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Intel Core i9-9980XE Review

Last Updated on by King Iphy

Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core processors in the 4th quarter of 2018. It used the opportunity to also unveil a beastly, unlocked 28-core Xeon processor that arrived at a later date, and a refreshed line-up of 9th Gen-branded Core-X series processors as well.

Unlike the 9th Gen Core I processors, which feature an enhanced Skylake framework, the “modern” Core X series has been constructed upon Skylake-X, the same as the 7th Gen Core X series CPUs. Some people are more likely to shout “re-brand” from the rafter in relation to the 9th Gen Core X series when it comes to the 9th Gen Core X series.

However, be assured that Intel has tweaked the production and packaging of these chips, and the end result is very astonishing. We’ve had the flagship Core i9-9980XE in our hands for a time now, and the pages following will detail its performance, power, and overclocking capabilities. Take a look at the major features and characteristics of the Core i9-9980XE, as well as the details of the rest of the line-up, before we get down and dirty with it.

The Core I9 is a slightly elevated pc / workstation CPU that is part of Intel’s Sky Lake-X Refresh family. It features 18 Sky Lake-X processing cores with speeds ranging from 3 to 4.4 GHz (Turbo Boost 3.0). The CPU can manage up to 36 threads at a time thanks to Hyper-Threading. Instead of the ring bus used in consumer CPUs, individual cores are linked through a mesh. The 18 core CPU performs well in multi-threaded programs, but in gaming and workloads with fewer threads, consumer CPUs like the Core i9-9900K perform better.

Features and Chipset of Intel Core i9-9980XE

  • Meanwhile, the 18 cores and 36 threads in the Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition raise eyebrows.
  • The support for Intel’s Turbo Boost technology is the Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition’s second essential certification.
  • The Core i9-9980XE processor may scale from 8 to 18 cores.
  • Intel turbo boost max technology 3.0 up to 4.5GHz is used by the Core i9-9980XE processor.
  • Solder thermal interface material is used in Core i9-9980XE (STIM)
  • Up to 68 platform PCIe lanes are available on the Core i9-9980XE.
  • At 2666 MHz, the Core i9-9980XE supports four channels of DDRA memory.
  • The Intel Optane SSD is compatible with the Core i9-9980XE.
  • The Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition is the pinnacle of a new family of X299-compatible processors.
  • The Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition (and the other six 9000-series CPUs) all work with the LGA2066 socket, which is common to all motherboards that use the supporting Intel X299 chipset and is unlocked, meaning you can manually adjust the clock frequencies of each core as well as assign a new base clock frequency and memory ratio.

Intel Core i9-9980XE

Specifications of Intel Core i9-9980XE

Series Intel Core i9 (Desktop)
Codename Sky Lake-X
Clock Rate 3000 – 4400 MHz
Level 1 Cache 1.1 MB
Level 2 Cache 18 MB
Level 3 Cache 24.8 MB
Number of Cores / Threads 18 / 36
Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power) 165 Watt
Manufacturing Technology 14 nm
Max. Temperature 84 °C
Socket FCLGA-2066 (LGA)
Features Quad-Channel DDR4-2666 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, AES-NI, TSX-NI, Quick Sync, Virtualization, vPro
64 Bit 64 Bit support
Architecture x86
Announcement Date 12/30/2018


Performance Analysis of Intel Core i9-9980XE

To transport heat from the CPU die to the integrated heat spreader on the Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition, a soldered metal layer is used. This might result in better cooling than previous-generation XE-series chips, which transferred heat through a layer of thermal material rather than soldered metal.

Media Processing Performance Analysis

  • The Core i9-9980XE encoded 12 minutes of 4K footage to 1080p in approximately 3 minutes and 46 seconds.
  • On this test, the Core i9-9980XE outperformed the Threadripper 2970WX, demonstrating that there are exceptions to the general rule that more cores and threads = higher performance.
  • The Core i9-class-leading 9980XE’s speed when compressing data into a ZIP folder using the 7-Zip program is the same.
  • Furthermore, the Core i9-performance 9980XE’s in a brief Blender 3D-rendering test suggests that it performs nearly as well as its non-X-Series smaller brother, the Core i9-9900K, in some conditions.

Cinebench R15 AndItunes 10.6 Based Performance Evaluations

The more cores and addressable threads a CPU has, the better it will perform on the All Cores test (all other factors being equal), which explains why the Core i9-9980XE underperformed the class-leading 24-core Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX by a little margin. It did, however, perform much better than its predecessor, the Core i9-7980XE, owing to a combination of the clock-rate bump from generation to generation and other architectural improvements.

A job like transcoding a sequence of music files in Apple iTunes gives you a more detailed picture of single-core performance. The Core i9-9980XE was a touch quicker than its predecessor, and substantially faster than its AMD rivals, in our iTunes test, which utilizes an “aged” version of the program that only employs a single CPU core.

Because the Core i9-9980XE lacks a graphics processor, rating its gaming performance is a little more difficult than analyzing its media content-creation abilities. In most circumstances, your graphics card will be the limiting performance factor while playing games at their highest quality settings and at resolutions greater than full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels).

On Far Cry Primal’s in-game test at 1080p resolution and High quality, the Core i9-9980XE averaged 103 frames per second (fps), compared to 98fps for the Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX. At Rise of the Tomb Raider, the disparity was much bigger, with 130fps (Core i9-9980XE) vs 111fps (Threadripper 2970WX).

Market Competitive Advantage of Core i9-9980XE

The Core i9-7980XE was the previous generation’s flagship processor, and it will almost certainly be discounted with the release of i9-9980XE. There’s also the matter of whether more cores or a higher frequency is preferable, which will be answered on a case-by-case basis. We’ve put all of the Skylake-X 7000-series HEDT CPUs to the test to find out. When specimens of the remainder of the 9000-series become available, we’ll test them as well.

Then there’s AMD. The Threadripper 2 processors, which provide 32 cores for less than the price of Intel’s 18-core Core i9-9980XE, are sure to have caught Intel’s attention. In our Threadripper 2990WX assessment, we discovered that Intel cannot compete in benchmarks that make use of the bi-modal design. Intel’s CPUs, on the other hand, are better at handling a wider range of tasks. When we compare goods like the 12-core AMD against 12-core Intel, where benchmarks are identical but AMD is half the price and has more PCIe lanes, it’s a tough sell. Intel will have to work hard to be competitive on all fronts (and vice versa).

Pros and Cons of Intel Core i9-9980XE

Pros Cons
  • Construction that is thermally efficient.
  • Excellent multi-threaded workload performance.
  • In our sample, there is a lot of room for overclocking.
  • Turbo boost
  • Luxurious.
  • Compared to AMD rivals, performance is lower per dollar.
  • More PCI Express lanes are available with Threadripper CPUs.
  • Unlike AMD’s Threadripper CPUs, the Core i9-9980XE has no built-in graphics processor.


The Core i9-9980XE is rated to run at 3.0 GHz with a sustained TDP of 165W, according to the base frequency specs. In actual terms, this equates to a 15% boost in efficiency over the previous generation, which operates at just 2.6 GHz. Because there are no microarchitectural differences between these new processors and the prior generation, the solutions may be divided into two categories: binning and process optimization.

The binning argument is straightforward: if Intel tightened the screws on its best bin, we’d have a fantastic product. Intel needs to balance how often a chip falls into a bin with demand — there’s no use selling a miraculous 28-core 5 GHz CPU at a discount if no one buys it, at a low TDP if only one in a million hits that value.