Intel Core i9-7980XE And Core i9-7960X Review: Intel Attacks AMD Threadripper

Intel Core i9-7980XE And i9-7960X - JetStream, LAME MT, And Blender

Next up, we have some numbers from the JetStream Benchmark Suite developed by WebKit. The JetStream Benchmark Suite uses a wide array of latency and throughput benchmarks to evaluate JavaScript performance, and all of the results are tabulated with roughly equal weighting. The benchmark measures both metrics of traditional JavaScript programming styles used on websites as well as new JavaScript-based technologies used on more modern, rich web applications. Scores in this benchmark are an indicator of the performance users would see when browsing and running advanced web applications.

JetStream JavaScript Benchmark
JavsScript Performance Testing

All of the systems were tested using the latest version of Microsoft's Edge browser, with default browser settings, on a clean install of Windows 10 Professional x64.
jetstream 2

We saw some interesting behavior in the JetStream benchmark. We typically test with Windows' default "Balanced" power profile. However, it appeared that the Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X weren't always turbo'ing properly with the default profile, with lightly-threaded workloads. As such, performance suffered. With Windows' "High Performance" profile enabled though, performance jumps upwards of 30%.

We have an inquiry in with Intel regarding this issue, but believe a simple driver or Windows update should alleviate this. The dies used in the Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X are borrowed from the enterprise-class, many-core Xeons. And while they have hardware-controller P-States akin to Intel's SpeedShift technology for desktop parts, the implementation is slightly different. Enabling the "High Performance" profile turns P-State control completely over to the processor, which allows it to switch states more quickly and efficiently and boost properly.

Audio Conversion and Encoding
In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular, day-to-day use case for many end users, to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.


This test only leverages one or two threads, so the vast majority of those cores on the Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X are dormant. The higher-clocked Intel parts take the lead here, but the Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X still put up very good numbers and have no trouble outpacing any of the Ryzen processors.

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...

Well, Threadripper's dominance in the Blender benchmark was short-lived. Both the Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X outpaced the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and took the top two spots in the chart.

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