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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-9980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 70% 64%
Hitman 3 60% 51%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 60% 51%
Resident Evil 8 67% 60%
FIFA 21 72% 66%
Grand Theft Auto VI 51% 40%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 71% 65%
The Medium 49% 38%
Genshin Impact 77% 72%
Far Cry 6 53% 43%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-9980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz 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 i9-10900X 10-Core was released less than a year after the Core i9-9980XE 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 Core i9-9980XE 18-Core has 8 more cores than the Core i9-10900X 10-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 Core i9-10900X 10-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Core i9-9980XE 18-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Core i9-9980XE 18-Core has 16 more threads than the Core i9-10900X 10-Core. Both the Core i9-9980XE 18-Core and the Core i9-10900X 10-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i9-9980XE 18-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i9-10900X 10-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 i9-9980XE 18-Core and Core i9-10900X 10-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 Core i9-10900X 10-Core has a 0.7 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 probably a good indicator that the Core i9-9980XE 18-Core is superior.

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.

Both the Core i9-9980XE 18-Core and the Core i9-10900X 10-Core have the same TDP of 165 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 14 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSkylake XCascade Lake-X
MoBo SocketSocket 2066Socket 2066
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date15 Nov 201830 Nov 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores18vs10
CPU Threads36vs20
Clock Speed3 GHzvs3.7 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.5 GHzvs4.7 GHz
Max TDP165 Wvs165 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature85°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size1280 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size18432 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size24.75 MBvs19.25 MB
Max Memory Size-vs128 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size52.5 mm 45 mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i9-9980XE 18-Core 3.0GHz is a high-end desktop (HEDT) CPU based on a refinement of the 14nm++ Skylake X microarchitecture. It is competing against AMD's 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors. It offers 18 physical cores (36 logical), initially clocked at 3.0GHz, which may go up to 4.5GHz using 1 cores with Turbo Boost 3.0, or 4.4 GHz across 2 cores. All core boost clock speeds of 4.1 GHz are possible across all 18 Cores simultaneously. The i9-9980XE 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 i9-9980XE 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 Intel Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz 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 10 physical cores (20 logical), initially clocked at 3.7GHz, which may go up to 4.7GHz using 4 cores with Turbo Boost 3.0. All core boost clock speeds of 4.3 GHz are possible across all 10 Cores simultaneously. The i9-10900X has 19.25MB 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 i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz 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.