AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 Core Crushes The Intel Core i9-10980XE 18 Core CPU in 3DMark Firestrike – Up To 24% Faster Than Intel’s Flagship HEDT [RUMOR]


Update: UL Benchmarks (3DMark) has recommended that the Firestrike Extreme benchmark not be used for CPUs with more than 8 cores since the code is not designed to scale past 8 cores/16 threads. The Time Spy Extreme benchmark should be used instead which can scale up to 64 cores/128 threads. This means that benchmarks of HEDT CPUs with more than 8 cores can vary wildly in the FSE test and considering the 9980XE scores around 33000 points, it wouldn't make much sense for the 10980XE to score 25000 points. We have marked this post as rumor.

The latest benchmarks of AMD's flagship mainstream, the Ryzen 9 3950X and Intel's flagship HEDT, the Core i9-10980XE CPU have leaked out in 3DMark by TUM_APISAK. The latest benchmarks show that not only AMD's HEDT but their mainstream Ryzen lineup too would be giving Intel a hard time when it comes to pure core performance. Keep in mind however that this is likely not the final sample of the 10980XE and the performance gap could close drastically with improved clocks ( in other words, pinch of salt as always).

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 Core Mainstream CPU Crushes The Intel Core i9-10980XE 18 Core HEDT CPU In Latest Benchmarks

It's surprising that the results of both flagship processors leaked out around the same time. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is designed as the flagship high-core-count chip for the AMD's mainstream AM4 platform while the Intel Core i9-10980XE is designed as the flagship high-core-count chip for Intel's high-end desktop LGA 2066 platform. Both processors are aimed at different markets and before we get to the performance numbers, let's talk about the specifications.

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AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 Core CPU Specifications

In terms of specifications, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X will feature the 7nm Zen 2 core architecture. There will be three chiplets on the Ryzen 9 interposer which include two Zen 2 dies and a single I/O die which is based on a 14nm process node. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X will be fully enabled, offering 16 cores and 32 threads. This core configuration has never been available on mainstream platforms such as AM4. Even the 12 core, 24 thread Ryzen 9 3900X configuration wasn't seen on mainstream platforms until AMD launched it, bringing high core counts, that used to be HEDT exclusive, down to mainstream users.

In terms of clock speeds, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X runs at a base frequency of 3.5 GHz and boosts to a blisteringly fast 4.7 GHz which is the highest for AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series processor. The chip will feature 72 MB of total cache and just like the other Ryzen 9 parts, feature a TDP of 105W. The TDP is based on the base frequency numbers so it will actually be higher when the chip boosts or is manually overclocked by users. When it comes to overclocking, we also know that like all other Ryzen CPUs, the Ryzen 9 3950X will feature a soldered design that should help deliver better thermals than TIM. The processor is scheduled for launch in November for a price of $749 US.

AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPU Lineup

CPU NameRyzen 5 3500Ryzen 5 3500XRyzen 5 3600Ryzen 5 3600XRyzen 7 3700XRyzen 7 3800XRyzen 9 3900XRyzen 9 3950X
Base Clock3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.8 GHz3.6 GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz3.5 GHz
Boost Clock4.1 GHz4.1 GHz4.2 GHz4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.5 GHz4.6 GHz4.7 GHz
Cache (L2+L3)16 MB32 MB35 MB35 MB36 MB36 MB70 MB72 MB
PCIe Lanes (Gen 4 CPU+PCH)4040404040404040
Price$129 US?$149 US?$199 US$249 US$329 US$399 US$499 US$749 US

Intel Core i9-10980XE 18 Core CPU Specifications

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The Intel Core i9-10980XE will be the new flagship HEDT X-series chip, offering 18 cores and 36 threads clocked at 3.0 GHz base and a maximum boost clock of 4.6 GHz (one core TB 2.0), 4.8 GHz (one core TB 3.0) and 3.8 GHz all-core boost. The chip would feature 24.75 MB of L3 cache, up to 72 platform PCIe lanes, a TDP of 165W and a price of $979 US which is half of what the Core i9-9980 XE used to cost.

Intel introduces the Intel Core X-series processors in October 2019. Four new processors are suited for advanced workflows that vary in need of photo/video editing, game development, and 3D animation. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

The chip is still based on the 14nm++ process node (Cascade Lake-X) and new features would include support for 256 GB DDR4-2933 memory, Intel Deep Learning Boost, 72 PCIe Gen 3.0 platform lanes, 2.5G Intel Ethernet Controller, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Gig+) support & a unlocked design for overclocking enthusiasts. The processor is scheduled to hit retail outlets next month.

Intel 10th Gen Core i9 'Cascade Lake' X-Series CPU Lineup

CPU NameCores / ThreadsBase ClockSingle Core TurboAll Core TurboL3 CacheTDPPrice
Intel Core i9-10990XE22/444.0 GHz5.0 GHz5.0 GHz30.25 MB380WTBA
Intel Core i9-10980XE18/363.0 GHz4.8 GHz3.8 GHz24.75 MB165W$979
Intel Core i9-10940X14/283.3 GHz4.8 GHz4.1 GHz19.25 MB165W$784
Intel Core i9-10920X12/243.5 GHz4.8 GHz4.3 GHz16.50 MB165W$689
Intel Core i9-10900X10/203.7 GHz4.7 GHz3.8 GHz13.75 MB165W$590

Finally coming to the performance metrics, in 3DMark Firestrike, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 core processor scored an impressive 32,082 points in the Physics test. The Intel Core i9-10980XE, on the other hand, scored 25,838 points. This itself is around a 24% lead over the Intel chip which offers more cores and threads. I am not comparing the other two performance metrics since the test platforms were using a different graphics card. Both chips were running at their stock frequencies which makes this performance comparison even more impressive for the Ryzen CPU.

In addition to the 3DMark benchmarks, we also have performance metrics from Geekbench v5 which were obtained on both, the B450 and X570 platforms. The two results are inconsistent but interesting nevertheless. With the B450 setup, AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X achieves a higher single-core score of 1314 points but a lower multi-core score of 11140 points. On the X570 platform, the same processor scores a slightly lower single-core score of 1276 points but a much higher multi-core score of 15401 points.

It shows that AMD is now super-competitive against Intel's HEDT with its mainstream lineup and the Ryzen Threadripper lineup would be aimed at ultra-enthusiasts who want the best. We also got to see some overclocking numbers for the Ryzen 9 3950X earlier this month which look impressive. We also covered some new Cinebench performance benchmarks for the Ryzen 9 3950X yesterday which makes the 16 core processor a very compelling option against Intel's HEDT lineup, you can see more here.

Which high-core count processor lineup are you looking forward to the most?