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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Ryzen 9 PRO 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 70% 71%
Hitman 3 60% 61%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 60% 61%
The Medium 49% 51%
Resident Evil 8 67% 68%
FIFA 21 72% 73%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 71% 72%
Grand Theft Auto VI 51% 53%
Genshin Impact 78% 78%
Far Cry 6 53% 55%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz is significantly better than the AMD Ryzen 9 PRO 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz 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 less than a year after the Ryzen 9 PRO, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when 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 6 more cores than the Ryzen 9 PRO. 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 Ryzen 9 PRO 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 12 more threads than the Ryzen 9 PRO. Both the Ryzen 9 PRO and the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core use hyperthreading. The Ryzen 9 PRO has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i9-10980XE 18-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 Ryzen 9 PRO and Core i9-10980XE 18-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 Ryzen 9 PRO has a 0.1 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. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 Ryzen 9 PRO has a 100 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core, and was created with a 7 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Ryzen 9 PRO will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Ryzen 9 PRO has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i9-10980XE 18-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Radeon RX Vega 11, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameZen 2Cascade Lake-X
MoBo SocketSocket AM4Socket 2066
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date09 Oct 201930 Nov 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores12vs18
CPU Threads24vs36
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.3 GHzvs4.8 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs165 W
Lithography7 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature95°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size768 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size6144 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size64 MBvs24.75 MB
Max Memory Size-vs128 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsRadeon RX Vega 11
Base GPU Frequency1063 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1190 MHzvs-
DirectX12vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Ryzen 9 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz is a high-end CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 12 physical cores (24 logical), initially clocked at 3.1GHz, which may go up to 4.3 GHz using Precision Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 64MB 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 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W. This makes it very energy efficient compared to competitor processors. Among its many features are Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFX), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. AMD's Ryzen 9 3900 is currently only available through OEM manufacturers and system builders.The 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.