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Intel Core i9-10980XE and Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II Overview


Intel has confronted quite a few main points this 12 months within the shopper house, most notably its ongoing struggles to ship 10nm CPUs and a large shortfall of 14nm manufacturing as effectively, resulting in low provides and worth spikes. On prime of that, rival AMD has had a banner 12 months throughout practically each product class, placing extra warmth on Intel. As an organization that was thought of for practically a decade to be with out competitors, issues haven’t been straightforward. Whereas plans for 2020 make it seem like there’s a good likelihood of a restoration on the horizon, we aren’t fairly there but.

Proper now, Intel’s shopper CPU portfolio is closely fractured, and many individuals shall be questioning how and why there are 8th, 9th, and 10th Gen choices in the market simultaneously. As most fanatics will know, these technology numbers now have little or no to do with which architecture is actually being used, and the 10th technology is very complicated – for those who’re searching for a laptop computer, the 10th Gen badge would possibly lead you to a 14nm Comet Lake CPU or a vastly completely different 10nm Ice Lake one, and also you would possibly by no means know the distinction.

On the very reverse finish of the market, the high-end desktop house, Intel has additionally launched new X-series CPUs with 10xxx numbering, and although they are not technically marketed as “10th Gen”, they exist inside the identical timeline. These new CPUs are meant for heavy content material creation and multitasking, primarily in skilled workstation environments, and are based mostly on the 14nm ‘Cascade Lake-X’ structure which is a refresh of the familiar Skylake-X which underpinned the Core X-series 9xxx and 7xxx lineups.

The massive information right here is pricing – with AMD’s very competent Ryzen Threadripper family to take care of, Intel has dropped the price of the brand new X-series by over half. The brand new flagship 18-core Core i9-10980XE is formally priced at $979 (roughly Rs. 70,000 plus taxes) versus $1,979 (roughly Rs. 1,40,000 plus taxes) at launch time for its predecessor, the 18-core Core i9-9980XE.

It is inevitable that this CPU shall be in contrast with the not too long ago launched third-generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper family. We will see whether or not Intel’s newest high-end CPU with 18 cores can compete with the equivalently priced 24-core Threadripper 3960X in our full overview.

The Intel Core i9-10980XE is pin-compatible with current X299 motherboards



Intel Core i9-10980XE structure and specs

The 2019 refresh of the Core X-series, referred to as the Cascade Lake-X household, is comprised of 4 fashions. There’s the 10-core Core i9-10900X, the 12-core Core i9-10920X, the 14-core Core i9-10940X, and the flagship 18-core Core i9-10980XE which we’re reviewing in the present day. Notably, there is no 16-core mannequin, at the least not but, which prevents a direct comparability to AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X or previous-gen Threadripper 2950X.

Cascade Lake succeeds Skylake for a few of Intel’s Xeon W and Xeon Scalable processors for workstations and servers, along with the high-end desktop (HEDT) market. All these chips use a 14nm manufacturing course of. The X-series will not be competing with AMD’s absolute top-end, the upcoming 64-core Threadripper 3990X.

The Core i9-10980XE has a base pace of 3GHz with a Turbo Enhance pace of 4.6GHz. Notably, Intel’s X-series CPUs additionally assist Turbo Enhance Max 3.0, which may now take the 4 highest performing cores as much as 4.8GHz for so long as there’s energy and thermal headroom. There’s Hyper-Threading so every core can run two threads concurrently. The TDP score is 165W, and there is 24.75MB of L3 cache reminiscence. RAM assist goes as much as 256GB of DDR4-2933 throughout 4 channels. Intel’s Optane Memory accelerators are supported as effectively. There is no built-in GPU and no cooler included within the field, as is typical of high-end CPUs.

In contrast to AMD’s current-gen offerings, Intel nonetheless makes use of the PCIe 3.Zero interconnect commonplace, not PCIe 4.0. There are a complete of 48 PCIe lanes which is 4 greater than Skylake-X provided. You will want a motherboard with Intel’s X299 controller, and although this implies there may be backward compatibility with the earlier technology of motherboards, you could find newer refreshed fashions out there. For those who’re shopping for now, remember that there most likely will not be an additional technology that may use the identical platform.

Importantly, the Cascade Lake-X household introduces hardware-level mitigations in opposition to speculative execution exploits. The well-known Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affected Intel’s CPUs notably badly, and its most up-to-date launches have launched fixes that transcend what software program patches can do. One other attention-grabbing new functionality is Intel’s Deep Studying Enhance instruction set, which claims to enhance AI inference calculations by as much as 2X.

asus rog strix x299 gaming ii ndtv asus

The Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II is a refreshed mannequin, optimised for Cascade Lake-X



Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II options and specs

As its identify suggests, the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II is a refresh of the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming mannequin, which we reviewed when the first-gen Core X-series debuted. It is odd that Asus releases gaming-branded motherboards for this workstation-class CPU, however there’s a slight overlap and the identify is much less necessary than the options. Asus has taken benefit of the 4 further PCIe lanes {that a} Cascade Lake-X CPU has to supply with three full-length PCIe slots that may be run as x16/x16/x8 and three M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs.

You additionally get eight SATA ports, built-in Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, 12-phase voltage regulators, and a small OLED panel subsequent to the CPU socket that may present diagnostic data or your personal graphics.

The rear panel options Gigabit in addition to 2.5Gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps) Sort-A ports and one Sort-C port, two extra USB 3.2 Gen1 (5Gbps) ports, and 4 USB 2.Zero ports, plus optical S/PDIF and analogue audio outputs. Entrance panel headers offer you much more connectivity.

When it comes to design and value, we’re not followers of Asus’ current “cyber text” aesthetic with “geeky” phrases and phrases printed throughout. We expect that is tacky, however some folks do prefer it lots. There’s some RGB accent lighting over the rear IO port cluster however if you would like something past this, you will must get your personal equipment or gentle strips and plug them into motherboard headers. The board itself is obvious black throughout, so for those who disable the few lights there are, you possibly can obtain fairly a sober look.

You will discover a tiny fan inside an enclosure protecting the VRMs. There are additionally loads of headers sprinkled across the board for case followers and radiators. For those who’re planning to overclock your CPU there are two auxiliary 8-pin energy connectors along with the 24-pin ATX connector for stability.

We had no hassle organising and utilizing this motherboard. We did discover that the RAM slots are awfully near the primary PCIe slot, and the retention clips touched the backplate of our graphics card. You will wish to use a liquid cooler primarily so you do not have to have an enormous CPU fan in the way in which. The third M.2 slot is vertical, so you will have to screw in a steel retention plate to verify your SSD does not get by chance knocked misplaced or snapped.

If does really feel a little bit as if this motherboard is caught between attempting to be a shopper mannequin and becoming in workstation-level parts. We expect that Asus may have gone with EATX dimensions quite than attempting to cram the whole lot into the ATX kind issue, given the goal market.

A immediate to put in Asus’ Armory Crate software program pops up in Home windows 10 as quickly as you boot up for the primary time. Controversially, Asus determined some time in the past to embed this software program into its motherboard BIOSes so there is no strategy to keep away from it working. At the very least the software program is comparatively unobtrusive and effectively designed. It allow us to replace all needed drivers, and that is additionally the place you will management your RGB LEDs and Asus ROG peripherals.

The Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II sells for roughly Rs. 42,000 which makes it fairly good worth for a HEDT motherboard. You possibly can nonetheless use pre-refresh X299 boards (with a BIOS replace) to avoid wasting cash, however you will most likely need probably the most up-to-date options you will get for those who’re spending a lot anyway.

asus rog strix x299 rear ndtv asus

The Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II gives loads of connectivity and options for an ATX sized board



Intel Core i9-10980XE efficiency

Our take a look at bench consisted of the Intel Core i9-10980XE CPU and Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II motherboard in addition to 32GB (4x8GB) of DDR4-3200 Corsair Dominator RAM, a 1TB WD Black NVMe (2018) SSD because the boot drive, a 1TB Samsung SSD 860 Evo, a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 graphics card, Corsair H115i Platinum 280mm AIO liquid cooler, Corsair RM650 energy provide, and Asus PB287Q 4K monitor. We used Windows 10 v1909 with all the most recent updates, plus the most recent BIOS and drivers put in.

Testing was pretty simple. We ran all our regular artificial benchmarks and real-world efficiency eventualities. You possibly can see the scores obtained by the Core i9-10980XE in comparison with these of the Core i9-9900K, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X and Threadripper 3960X. In lots of circumstances, it is value checking precisely how a lot of a distinction you will get with a mainstream Core i9 or Ryzen 9 CPU, versus the HEDT Core X-series and Ryzen Threadripper CPUs.

  Intel Core i9-10980XE AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X AMD Ryzen 9
Intel Core i9-9900Ok
Cinebench R20 CPU single-threaded 452 504 495 NA
Cinebench R20 CPU multi-threaded 8,729 13,265 6,785 NA
POVRay* 35 seconds 23 seconds 41 seconds 57 seconds
VRAY CPU* 37 seconds 25 seconds 48 seconds 1 minute, 2 seconds
Corona Renderer Benchmark* 57 seconds 38 seconds 1 minute, 19 seconds 1 minute, 42 seconds
Blender Benchmark* Eight minutes, 55 seconds 5 minutes, 54 seconds 10 minutes, 59 seconds 15 minutes, 21 seconds
Basemark Internet 3.0 444.89 453.29 549.99 394.61
WebXprt 237 247 260 272
PCMark 10 6,914 6,693 6,597 4,957
PCMark 10 Prolonged 7,967 7,743 6,807 3,435
3DMark Fireplace Strike Extremely (Physics) 28,111 25,437 27,471 21,550
SiSoft SANDRA CPU arithmetic 496GOPS 697GOPS 366GOPS 282.45GOPS
SiSoft SANDRA CPU multimedia 2.13GPix/s 2.4GPix/s 1.26GPix/s 918.22MPix/s
SiSoft SANDRA CPU encryption 25.65GBps 41.3GBps 18.09GBps 12.12GBps
SiSoft SANDRA cache bandwidth 701.53GBps 1.43TBps 589.9GBps 307.32GBps
SiSoft SANDRA reminiscence bandwidth 52.19GBps 63.52GBps 26.62GBps 21.85GBps
7Zip file compression* 1 minute, Eight seconds 56 seconds 1 minute, 33 seconds 2 minutes, 12 seconds
Handbrake video encoding* 37 seconds 31 seconds 35 seconds 39 seconds
*decrease is best        

Intel is clearly pushing its older structure and manufacturing course of right here. We see that AMD’s 24-core Ryzen Threadripper 3960X just about obliterates the Core i9-10980X in most content material creation assessments, although it’s also dearer and has a a lot greater TDP score. In comparison with the still-impressive Core i9-9900Ok, we see how the Core i9-10980XE advantages from elevated reminiscence bandwidth, illustrating the entire level of the HEDT section.

We do not have a 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X to match in opposition to, however extrapolating from our 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X outcomes, we will see that issues could be fairly shut, if not evenly matched, a variety of the time. AMD appears to have the higher hand typically, due to the Zen 2 structure and doubtlessly additionally PCIe 4.Zero assist. Whereas the mainstream Ryzen 9 collection will not have as a lot grunt to supply in lots of conditions, the general platform value could be a lot decrease.

Take into account that our assessments aren’t geared in the direction of exploiting Intel’s DL Enhance options, or AI processing basically, so there’s extra scope for particular workloads to learn. We additionally tried a little bit of gaming, although we did not give attention to it for the aim of this overview. Until you are encoding and streaming video whereas gaming all on the identical PC, the mainstream Core i9-9900Ok and even one thing much less highly effective could be greater than sufficient.

intel core i9 10980xe testing ndtv intel

Intel will discover it arduous to compete with AMD’s present mainstream and Threadripper CPUs




Intel has performed the one factor it may have performed. By ceding the excessive finish and launching the Core i9-10980XE at half the value of its predecessor, it could get away with an incremental enchancment over the earlier launch. Framed when it comes to performance-per-dollar, not simply efficiency, this can be a pretty massive leap – although not one which patrons of the Core i9-9980XE shall be blissful about.

This CPU is sandwiched between two stable choices. One one facet, there’s the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X which has 16 cores however may very well be constrained by having solely 24 PCIe lanes and dual-channel reminiscence. On the opposite, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X would offer you 24 cores and far more system-level bandwidth, nevertheless it’s dearer and has a a lot greater TDP.

The Core i9-10980XE has subsequently created one thing of a tiny area of interest for itself – if this chip value as a lot because the Threadripper, we might have written it off fully. The way in which issues look now, the Core i9-10980XE may nonetheless be an honest selection for many who belief and wish to persist with Intel. It might additionally work for many who need a stable workstation for multitasking or working a number of completely different sorts of purposes which may or may not benefit from very excessive core counts.

For those who can afford the Threadripper, go for it. If you wish to get monetary savings on the general platform stage, the 16-core Ryzen provides you with most of what you want typically. For those who assume your workloads will profit from Intel’s particular optimisations and options, however have discovered the X-series too costly prior to now, this may very well be your likelihood to leap on board. You’ll have to account for very poor market availability although, and the price of an X299 refresh motherboard.

Intel Core i9-10980X
Worth (MOP):
 Roughly Rs. 70,000 plus taxes


  • 18 cores plus an enormous worth drop 
  • Good total efficiency, AI optimisations
  • Affordable TDP


  • Competitors from AMD on a number of fronts
  • X299 platform will not have a lot of a future

Scores (Out of 5)

  • Efficiency: 4.5
  • Worth for Cash: 4
  • General: 4


Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II
Worth (MOP): Rs. 42,000


  • Understated appears
  • Up-to-date connectivity together with Wi-Fi 6
  • OLED diagnostic show
  • Simple to arrange and use


  • Comparatively cramped format
  • Costly

Scores (Out of 5)

  • Options: 4.5
  • Efficiency: 4.5
  • Worth for Cash: 4
  • General: 4.5





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