Intel Core i9-10980XE Cascade Lake-X CPU Can Hit Lofty 5.1GHz Overclock Across All 18 Cores

intel core x series
Late last week, Intel announced its strongest answer yet to AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper family of HEDT processors with the Cascade Lake-X family. While Intel’s Core-X processors have always been competitive on the performance side of things in the past, their pricing tiers have always been woefully inflated compared to AMD’s offerings. That changes with the 10th generation Core-X processors, which have seen their prices roughly slashed in half compared to their predecessors.

The flagship of the new Cascade Lake-X family is the Core i9-10980XE (say that three times fast), which is an 18-core/36-thread CPU. The processor has a base clock of 3GHz, a maximum Turbo Boost 2.0 clock of 4.6GHz, and an all-core turbo clock of 3.8GHz. However, Intel’s Mark Walton has confirmed that the processor has plenty of overclocking headroom to hit 5.1GHz with liquid cooling (instead more exotic liquid nitrogen setups).

core i9 x series

“You can overclock the heck out of these and get some really interesting results,” said Walton to PCGamesN. “For example, we’ve had the 10980XE, the eighteen-core processor, up as high as 5.1GHz in the lab using standard liquid cooling. And that, I believe, is all cores.”

However, Walton also cautioned that this result was obtained with a chip that in its testing labs and YMMV once you get a chip in your own rig. “Just to be clear on that, every chip is different, some chips will overclock better than others, but it is possible,” he added.

intel core x lineup and pricing

Here’s how the 10th generation Intel Core-X family currently looks with respect to core counts and pricing:

  • Core i9-10980XE (18-cores/36-threads): $979
  • Core i9-10940X (14-cores/28-threads):  $784
  • Core i9-10920X (12-cores/24-threads):  $689
  • Core i9-10900X (10-cores/20-threads):  $590

That pricing compared favorably with AMD’s current second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors:

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX (32-cores/64-threads): $1,799
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX (24-cores/48-threads): $1,299
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (16-cores/32-threads):  $899
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2929X (12-cores/24-threads):  $649

At this time, we don’t know how the above pricing will shakeup once AMD’s third-generation, 7nm Zen 2-based Ryzen Threadripper processors launch next month. Now that AMD has seen Intel’s hand with regards to pricing, it’s likely that the company can get a bit more aggressive to put more heat on its long-time rival.

When the third-generation Ryzen Threadripper family arrives in November, it will be available in up to 24-core/48-thread configurations, although a 32-core/64-thread SKU is also expected to replace the existing Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX.