Friday, October 25th 2019

Intel Core i9-10980XE "Cascade Lake-X" Benchmarked

One of the first reviews of Intel's new flagship HEDT processor, the Core i9-10980XE, just hit the web. Lab501.ro got their hands on a freshly minted i9-10980XE and put it through their test bench. Based on the "Cascade Lake-X" silicon, the i9-10980XE offers almost identical IPC to "Skylake-X," but succeeds the older generation with AI-accelerating DLBoost instruction-set, an improved multi-core boosting algorithm, higher clock speeds, and most importantly, a doubling in price-performance achieved by cutting the cores-per-Dollar metric by half, across the board.

Armed with 18 cores, the i9-10980XE is ahead of the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X in rendering and simulation tests, although not by much (for a chip that has 50% more cores). This is probably attributed to the competing AMD chip being able to sustain higher all-core boost clock speeds. In tests that not only scale with cores, but are also hungry for memory bandwidth, such as 7-zip and Media, Intel extends its lead thanks to its quad-channel memory interface that's able to feed its cores with datasets faster.
As we move to gaming and gaming-related 3D benchmarks, we see the i9-10980XE only marginally ahead of the 3900X in the 3DMark Physics test. This lends credibility to the report where the unreleased 16-core 3950X was seen beating the i9-10980XE in this particular test. With gaming still being the forte of mainstream-desktop processors with lower core counts and higher clock-speeds, we see the likes of the i9-9900K racing ahead on account of significantly higher speeds while having sufficient muscle to handle games. Find more interesting results in the Lab501 review here.
Source: Lab501
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78 Comments on Intel Core i9-10980XE "Cascade Lake-X" Benchmarked

#26
ZoneDymo
fancucker
I'd honestly take this over AMD's offerings, mainly because:
- HEVC advantage, optane and TB3
- lower idle consumption and better overclocking experience
(unlike the sterile, meaningless and incremental one on AMD's zen cpus)
- none of the countless problems faced by AMD mobos and memory
- super ST performance, being more reflective and reliable in today's usages
- superior gaming experience
- availability of ITX option - Asrock X299-ITX/Server counterpart
- AMD's lack of optimization in windows

So many unmentioned advantages. I say its a good placeholder until the actual zen response (Tiger-Lake/Ice Lake) arrives. Kudos to AMD for catching up to Coffeelake though.
Welcome to TPU my man, hope you did not just make a new account to do some blind fanboying

Posted on Reply
#27
Octavean
GlacierNine
Not to mention that Thunderbolt 3 is available to everyone anyway, as an optional part of the USB 4 specification, meaning it can be used by anyone who wants to implement it alongside their USB 4 implementation.
Good to know. I wasn’t aware of that until you mentioned it. That is the sort of thing that could boost Thunderbolt to actually being mainstream beyond niche Apple users.

However, I was talking in terms of currently available hardware. USB 4 isn’t something we can take advantage of quite yet.

Thunderbolt support would be an interesting option (better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it) but 99.9% of users don’t need it. I’ve had Thunderbolt 3 support for quite some time and never had need of it.
Posted on Reply
#28
ShurikN
fancucker
- superior gaming experience
> Loses to 3900X in all 3 gaming tests.
Posted on Reply
#29
GlacierNine
Octavean
Good to know. I wasn’t aware of that until you mentioned it. That is the sort of thing that could boost Thunderbolt to actually being mainstream beyond niche Apple users.

However, I was talking in terms of currently available hardware. USB 4 isn’t something we can take advantage of quite yet.

Thunderbolt support would be an interesting option (better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it) but 99.9% of users don’t need it. I’ve had Thunderbolt 3 support for quite some time and never had need of it.
Ditto. I did also link the boards you mentioned in my post, just felt it was worth pointing out Intel has officially given up any advantage TB3 might have allowed them, by giving it to everyone.
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#30
ShurikN
GlacierNine
Ditto. I did also link the boards you mentioned in my post, just felt it was worth pointing out Intel has officially given up any advantage TB3 might have allowed them, by giving it to everyone.
The standard originally required a license thus adding cost. When Intel realized it's going nowhere fast, they gave up, and made it free.
Posted on Reply
#31
kapone32
Octavean
Good to know. I wasn’t aware of that until you mentioned it. That is the sort of thing that could boost Thunderbolt to actually being mainstream beyond niche Apple users.

However, I was talking in terms of currently available hardware. USB 4 isn’t something we can take advantage of quite yet.

Thunderbolt support would be an interesting option (better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it) but 99.9% of users don’t need it. I’ve had Thunderbolt 3 support for quite some time and never had need of it.
I would rather have Optane support those drives have some serious i/O
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#33
kapone32
GlacierNine
https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/store-mi

Behold, the same damn thing, but for AMD.
I have used Store MI. It is honestly meh for me. The maximum size you can add without paying a premium is 256GB and one of the drives has to listed as fast and slow. It really only makes sense if you have an HDD and you would like to turn it into a SSHD with 256GB of flash. Optane is more like a different version of NVME than a software based program. Windows already has Storage spaces that does way more than Store MI anyway.
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#34
Caqde
kapone32
I would rather have Optane support those drives have some serious i/O
The Optane support reallly isn't about supporting the drives but the "Optane" software. There are multiple products that Intel places their Optane tag on. One of them being the software they use with their Optane drives. If your only concern is using an Optane SSD as a boot drive any AMD system with the proper connection will suffice. The only other Optane tech Intel has exclusive use of is the Optane Memory supported by certain Xeon platforms. Idk if AMD will eventually add support for those in their EPYC line eventually or something similar.
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#36
HwGeek
10980xe and 9980xe have same all core boost so they would perform the same in most benchmarks that not using the new features.
so it's going to be even boring benchmarks then 2080Super ;-).
Posted on Reply
#37
SamuelL
fancucker
I'd honestly take this over AMD's offerings, mainly because:
- HEVC advantage, optane and TB3
- lower idle consumption and better overclocking experience
(unlike the sterile, meaningless and incremental one on AMD's zen cpus)
- none of the countless problems faced by AMD mobos and memory
- super ST performance, being more reflective and reliable in today's usages
- superior gaming experience
- availability of ITX option - Asrock X299-ITX/Server counterpart
- AMD's lack of optimization in windows

So many unmentioned advantages. I say its a good placeholder until the actual zen response (Tiger-Lake/Ice Lake) arrives. Kudos to AMD for catching up to Coffeelake though.
I own/have owned both intel and AMD mainstream and HEDT platforms in the last two years. I have to disagree with all but your first point. TB3 was the biggest pain for me, Would’ve been useful several times now on my X399 workstation.

As to everything else, if you’re gaming at 1440p or 4K - you do not notice the difference. If anything, my current X399 build seems to have more consistent FPS (“smoother”) at 4K vs my previous AM4 or Z270 builds. SIngle threaded performance is a terrible metric to build a system around FYI - the tasks and applications that are truly single-threaded are mostly the stuff of benchmarks now. ITX isn’t realistic with X399 due to the size of the socket. Windows optimizations / lack thereof had much to do with NUMA vs UMA and this has been resolved for Zen 2.

Overclocking is where I have to disagree most. Zen overclocking has more to do with building a custom cooling solution, tweaking PBO options / wattage / scalar, and many hours of memory adjustment and testing. To do it well is harder than bumping vcore and cranking the multiplier on a mainstream intel board - this is especially true regarding the memory.
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#38
PanicLake
The only thing I take from those benchmarks is the outstanding value of the 3700x that despite costing (where I live) around ~€350 against the ~€500 for the i7 9900k is neck to neck and in more than one case even better.
Posted on Reply
#39
thesmokingman
This is product stack is already dead at release. I don't see much reason to leave your 9900K, let alone a 3900x. You'd be crazy to pay twice the price of a 3900x for this, imo.
Posted on Reply
#40
jeffj7
fancucker
I'd honestly take this over AMD's offerings, mainly because:
- HEVC advantage, optane and TB3
- lower idle consumption and better overclocking experience
(unlike the sterile, meaningless and incremental one on AMD's zen cpus)
- none of the countless problems faced by AMD mobos and memory
- super ST performance, being more reflective and reliable in today's usages
- superior gaming experience
- availability of ITX option - Asrock X299-ITX/Server counterpart
- AMD's lack of optimization in windows

So many unmentioned advantages. I say its a good placeholder until the actual zen response (Tiger-Lake/Ice Lake) arrives. Kudos to AMD for catching up to Coffeelake though.
LOL riding a boat on D-Nile
Posted on Reply
#41
dirtyferret
Finally a CPU for reading email, posting on Instagram and can play Crysis!
Posted on Reply
#42
Nkd
I am not sure how to think about this. This processor seems DOA. I mean its not great in gaming and doesn't blow past in multicore tests against 12core AMD. Its probably generating too much heat to sustain any higher boost clocks. 3950x is just going to destroy it. Intel couldn't have a node shrink fast enough.
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#43
dirtyferret
ZoneDymo
What is up with the 8700k beating everything in DoW3 and Metro?
Seriously this is either fake or they gave the chip some secret sauce...it's a good 10% better then anything else in their tests yet no ones else has seen those numbers









Posted on Reply
#44
MikeZTM
GlacierNine
Higher sustained boost clocks is my guess. Could be either a chip with good boost behaviour, or even that the limitation of threads causes an anomaly where 6/12 forces a workload into an HT thread that would ordinarily be handled on a 7th physical core, limiting the performance of that thread in theory, but in practice keeping that one physical core operating more quickly and therefore at higher boost.
Actually it is much simpler than that: 8700k have less cores resulting in lower ring bus latency than 9900k. In 1080P CPU frame rate test RAM/Cache system latency is critical and this architecture shows it weakness.

BTW I'm using my Optane SSD 900P AIC with a X570. All client Optane devices are standard NVMe SSDs including those H10 hybrids. It's hilarious to think a standard NVMe SSD will not work on AMD platform.

Only server part like Optane DC Persistence Memory are limit to Xeon platform and anyway they are not compatible with desktop or HEDT platform and not even Xeon E or Xeon W.
Posted on Reply
#45
Rahmat Sofyan
fancucker
I'd honestly take this over AMD's offerings, mainly because:
- HEVC advantage, optane and TB3
- lower idle consumption and better overclocking experience
(unlike the sterile, meaningless and incremental one on AMD's zen cpus)
- none of the countless problems faced by AMD mobos and memory
- super ST performance, being more reflective and reliable in today's usages
- superior gaming experience
- availability of ITX option - Asrock X299-ITX/Server counterpart
- AMD's lack of optimization in windows

So many unmentioned advantages. I say its a good placeholder until the actual zen response (Tiger-Lake/Ice Lake) arrives. Kudos to AMD for catching up to Coffeelake though.
wake up mate, we already at the end of 2019 ...
Posted on Reply
#46
MikeZTM
kapone32
I would rather have Optane support those drives have some serious i/O
Sitting with 900P on a X570.
It works day one as those drives are just NVMe SSDs.
Posted on Reply
#47
kapone32
Caqde
The Optane support reallly isn't about supporting the drives but the "Optane" software. There are multiple products that Intel places their Optane tag on. One of them being the software they use with their Optane drives. If your only concern is using an Optane SSD as a boot drive any AMD system with the proper connection will suffice. The only other Optane tech Intel has exclusive use of is the Optane Memory supported by certain Xeon platforms. Idk if AMD will eventually add support for those in their EPYC line eventually or something similar.
Yeah I know what you mean
MikeZTM
Sitting with 900P on a X570.
It works day one as those drives are just NVMe SSDs.
Nice those are a little rich for my blood but are very tempting.
Posted on Reply
#48
Tomgang
At first i was like


But then i was like


If these results are true, intel… sorry i mean Shintel is gonna have a hard year a head of them on the desktop marked. Intel HEDT is a dying breed as it is right now.
Well this just confirms for my needs Ryzen 9 3950X is a better choise for me. I want the best possible gaming performance mixed with high core count for multi tasking perpose and other core needy stuff and there it seems so far Ryzen 9 3950X doing a better job based on the 3900X gaming results. AMD wins my money this round.
Posted on Reply
#49
skizzo
ZoneDymo
What is up with the 8700k beating everything in DoW3 and Metro?
8700K is 6 cores / 12 threads

9700K is 8 cores / 8 threads

apparently more threads was more beneficial for such benchmarks

PS....now I see a 9900K is in there too which is 8 cores / 16 threads....OK so 8700K beating 9900K is a bit perplexing. However, not perplexing in my initial response between 8700K and 9700K
Posted on Reply
#50
MikeZTM
skizzo
8700K is 6 cores / 12 threads

9700K is 8 cores / 8 threads

apparently more threads was more beneficial for such benchmarks

PS....now I see a 9900K is in there too which is 8 cores / 16 threads....OK so 8700K beating 9900K is a bit perplexing. However, not perplexing in my initial response between 8700K and 9700K
Games usually gain more FPS when you disable HT/SMT on the CPU. Those threads are not easy to optimize and not suited for game data processing.

8700k is 6 cores so ring bus latency is 20% lower by average. Unless 8700k is limited by its 6 cores throutput, its always better than a Intel 8 core CPU. Same goes for 7700k, if game does not overwhelm a quad core then 7700k is slightly faster than a 8700k.
Next gen Intel high end 10 cores only make this situation worse.

The problem for Intel right now is more core == less gaming performance.

This is their fault in architecture, AMD does not affected by this. Each CCX is a 7700k equivalence and can enjoy low latency. For old games 1CCX is enough so Ryzen will act like a 7700k. For newer games they can group threads into group of 4 and make them run on different CCX to minimize cross CCX latency. And AMD is trying to improve that by adding a larger cache to the CCX.
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