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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 71% 70%
Hitman 3 61% 59%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 61% 59%
The Medium 51% 48%
Resident Evil 8 68% 66%
FIFA 21 73% 72%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 72% 71%
Grand Theft Auto VI 53% 50%
Genshin Impact 78% 77%
Far Cry 6 55% 52%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz is massively better than the AMD Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core was released over a year more recently than the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core, and so the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core has 2 more cores than the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core. 18 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core has 4 more threads than the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core. Both the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core and the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core and Threadripper 2950X 16-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core has a 0.5 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core has a 15 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core. However, the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core was created with a 2 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by a small amount.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCascade Lake-XZen+
MoBo SocketSocket 2066Socket TR4
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date30 Nov 201931 Aug 2018
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores18vs16
CPU Threads36vs32
Clock Speed3 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.8 GHzvs4.3 GHz
Max TDP165 Wvs180 W
Lithography14 nmvs12 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs68°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs1526 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs8192 KB
L3 Cache Size24.75 MBvs32 MB
Max Memory Size-vs1024 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno

CPU Graphics

Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
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Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz is a high-end desktop (HEDT) CPU based on a refinement of the 14nm++ Cascade Lake-X microarchitecture. It is competing against AMD's 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors. It offers 18 physical cores (36 logical), initially clocked at 3.0GHz, which may go up to 4.8GHz using 4 cores with Turbo Boost 3.0. All core boost clock speeds of 3.8 GHz are possible across all 18 Cores simultaneously. The i9-10980XE has 24.75MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 3.0, and Virtualization are activated. As an 'Extreme' variant, this processor has its multiplier unlocked and overclocking is possible. This Intel Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz CPU offers fast gaming performance and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all modern games comfortably on ultra graphics performance at any supported resolution without being a hindrance to the accompanying GPU.The AMD Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz is a very high-end CPU based on AMD's 12nm Zen+ microarchitecture. It offers 16 physical cores (32 logical), initially clocked at 3.5Hz, which may go up to 4.4GHz using Turbo Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 32MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 1TB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 180W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features, Enmotus FuzeDrive for AMD Ryzen, AMD SenseMI Technology, AMD Ryzen VR-Ready Premium, Virtualization, AES, AVX2, FMA4, XFR (Extended Frequency Range) It doesn't feature an integrated GPU. The Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz's high core count and high clock speed make it a great but expensive option for gamers. It will run AAA games very well. While a high clock speed is a priority for gaming, 16 cores is excessive for most gaming applications in 2018.