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Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition

Introduction, Chip Background CPU Testing

We haven’t been counting (we haven’t had a time!), yet we’re assured that 2017 has seen some-more PC-platform/product launches for desktop processors than a final few years combined. While that might make for some frazzled reviewers and analysts, it also means you’re not pang for choice if you’re in a marketplace for a new high-end processor these days. Indeed, you’re drowning in choices.

We started off 2017 with a launch of Intel’s 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” Core i7-7700KRyzen 7 1800XCore X-Series on a Intel side, and a competing Ryzen Threadripper chips on Team Red’s side of a exam bench. Think of us as Lucille Ball on a public line, yet with CPUs instead of candies.

So many has been going on in a area of CPUs this year that it’s unequivocally over a range of any one review. You can get a decent clarity of where we’re during from a new reviews of the Intel Core i9-7900XAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920Xour components info center, click a “Reviews” symbol in a tip navigation bar, and slick by the 17 processors we’ve tested and reviewed so distant this year. (Go ahead. We’ll wait.)

Intel Core i9-7980XE (On Bench)

Welcome back! Now that you’re all held up, we’re prepared to puncture into Intel’s new über-CPU. The Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition is, yet argument, a overwhelming performer for tasks that devour as many cores and threads as we can chuck during them, such as video editing. We would expect that, to be sure, given a towering $1,999 seeking price.

Now, $2,000 is positively a ton of bucks to spend on a CPU, for any non-server PC. (The cost of final year’s “mere” $1,799 Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition gave us a shakes behind then.) But we don’t have to bake 20 Benjamins to get some moral energy out of a Core X-Series platform. With Core X, Intel is charity some-more chips than ever for a power-user platform, including lesser-priced Core X-Series processors with 16, 14, 12, 10, eight, six, and even 4 cores. So while a entrance cost for a normal chart-topper Extreme Edition CPU is aloft in 2017 than for any that came before, a chip hulk is charity adult copiousness of more-reasonable alternatives. (Indeed, today’s least-expensive Core X-Series CPU comes in during underneath $300.)

The genuine doubt will be how Intel’s top-end chip stacks adult to renewed and assertive foe from AMD. Team Red’s best of a moment, the Ryzen Threadripper 1950XIntel Core i5-7640X. The Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition has a 2.6GHz bottom time and a ability for dual of a 18 cores to ramp as high as 4.4GHz regulating Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 feature. The Turbo Boost speed isn’t utterly as high as a 4.5GHz roof that a Core i9-7900XCore i7-7820X top out at, yet it’s tighten adequate to bea extrinsic difference, generally when we cruise this chip’s brazen 18 earthy cores.

Currently, 9 chips make adult a Core X-Series lineup, travelling dual pattern generations: 6th Generation Core (dubbed “Skylake X” in their iterations for a Core X platform) and 7th Generation Core (“Kaby Lake X”). Rather than clap off a full list of chips and their simple specs, here’s a chart, approach from Intel…

Intel Core i7-7820X (Core X Specs)

The dual 112-watt chips on a bottom of a list are formed on Kaby Lake architecture, while all above a Core i7-7740X is formed on a comparison Skylake silicon. In some ways, that’s not a outrageous deal, given a dual generations are unequivocally similar. The primary disproportion is that a Kaby Lake X chips have hardware that creates them concordant with stable video-stream calm in 4K/HDR for stream and arriving services from a likes of Netflix, Amazon, and others. The obtuse Kaby Lake X chips also rest on dual-channel DDR4 memory, while a Skylake X tools support quad-channel setups.

For a record (and in box we didn’t go review one of a prior Core X-Series reviews for some-more context, tsk tsk), all of these chips use a same LGA 2066 socket, and they are concordant usually with a X299 chipset. We aren’t going to fact a chipset, memory, and other considerations here, yet instead indicate we to progressing reviews, particularly a 10-core Intel Core i9-7900X, for that.

The vast differentiator between these chips, aside from a numbers of cores and threads, is a series of PCI Express lanes connected to a chip, that is critical for installing bandwidth-hungry components such as graphics cards and PCI Express-bus solid-state drives (SSDs). The span of four-core chips in a Core X-Series lineup (the dual Kaby Lake X chips during a bottom of a draft above) have usually 16 lanes, that is a same as what you’ll find on mainstream CPU offerings like the Core i7-7700K. The 5 Core i9 Skylake X chips that have 10 or some-more cores (including a 18-core Core i9-7980XE we’re looking during here) have 44 PCI Express lanes, while a Core X “middle chips” (the Core i7-7820X and a obtuse Core i7-7800X) have 28 lanes accessible from a CPU.

Intel Core X Family Badges

Now, for many users, 28 lanes should more than suffice. That includes gamers and enthusiasts who might wish to implement a integrate of high-end graphics cards in an SLI or CrossFireX configuration, plus, maybe, a span of quick PCI Express-based SSDs. Keep in mind that a X299 chipset provides adult to 24 lanes of a possess for storage, USB ports, and other bandwidth-hungry features. AMD’s competing Ryzen Threadripper platform, however, delivers 64 lanes of PCI Express on all of a processors, including a recently announced, lower-end ($549) Threadripper 1900X eight-core chip.

We’re overtly not certain how all yet the most extreme (and a wealthiest) of users could indeed make use of all those lanes. You have to try tough to come adult with scenarios that max out 64 or even “just” 44 lanes. But if we have your reasons, we might wish to go a AMD route. Just know that Threadripper motherboards (which run on a new X399 chipset, specific to Threadripper) are expensive, even as fan play go, starting during $340 when we wrote this. Core X-Series motherboards (running a X299 chipset) started during a partially medium $210.

Really, though, if a discount energy chip is what you’re after, and we don’t need some-more than 8 cores and 20 accessible PCI Express lanes from a CPU, conjunction of these families is a best answer. The vanilla Ryzens are where is it at, and a AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is going to be tough to beat. That chip sells for about $429 (we’ve seen it as low as $399 around some in-store sell specials), with decent, concordant motherboards formed on the AMD B350 chipset selling for as tiny as $69 when we wrote this. Many of these play even include an M.2 connector for rapid storage, and some LED bling.

But then, if you’re even deliberation a $1,999 Core i9-7980X Extreme Edition and a 18 cores, “bargain” can’t be on your shopping-priorities list during all, during slightest when it comes to PC components. Either we need this many computing opening for your veteran workloads, or you’re an fan who wants a best there is, and is peaceful and means to compensate for it. Tally adult this chip, about $300 for a suitable motherboard (because if we wish a best chip, we won’t wish to span it with a low-rent motherboard), during slightest $300 for 32GB of DDR4 quad-channel memory, and about $700 for storage, a decent case, a mainstream ($150-ish) video card, an suitable energy supply, and an handling system—and you’re looking during about a $3,300 outlay. (That assumes we aren’t carrying over any pieces from a prior PC.)

Intel Core i9-7980XE (Open Box)

Any approach we cut it, a PC built around this Extreme Edition chip is going to come during an impassioned price. That’s fine, in some sense, since that’s always been a box for Intel’s Extreme Edition offerings, nonetheless Intel has increasing a cost with a series of cores. Extreme Edition chips (like a eight-core Core i7-5960X Extreme EditionCore i7-6950X Extreme EditionRyzen Threadripper 1920X for $799, and a top-end Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, with usually dual fewer cores than Intel’s 18-core chip, for half a cost ($999). Admittedly, a cheapest of AMD’s X399 Threadripper-compatible motherboards start during about $130 some-more than Intel’s Core X X299 boards. But even when we cruise a combined height cost for AMD, a Threadripper 1950X still looks like a discount on paper subsequent to a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition and a dual additional cores. Let’s see how this all shakes out in a benchmark tests.



CPU-Specific Performance Testing

For a exam setup, we forsaken a Core i9-7980XE into the Asus Prime X299-Deluxe motherboard of a Core X-Series testbed PC, along with 32GB of Corsair memory regulating in a quad-channel setup. An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders EditionKingston HyperX Savage was a SATA-interface foot drive.

Intel Core-i9-7980XE Testbed

We stranded all those components into the Deepcool GamerStorm Genome ROG Certified case, which includes a self-contained glass cooler with a vast three-fan radiator. Incidentally, during a same time we tested this chip, we also tested Intel’s one-step-down Core i9-7960X, that was rolling out a same day. It has 16 cores, and it is approaching to sell for about $1,700—that’s $700 some-more than a also-16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X.

So, what to review with a beast like a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition? It sits during a tip of today’s consumer CPU heap, good above mainstream chips such as a four-core Core i7-7700K and AMD’s eight-core Ryzen 7 1800XIntel Core i7-7820XAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and a 10-core Intel Core i9-7900X. But we’ll map them all out subsequent to uncover how they smoke-stack up.

To turn out a charts, we also enclosed (of course!) numbers for a 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950XIntel Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition. The final chip should show how distant we’ve come from a price-to-performance standpoint in usually a final year or so—at slightest when it comes to tasks that like lots of cores and threads.

Cinebench R15

First adult in a contrast regimen: Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, that is entirely threaded to make use of all accessible processor cores and threads, regulating a CPU rather than a GPU to describe a formidable image. The outcome is a exclusive measure indicating a PC’s bearing for processor-intensive workloads.

Along with a common exam that creates use of all accessible cores, we’ve combined a single-core formula here to get a clarity of how Intel’s 18-core chip fares in easily threaded workloads.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (Cinebench)

As we expected, a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition landed on tip on a multi-core exam here, with a 18 cores besting a 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X by about 12 percent. That unequivocally creates a Core i9-7980XE a fastest consumer processor we can buy during this writing. But a opening opening between Intel’s tip chip and a Threadripper 1950X is narrow—at slightest on this test—while a cost disproportion is far-reaching adequate to navigate a enclosure boat through.

The Threadripper 1950X lagged a tiny more, about 16 percent, behind a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition on a single-core Cinebench test. But honestly, when was a final time we found yourself watchful around for a single-threaded computing charge to finish? Either chip choice is copiousness rapid for easily threaded tasks, during this point.

In one way, a Core i9-7980XE is positively impressive: On a multi-core Cinebench test, Intel’s new top-end chip is almost 90 percent faster than a CPU it’s effectively replacing, 2016’s 10-core Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition. But even if you’re a revolutionary Intel loyalist, we unequivocally have to appreciate AMD for pulling a CPU opposition to recover a consumer chip this many some-more absolute from one era to a next. 

iTunes 10.6 Conversion Test

We afterwards switched over to a princely iTunes Encoding Test, regulating chronicle 10.6 of iTunes. This exam taxes usually a singular CPU core, as many bequest module still does.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (iTunes)

Music encoding doesn’t accurately pull a complicated CPU to a limits, and positively not impassioned slices of silicon like these. But this is precisely a kind of exam that shows Intel’s chips to their best advantage. Intel’s new Skylake and Kaby Lake architectures do improved than AMD’s Zen on single-threaded or easily threaded tasks. That said, unless you’re unresolved on to some unequivocally aged programs, many module that can take good advantage of mixed cores and threads has been updated to do so during this point. (And it would be bonkers to buy an Extreme Edition or Threadripper CPU and extent it to this kind of stuff.)

The Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition wasn’t a fastest chip here. That eminence went to a Core X-Series counterpart, a Core i7-7820X. But a top-end Core i9 did conduct to best AMD’s tip display by, again, about 15 percent. But if we caring essentially about easily threaded performance, a Core i7-7700K is a many improved value on that front, during underneath $350.

Handbrake 0.9.9

This is a time-consuming exam of video-crunching capabilities. Handbrake, a apparatus ordinarily used for converting videos from one format to another, advantages from carrying lots of cores and threads during your disposal. In this test, we use a nice, vast hunk of 4K video to see how a chips perform with a postulated pursuit of this kind. We tasked a CPUs to modify a 12-minute-and-14-second 4K .MOV record (the 4K showcase brief film Tears of Steel) into a 1080p MPEG-4 video.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (Handbrake)

On this initial real-world exam that takes advantage of lots of cores and threads, we again saw a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition finish first. But a disproportion here between it and a a 16-core Core i9-7960X was roughly nil. Also, a Ryzen Threadripper 1950X was usually 7 seconds behind Intel’s 18-core chip, while costing half as much. We might be saying here than even video encoding sees abating opening earnings with some-more cores and threads, during a certain point.

We have taken a outrageous jump in core depends over a final year or so. Perhaps module will need to be rewritten, or during slightest optimized, to clear a full intensity of these high-core-count beasts. Given a gait of hardware advancements, that would be understandable, yet frequency a satisfaction for consumers investing in a $2,000 chip today.

POV-Ray 3.7

Next up, regulating a “All CPUs” setting, we ran a POV-Ray benchmark. It hurdles all accessible cores to describe a formidable photo-realistic picture regulating ray tracing. After that, again to get a clarity of how a Core i9 handles single-core performance, we ran a same benchmark regulating a “One CPU” setting.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (POVRay)

Once again here, a Core i9-7980XE landed on tip on a “All CPUs” test, yet it was usually 2 seconds forward of a 16-core Core i9 counterpart, and 6 seconds forward of a Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. On a single-core test, some of a obtuse Core X-Series chips indeed pulled ahead, yet a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition did conduct to best a tip Threadripper chip, by about 9 percent.

Blender 2.77a

Blender is an open-source 3D content-creation module that can be used to pattern and emanate visible effects, animation, and 3D models for use in video games or 3D printing. We open a customary exam record (it’s of a drifting squirrel) and time how prolonged a exam processor takes to finish a render.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (Blender)

The formula here were all sincerely close, with a Ryzen 7 1800X a usually genuine outlier. (It’s also, by far, a least-expensive AMD chip on a charts.) The Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition did again conduct to overtake AMD’s best Ryzen Threadripper chip, yet by usually a integrate of seconds. And a obtuse Ryzen Threadripper 1920X (the $799 Threadripper chip) managed to tie Intel’s $1,999 Extreme Edition part.

7-Zip File Compression

Last, we dismissed adult a renouned 7-Zip file-compression module and ran a built-in compression/decompression benchmark, that is another useful exam of a CPU’s multi-core abilities.

Intel Core i9-7980XE (7Zip)

This final exam showed Intel’s 18-core chip once again besting a AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, and again by about 15 percent. The 16-core Core i9-7960X was between a two, about 5 percent behind a 18-core sibling. That disproportion is surprisingly small, given there’s a 12.5 percent disproportion in cores, and both chips share a same architecture.

This exam typically shows CPUs with lots of cores and threads in their best light, yet during around $2,000, a Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition is flattering tough to disagree for here given how tighten it is to CPUs that cost hundreds of dollars reduction (or even as many as a thousand dollars less).

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