The Core i9-7980XE sits atop Intel's new line of high end desktop processors (HEDT) and is a monster chip with beastly specs. It is also the most expensive CPU in Intel's Core X-series, which consists of both Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X SKUs. Priced at $2,000 (MSRP), the Core i9-7980XE is not for the faint of wallet or purse. It is a tough sell when AMD's Threadripper CPUs seemingly offer a better bang-for-buck, though if someone is looking to justify splurging on Intel's flagship offering, a new set of benchmarks might do the trick.
We will get to those benchmarks in a moment, but first let us recap the Core i9-7980XE's specs. This thing wields a whopping 18 cores and 36 threads. It has a relatively tame base clock at just 2.6GHz, but all those cores can ramp up to 4.2GHz via Turbo. And for single-core scenarios, the chip has a max Turbo clock of 4.4GHz. Rounding out the awesome-sauce is 24.75MB of cache and 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes—woof!
This is not a case where the bark is meaner than the bite. Coolenjoy managed to get its hands on a Core i9-7980XE CPU (it is not clear if it is an engineering sample or finalized silicon) and ran some benchmarks, including Cinebench. With all 18 cores spinning their wheels at right around 4.2GHz, the chip scored 4,198 in Cinebench R15. That is more than a 1,000 higher than what we saw with AMD's Threadripper 1950X, which scored 3,033 in our own benchmark run. The Core i9-7980XE has an two additional cores to play with, but even still, a greater than 1,000-point bump is impressive.
On a side note, it is highly satisfying to see a high-end CPU cruise through Cinebench. Take a look:
The performance jump in Cinebench's single-core test was not quite as dramatic, though still decent:
Interesting, the Core i9-7900XE and Core i9-7920X posted the same single-core score here, so it looks like either option would be a good one for single-core workloads.
Here is a look at some other benchmarks:
Lower scores are better in wPrime (Left), and higher scores denote better performance in CPU-Z's benchmark (Right). Note that the Core i9-7980XE's performance is not graphed, but its score is listed at the top. In both benchmarks it comes out well ahead of the Threadripper 1950X.
Here are a couple more benchmarks:
The Core i9-7980XE stands tall in 3DMark Fire Strike (physics) and 7-Zip as well. Depending on the benchmark, Intel's flagship consumer chip is anywhere from moderately faster to much quicker than the competition. Whether those performance gains witnessed here are worth the pricing premium is another question, but assuming these results hold true when reviews hit the web, we can conclude that the additional cost (over Threadripper) is not being wasted on a brand name.