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Intel Core i9-10980XE Review: Intel Loses its Grip on HEDT

Intel’s release of the 10th-generation Cascade Lake-X processors marks but any other iteration of its 14nm procedure, serving as a refresh of its Skylake-X refresh processors. 

The Core i9-10980XE slots in because the flagship for Intel’s refresh of a refresh, nevertheless it comes with a steep gen-on-gen charge reduce that reduces pricing from $1,999 to a ‘mere’ $979 for 18 cores and 36 threads. 

Intel’s charge cuts come as a byproduct of AMD’s third-gen Ryzen and Threadripper processors, with the previous bringing HEDT-class ranges of efficiency to mainstream 400- and 500-series motherboards, whilst the latter lineup is so tough that Intel, for as soon as, does not also have a reaction. 

AMD is transferring ahead at breakneck pace with the 7nm procedure and Zen 2 structure, however Intel stays mired at the 14nm procedure. Due to the restrictions of the 14nm production procedure, Intel merely does not have room so as to add extra cores, let on my own maintain the greater warmth, inside the similar package deal. Instead, Cascade Lake-X gives a couple of incremental bumps in frequency, exposes four extra PCIe 3.0 lanes, and springs infused a couple of extra {hardware} mitigations to maintain Intel’s increasing checklist of safety vulnerabilities. 

That way Intel’s charge cuts function essentially the most spectacular function its new lineup, permitting the corporate to hunt safe haven from AMD’s Threadripper in what’s now the low finish of the HEDT marketplace. 

But even if it is not an instantaneous competitor, Intel cannot disguise from the 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X. While the -10980XE is carefully unimpressive from a brand new era viewpoint, Intel’s incessant iterations of the 14nm procedure have yielded upper overclocking attainable, decrease energy intake, and incremental enhancements in reminiscence improve that ship first rate bumps in efficiency, however AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X nonetheless manages to take the shine off the -10980XE for customers that are not looking for quad-channel reminiscence. AMD has additionally left its second-gen Threadripper processors in the marketplace because the ‘price’ HEDT choice, however they are not just about as aggressive as third-gen Ryzen. 

Intel Cascade Lake-X Core i9-10980XE Pricing and Specifications

Cores / ThreadsBase / Boost (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)PCIeDRAMTDPMSRP/RCPPrice Per Core
Threadripper 3990X64 / 128?256??280W??
Intel W-3175X28 / 563.1 / 4.838.548 Gen 3Six-Channel DDR4-2666255W$2999$107.10
Threadripper 3970X32 / 643.7 / 4.5*12888 Gen 4 (72 Usable)Quad DDR4-3200280W$1999$62.47
Xeon W-327528 / 562.5 / 4.638.564 Gen3Six-Channel DDR4-2933205W$4,449$158.89
Threadripper 2990WX32 / 643.0 / 4.26464 (4 to PCH) Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933250W~$1,700$53
Threadripper 3960X24 / 483.8 / 4.5*12888 Gen 4 (72 Usable)Quad DDR4-3200280W$1,399$58.29
Xeon W-326524 / 482.7 / 4.63364 Gen 3Six-Channel DDR4-2933205W$3,349$139.54
Threadripper 2970WX24 / 483.0 / 4.26464 (4 to PCH) Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933250W~$925~$38.51
Core i9-10980XE18 / 363.0 / 4.824.7548 Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933165W$979$54.39
Core i9-9980XE18 / 363.0 / 4.524.7544 Gen 3Quad DDR4-2666165W$1,999$111
Ryzen 9 3950X16 / 323.5 / 4.76464Dual DDR4-3200105W$749$46.81
Core i9-10940X14 / 283.3 / 4.819.2548 Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933165W$784$56
Core i9-10920X12 / 243.5 / 4.819.2548 Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933165W$689$57
Core i9-10900X12 / 243.7 / 4.719.2548 Gen 3Quad DDR4-2933165W$590$59

As prior to, the Cascade Lake-X chips are in keeping with the Skylake microarchitecture and fabbed at the 14nm procedure, although Intel is not divulging which “+” revision it makes use of for the brand new chips. 

The Ninth-gen processors have a mean price-per-core of $103, however Intel diminished to ~$57 in step with core for 10th-gen Cascade Lake-X. The Core i9-10980XE slots in with 18 cores at 3.0GHz and a TDP of 165W. It has a rather advanced Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency of 4.6GHz and 4.8GHz with Turbo Boost 3.0. 

The Core i9-10900XE sits on the backside with rather advanced base and spice up frequencies and can value $590, which is handiest $30 greater than the predicted pricing of the Core i9-9900KS for the mainstream desktop. Intel says that it made this drastic charge reduce at the low finish to make it more straightforward for patrons to step as much as the extra succesful platform with its expanded function set.

Intel does not have a 16-core type to maintain AMD’s much-anticipated Ryzen 9 3950X. That would possibly imply Intel has one thing in retailer for a later date, as we doubt the corporate will depart the 3950X uncontested.

We be expecting Intel to deal with the upper core depend Threadripper with a refreshed Xeon W lineup, however as we will be able to see from the $4,485 W-3275 and $3,349 W-3265, those chips include eye-watering pricing that merely is not sane in a post-Threadripper 3000 global. We be expecting Intel will slash the pricing on those chips, too, however they drop into server-derived sockets, so platform pricing will proceed to be an issue for Intel, and they are not overclockable – but. 

Intel additionally has its Xeon W-3175X, the lone overclockable processor at the LGA 3647 platform, for $3,000. This 28-core 56-thread processor drops into unique motherboards that raise heart-stopping charge tags, so it’s really not an instantaneous competitor to Threadripper 3000, both.

Base Freq.Turbo Boost 2.0All-CoreTB Max 3.0 (Two Fastest Cores)TB Max 3.0 (Two Next-Fastest Cores)
i9-10980XE3.04.63.84.84.7
i9-9980XE3.04.43.84.5N/A

Intel bumped up clock speeds throughout all the vary and added a brand new boosting function that objectives as much as four cores with its Turbo Boost 3.0 era, a selection of the function that permits it to hit two extra cores with lightly-threaded programs. However, the frequency for the second one two quickest cores drops 100 MHz from the indexed Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency.

Intel greater reminiscence improve to DDR4-2933 and most capability to 256GB. Intel additionally introduced improve for DL Boost, Intel’s new AI-focused directions that double or triple the efficiency of FP16 or INT8 AVX-512 vector code, to the HEDT house.

The Cascade Lake-X chips include 48 PCIe lanes, an building up of four additional lanes in comparison to the previous-gen fashions. Intel used to be in a position to reveal four further lanes from the HCC die to the socket, and whilst those chips have compatibility with current X299 forums, you’ll be able to lose the ones additional four lanes until you improve to one of the new X-series motherboards that still debuted with the brand new chips. These motherboards are a tight step ahead with enhanced secondary options, however Intel nonetheless stays on PCIe 3.0, an obstacle in comparison to AMD’s improve for PCIe 4.0 that gives two times the I/O bandwidth. 

For HEDT, AMD additionally nonetheless holds the lead in sheer PCIe lane counts at 60, and the full core depend lead with 32 for its Threadripper 2970WX that AMD says competes as a ‘price HEDT’ processor for this charge vary, whilst the Ryzen 9 3950X has an obstacle with 24 PCIe lanes and a dual-channel reminiscence controller. However, the 3950X supplies an ideal quantity of efficiency given its sooner PCIe interface, specifically for units putting off the chipset, and is amazingly environment friendly given its to be had reminiscence throughput.  

A Whole Lotta Turbo

Active Cores GHz1-23-45-1213-1617-18
i9-10980XE IA/SSE4.84.74.33.93.8
i9-9980XE IA/SSE4.54.24.13.93.8
i9-10980XE AVX24.03.83.73.43.3
i9-9980XE AVX23.93.73.63.43.3
Active Cores GHz1-23-45-89-1213-1617-18
i9-10980XE AVX-5123.83.63.53.22.92.8
i9-9980XE AVX-5123.73.53.43.22.92.8

However, Intel additionally greater multi-core turbo ratios, too. Here we will be able to see Intel’s three-tiered Turbo device, with another way frequencies for SSE, AVX2, and AVX-512 directions. The -10980XE options heightened spice up speeds for same old SSE and AVX2 throughout as much as 12 cores, whilst AVX-512 will get a spice up for as much as eight cores. 

Intel controlled to bump up those multi-core turbo ratios, which equate to extra efficiency in real-world workloads, whilst handing over spectacular energy discounts that we’re going to duvet at the subsequent web page. 

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