Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel HEDT i9-9980XE
i9-7980XE
i9-7960X
i9-7940X
i9-7920X
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x4GB
DDR4-2666
AMD TR4 TR2 2970WX
TR2 2920X
ASUS ROG
X399 Zenith
1501 Enermax
Liqtech TR4
Corsair Vengeance
RGB Pro 4x8GB
DDR4-2933
TR2 2990WX
TR2 2950X
ASUS ROG
X399 Zenith
0508 Enermax
Liqtech TR4
G.Skill FlareX
4x8GB
DDR4-2933
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
VRM Supplimented with SST-FHP141-VF 173 CFM fans

Unfortunately due to travel back and forth to the US for AMD’s Horizon Event and Supercomputing 2018, I was unable to look into overclocking performance for this review. We will hopefully cover it in another article.

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
DDR4
Silverstone
Coolers
Silverstone
Fans
The Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019
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  • Cooe - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Rofl, and the second you look at the price tags, anyone with half a piece of common sense would realize that buying an i9-9980XE over a TR-2950X is absolutely freaking ridiculous! (Unless you simply NEED AVX-512 that is). Intel's flailing with Skylake.... again..., while AMD's near finished changing the game entirely with 7nm Zen 2, and it's all honestly pretty damn hilarious. Karma's a b**ch and all that lol. Reply
  • benedict - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Agreed, the 2950X offers the best value in the HEDT segment. Reply
  • Cellar Door - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    The best part is that an i7 part(9800X) is more expensive then a i9 part(9900k). Intel smoking some good stuff. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You're paying more for those extra 28 PCI-E lanes Reply
  • Hixbot - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    And much more L3. It's also interesting that HEDT is no longer behind in process node. Reply
  • Hixbot - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    And AVX512 Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    @Ian: Thanks, good overview and review!
    Agree on the "iteration when an evolutionary upgrade was needed"; it seems that Intel's development was a lot more affected by its blocked/constipated transition to 10 nm (now scrapped), and the company's attention was also diverted by its forays into mobile (didn't work out so great) and looking for progress elsewhere (Altera acquisition). This current "upgrade" is mainly good for extra PCI-e lanes (nice to have more), but it's performance is no better than the previous generation. If the new generation chips from AMD are halfway as good as they promise, Intel will loose a lot more profitable ground in the server and HEDT space to AMD.
    @Ian, and all: While Intel goes on about their improved FinFet 14 nm being the reason for better performance/Wh, I wonder how big the influence of better heat removal through the (finally again) soldered heat spreader is? Yes, most of us like to improve cooling to be able to overclock more aggressively, but shouldn't better cooling also improve the overall efficiency of the processor? After all, semiconductors conduct more current as they get hotter, leading to ever more heat and eventual "gate crashing". Have you or anybody else looked at performance/Wh between, for example, an i7 8700 with stock cooler and pasty glued heat spreader vs. the same processor with proper delidding, liquid metal replacement and a great aftermarket cooler, both at stock frequencies? I'd expect the better cooled setup to have more performance/Wh, but is that the case?
    Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    The "Competition" chart is already ghastly for Intel. Imagine how much worse it will be when AMD moves to 7 nm with Zen 2. Reply
  • zepi - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    How about including some kind of DB test?

    I think quite a few people are looking at these workstation class CPU's to develop BI things and it might quite helpful to actually measure results with some SQL / NoSQL / BI-suites. Assuming bit more complex parallel SQL executions with locking could show some interesting differences between NUMA-Threadrippers and Intels.
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    It's a good idea, Phoronix does them so in the short term you could probably look there. Reply

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