Intel Core i9-10980XE Review: 18-Core Cascade Lake-X Battles AMD [Updated]

Intel Core i9-10980XE - Cinebench, POV-Ray, Blender, Fluid Dynamics

Cinebench rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and can utilize any number of threads, which make is an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graphs below.

3D Rendering Benchmark


The Core i9-10980XE shows a healthy single-thread performance uplift versus the Core i9-9980XE and manages to outpace its predecessor in the multi-threaded benchmark as well, though it is by less than 100 points. AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X, however, outguns the Core i9-10980XE here, and the many-core Ryzen Threadrippers are simply in another class altogether.
POV-Ray Performance
Ray Tracing Benchmark

POV-Ray, or the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer, is an open source tool for creating realistically lit images. We tested with POV-Ray's standard 'one-CPU' and 'all-CPU' benchmarking tools on all of our test machines and recorded the scores reported for each. Results are measured in pixels-per-second throughput; higher scores equate to better performance.

 pov ray

The POV-Ray benchmark tells a story similar to Cinebench's, though the Core i9-10980XE's single-thread advantage over the 9980XE is much smaller. The Core i9-10980XE's multi-threaded score is measurably better than the 9980XE, though. Those pesky Ryzen 9 3950X and many-core Threadrippers, however, maintained their leads and finish at the tops of the charts.

3D Rendering Benchmark

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. It has a built-in benchmarking tool that will track the time it takes to complete rendering a particular model. We used a CPU-focused BMW model for these tests here...


The Core i9-10980XE barely edged-out the Core i9-9980XE in the Blender benchmark, but it did technically pull off a win here versus its predecessor. The Ryzen 9 3950X and Threadrippers continued their strong performance in this heavily-threaded test though, and once again they led the pack.

STARS Euler3d
Computational Fluid Dynamics

STARS Euler3d is a computational fluid dynamics benchmark which uses a CFD grid that contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances a mach 0.50 Advisory Group for Aerospace Research, or AGARD, flow solution for an aeroelastic test wing. The benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz.

This benchmark is multi-threaded, but is also dependent on platform bandwidth, and cache and memory latency, so the final results are not determined by compute performance alone. Cache sizes and memory bandwidth affect the score as well...


Memory and cache bandwidth, latency, and CPU throughput all play a role in this benchmark, and all of these areas are improved on the Core i9-10980XE versus the Core i9-9980XE. As such, Intel's latest flagship jumps out into the lead and takes the win here.

Related content