Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review: Supercharged, Many-Core Skylake-X

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Intel Core i9-9980XE - Physics, Gaming, And Graphics Testing

For our next series of tests, we moved on to some game-related metrics with 3DMark, specifically the physics benchmark that's part of the Fire Strike test, along with a couple of actual games. For the 3DMark Physics test, we simply create a custom 3DMark run consisting solely of the physics test, which is CPU dependent, and report the results...

Gaming: 3DMark Physics
Taking the GPU out of the Equation

pjysics
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

The Core i9-9980XE puts up a score about 13% higher than the Core i9-7980XE here, which is enough to propel it into the lead over every other processor we tested.
High Resolution Gaming And Graphics Tests
1080P and 4K Gaming With GeForce GTX 1080

We also ran some high-resolution game and graphics tests on our test rigs 3DMark, Middle Earth: Shadow Of War and Rise Of The Tomb Raider. We used 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme preset, and both of the games were run in two different configurations -- either 1080p with Medium details, or 4K with High/Very High details. The lower resolution tests are more CPU bound, while the higher resolution tests are more GPU bound.

sow1
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory


tomb1
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

Somewhat surprisingly, in both of the 1080p game tests we ran, the Core i9-9980XE was able to slip just in front of the Core i7-8700K, and a notch behind the higher-clocked Core i9-9900K. Although its clocks are lower than the 8700K, its increased core count and large cache helped it here.

sow2
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

tomb2
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

Cranking the resolution up to 4K levels the playing field, as you would expect, because the bottleneck moves almost exclusively to the GPU. Although there are some slight variations, all of the high-end systems perform at virtually the same level.

3mark1
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

3dmark2
* Threadripper 2970WX (b) results = Dynamic Local Mode Enabled, (c) results = 1/2 core mode with UMA Memory

The Core i9-9980XE was a couple of frames per second off the pace set by the previous flagship Core i9-7980XE in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark and ultimately ends up trailing by a few percentage points.

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