Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor Review


Intel Core i9-7980XE – More Cores For You

Today we are able to show you the benchmark results for the Intel Core i9-7980XE Skylake-X processor, which is Intel’s High-End Desktop Platform (HEDT) 18-core, 36-thread CPU (2.6 GHz base/4.4 GHz Boost 3.0/24.75 MB Cache) that costs $1999. This is the first 18-core desktop processor from either AMD or Intel and is Intel’s highest-performance processor for advanced gaming, VR and content creation. Intel also claims that the Core i9-7980XE is the first 1-teraflop consumer processor, so this processor should take multi-core performance to the next level and eat up multi-threaded applications that can take advantage of this many cores.

Intel Core i9-7900X Retail Box Processor

Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X Desktop CPU Lineup

SKU Name Cores/Threads Base Clock Turbo Boost 2.0 Turbo Boost 3.0 L3 Cache TDP PCIe Lanes Price (USD)
Core i9-7980XE 18/36 2.6 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 24.75 MB 165W 44 $1,999
Core i9-7960X 16/32 2.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 22 MB 165W 44 $1,699
Core i9-7940X 14/28 3.1 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.4 GHz 19.25 MB 165W 44 $1,399
Core i9-7920X 12/24 2.9 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.4 GHz 16.5 MB 140W 44 $1,199
Core i9-7900X 10/20 3.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.5 GHz 13.75 MB 140W 44 $963
Core i7-7820X 8/16 3.6 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.5 GHz 11 MB 140W 28 $580
Core i7-7800X 6/12 3.5 GHz 4.0 GHz N/A 8.25MB 140W 28 $367
Core i7-7740X 4/8 4.3 GHz 4.5 GHz N/A 8MB 112W 16 $320
Core i7-7640X 4/4 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz N/A 6MB 112W 16 $230

The Intel Core i9-7980XE has a base clock frequency of 2.6GHz with a Turbo Boost 2.0 clock of 4.2GHz and a Turbo Boost 3.0 clock of 4.4GHz. The 7980XE has 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes, 24.75 MB of L3 cache and has a TDP of 165 Watts. The reduction of L3 cache and increase in the L2 cache might throw a few people off. The Intel engineering team thought it was time to re-balance the smart cache hierarchy on Skylake-X due to where they believe the software market is headed. Intel increased the L2 cache size from 256KB to 1MB per core while the L3 cache has gone from an inclusive to a non-inclusive format. This change will help some workloads while some might actually see a performance decrease. Intel Skylake-X desktop processors are the first to support the AVX-512 instruction set, so it is highly likely that these changes were brought to optimize for how those workloads are handled.

Intel 7980XE Stock CPU-Z

If you happen to have one of these processors you can open up a free utility called CPU-Z to find the best two cores as they are highlighted in red. On our Intel Core i9-7980XE processor the two best cores just happen to be core #1 and core #9. Knowing this information might come in handy when overclocking on a per core basis versus leaving all cores the same and just cranking up the CPU multiplier.

Intel 7980XE Best Cores

Let’s move onto the benchmarks after looking at the test systems on the next page.