Intel Core i9-7980XE & 7960X Review

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Finally the Skylake-X collection is whole. After abruptly pronouncing the 18-core Core i9 final May right through Computex 2017, now we have Intel’s new 16- and 18-core processors on-hand 4 months later.

We do not doubt that Intel had deliberate to unlock Skylake-X all alongside, however did they plan to supply one thing upper than a 12-core phase sooner than catching wind of AMD’s Threadripper?

It additionally turns out not going that they intended to announce the X299 platform in overdue May and unlock it in June, made obtrusive by means of the rushed motherboard building and the mess that ensued.

We won the primary Intel Core i9 phase — the $1,000 10-core 7900X — in overdue June together with a couple of Core i7 fashions that includes 8, 6 or even 4 cores, however it wasn’t till August that we realized the professional specs for Intel’s new $1,200 12-core, $1,400 14-core, $1,700 16 core and a $2000 18-core processors, the final two of which we’re going to be reviewing nowadays.

Before protecting the Core i9-7980XE and 7960X intimately, it is value remembering that right through all of the chaos of Intel’s newest desktop platform unlock, AMD introduced its Ryzen Threadripper collection on August 10 together with the 1950X and 1920X, the latter being a $1,000 16-core CPU that shamed Intel’s then flagship 7900X.

As we’re about to peer, there was once extra to return from Intel however on the time we puzzled if the $1,200 12-core 7920X may just even beat the 1950X and suspected that it might almost certainly take the $1,400 14-core 7940X to compare AMD’s 16-core CPU. While we do not need the 12-core or 14-core fashions, Intel has served up the ultra-expensive 16-core and 18-core chips which will have to give us an concept about the place the 12 and 14-core variations will take a seat, and naturally we are at all times willing to peer what the flagship portions have to supply.

To temporarily recap, the Core i9-7980XE packs 18 cores and with its fortify for Hyper Threading it touts an insane 36-threads. Each cores has its personal 1MB L2 cache and thus there’s a overall of 18MB L2 cache. Meanwhile, there may be 24.75MB value of L3 cache and because of the restructuring of the cache for the Skylake-X structure the 7980XE simplest has reasonably extra L3 than the former technology 6950X.

The 7980XE operates at a base frequency of 2.6GHz with a Turbo Boost 2.zero frequency of 4.2GHz and a Turbo Boost Max 3.zero frequency of 4.4GHz. The 16-core 7960X includes a base clock velocity of 2.8GHz with the similar Turbo Boost frequencies. It has a reasonably smaller 22MB L3 cache whilst there’s a overall of 16MB for the L2. Both CPUs be offering the entire 44 PCIe lanes, quad-channel reminiscence fortify and a 165 watt TDP score.

Both CPUs use the LGA2066 socket and are supported by means of current X299 motherboards. For trying out I am the use of the Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 9 with 32GB of G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4 reminiscence clocked at 1600MHz, so DDR4-3200, the use of CL14 timings. The GTX 1080 Ti was once used for all of the trying out whilst we’ve got thrown Vega 64 Liquid Cooled in for a couple of recreation checks. The focal point despite the fact that will in fact be at the productiveness trying out, those are 18 and 16-core CPUs in any case.

Benchmark Time

Memory and Application Performance

First up let’s take a look at the reminiscence bandwidth efficiency. These DDR4 quad-channel reminiscence controllers glance to be just right for round 62-64GB/s of reminiscence bandwidth when the use of 3200 reminiscence. Please be aware all configurations had been examined with the similar DDR4-3200 CL4 reminiscence.

Cinebench R15’s multi-threaded take a look at offers us a good suggestion of the way the productiveness checks are going to appear if all cores and threads can also be absolutely applied. Here we see that the 7960X is solely 4% sooner than the the 1950X for the multithreaded workload, each are 16-core portions in fact. The the 7980XE is 10% sooner than the 1950X with an excellent ranking of 3317pts, despite the fact that it does value two times as a lot at $2,000 — we’re going to definitely speak about pricing extra on the finish of the evaluation.

When it involves single-thread efficiency, the upper clocked Skylake-X portions are ready to highest Threadripper.

Before we transfer onto the more severe benchmarks I simply sought after to peer how those excessive CPUs rise up in PCMark 10 which appears at administrative center sort workloads (in most cases now not core-heavy). To my marvel, Threadripper scored smartly on this take a look at and did significantly higher than the Skylake-X CPUs. The 7980XE seemed in particular susceptible right here. Of path none of those CPUs are sluggish for those extra common administrative center sort duties so it is moderately beside the point.

Excel supplies us an administrative center sort benchmark that may make the most of many threads, particularly when operating the intense Monte Carlo simulation. Here the Threadripper 1950X in reality inspired taking simply 1.66 seconds. However the 16-core and 18-core Skylake-X portions cross one higher as they dip down into the 1.4 2nd vary permitting the 18-core phase to finish the workload 14% sooner.

For the ones of you unaware, VeraCrypt is an open-source software used for on-the-fly encryption and lines optimized implementations of cryptographic hash purposes and ciphers which spice up efficiency on trendy CPUs. It additionally helps parallelized encryption for multi-core methods as smartly hardware-accelerated AES to additional make stronger efficiency.

In quick, it takes complete benefit of the various cores those CPUs have on be offering and we see that right here. That mentioned, the Threadripper 1950X equipped the most efficient effects or even the 7980XE could not beat it — a disappointing consequence for Intel right here.

Next up we’ve got non-encrypted compression and decompression efficiency the use of 7-Zip. Whereas Hyper-Threading sees a identical degree of potency when compressing and decompressing, SMT is considerably extra potency for decompression paintings.

For decompressing, the Threadripper 1950X is once more ready to highest the 7980XE, despite the fact that it was once a lot slower for the compression take a look at. If you do a large number of compression paintings then it seems like Intel prime core depend CPUs are king right here.