performance and multi-threaded scalability here.

The newer Cinebench R20 is even more demanding, featuring increased workload complexity, higher memory use, and the latest rendering engine from Cinema 4D R20. Under the hood, the R20 engine also supports AVX, AVX2, and AVX512 instruction sets and the benchmark now supports up to 256 render threads.

Unsurprisingly, there's not much difference in multi-threaded performance moving from the Core i9-9980XE to the Core i9-10980XE. In Cinebench R20, the Core i9-10980XE was less than 1 per cent faster, which is nearly negligible. Single-threaded performance sees a slightly bigger improvement at around 3.7 per cent, probably thanks to the higher boost clocks. It's still a really minuscule jump though, and the Core i9-10980XE trails the Ryzen 9 3900X in single-threaded scores in both Cinebench R15 and R20. 

That said, the Core i9-10980XE was still the overall top performer in the multi-threaded benchmarks, owing to its 18 cores. In Cinebench R15, it was around 19 per cent faster than the Ryzen 9 3900X. 

I also used HWiNFO to check the core frequencies in Cinebench R20. All 18 cores had no trouble running at 3.8GHz, and in the single-threaded benchmark, I observed select cores boosting to over 4.9GHz in times (in excess of the 4.8GHz Turbo Boost Max 3.0 speeds). 

 

Handbrake 1.2.2

Handbrake is a video transcoder that converts videos into a format for use on PCs and portable electronic devices, and is a good indicator of a processor’s video encoding capabilities. YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, and other video creators will be most interested in this performance metric. For this benchmark, we used a 1.7GB .mkv file.

This is where the six extra cores on the Core i9-10980XE come in handy compared to the Ryzen 9 3900X. The new Intel chip was the fastest of the lot, beating its predecessor by six seconds as well.

 

Blender Benchmark

Blender likes having many cores as well, and the open-source software has been used for modeling and to create effects in movies. The new Blender Benchmark offers the option between Quick and Complete runs, and the numbers seen here are from the Quick benchmark, which puts the CPUs through scenarios like the BMW and Classroom demos.

Oddly enough, the Core i9-10980XE was slightly slower than the Core i9-9980XE here. However, it's of course still faster than the Ryzen 9 3900X and the 8-core Intel chips. 

 

POV-Ray 3.7

POV-Ray's built-in benchmark also favors having more cores. The Core i9-10980XE was once again the top performer here, but it was just over 2 per cent quicker than the Core i9-9980XE. 

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8.0
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Aggressive Turbo Boost Max 3.0 speeds
Good multi-threaded performance
Huge price slash from the previous generation
The Bad
Not much faster than the Core i9-9980XE
Iterative upgrades that don't really bring anything new to the table
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