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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 76% 71%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 67% 61%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 77% 72%
Hitman 3 67% 61%
Grand Theft Auto VI 60% 53%
FIFA 21 77% 73%
Far Cry 6 62% 55%
Genshin Impact 82% 78%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 62% 55%
Watch Dogs Legion 67% 61%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i9-10980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz 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 Threadripper 3990X 64-Core was released less than a year after the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core, 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 Threadripper 3990X 64-Core has 46 more cores than the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core. 64 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 Core i9-10980XE 18-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Threadripper 3990X 64-Core has 91 more threads than the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core. Both the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core and the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core use hyperthreading. The Threadripper 3990X 64-Core has 1.984375 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 Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 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 Threadripper 3990X 64-Core and the Core i9-10980XE 18-Core both have the same clock frequency, this is by no means an indicator that the two CPUs will provide the same level of performance. 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 Core i9-10980XE 18-Core has a 115 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core. However, the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core was created with a 7 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 quite a wide margin.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCastle PeakCascade Lake-X
MoBo SocketSocket sTRX4Socket 2066
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date05 Jan 202030 Nov 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores64vs18
CPU Threads127vs36
Clock Speed3 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.5 GHzvs4.8 GHz
Max TDP280 Wvs165 W
Lithography7 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature68°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size3072 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size32767 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size260 MBvs24.75 MB
Max Memory Size-vs128 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 Size58.5 mm 75.4 mmvs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe AMD Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz is an extremely high-end (HEDT) CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 64 physical cores (128 logical), initially clocked at 3.0Hz, which may go up to 4.5GHz using Turbo Boost. As of 2020, it is the only HEDT processor with 64 cores. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 260MB 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 2TB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 280W, making it one of the most power intensive processors on the market. It also has a maximum temperature of 68C so appropriate CPU cooling will be necessary. Among its many features are 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 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz's high core count and middling clock speed make it a decent but extremely expensive option for gamers. This CPU is better suited to prosumers and content creators who may be running high-intensity threaded applications. It will run AAA games very well. While a high clock speed is a priority for gaming, 64 cores is truly excessive for any gaming applications in 2020 and beyond.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.