Intel’s Flagship HEDT Core i9-10980XE ‘Cascade Lake X’ CPU Can Hit Up To 5.1 GHz OC Across All Cores

Usman Pirzada
A featured image of Intel's Core i9 series.

Intel's upcoming Core i9 10980XE CPU is going to be their flagship HEDT part and the company has just recently slashed pricing to make it competitive to AMD. A report by PCGamesN reveals however that the flagship SKU, the Core i9 10980XE, can actually hit 5.1 GHz across all cores with a standard AIO cooler! Yes, you heard that right, no chillers involved (ahem). This is an incredibly impressive overclocking headroom and the fact that you can now get HEDT for half the price is the cherry on top of the cake.

Intel's new Core i9 10980XE CPU has a ton of OC headroom, eats the Ryzen 2950X for lunch with 32% higher performance per dollar

Keep in mind that this is subject to the silicon lottery. Not all chips are diffused equal and that means that some chips will have lower OC headroom than this and yes, some will have more. That said, an OC of ~5GHz on all cores is a great thing to look forward to for any HEDT enthusiast and should make for a killer platform especially considering the new price. Before we go any further, here is the excerpt from the PCGamesN interview:

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“You can overclock the heck out of these and get some really interesting results,” Intel’s Mark Walton tells us. “For example, we’ve had the 10980XE, the eighteen core processor, up as high as 5.1GHz in the lab using standard liquid cooling. And that, I believe, is all cores.”

“This is just an example of one particular chip we’ve had in the lab,” says Walton, “so this might not be reflective of all chips. Just to be clear on that, every chip is different, some chips will overclock better than others, but it is possible.” -PCGamesN

Intel has an incredibly mature 14nm+++(+?) and this means that you are going to be able to hit stable clock rates at levels absolutely unheard of. Intel's HEDT platform is one area where enthusiasts are rewarded for investing in motherboards with beefy VRMs and a powerful enough PSU. If you were on the market looking for an HEDT chip to buy, wait for the 10980 XE to hit the shelves because it does not get better than this.

That's not all, if you look at the benchmarks that had leaked previously you will see that Intel now has the performance per dollar lead as far as HEDT goes (how times change).

Intel Core i9-10980XE 18 Core and Core i9-10900X CPUs compared against Skylake-X and AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs in Geekbench. (Image Credits: HotHardware)

If you take a look at the benchmarks above, the Intel Core i9-10980 XE scores 51514 points while the AMD Threadripper 2950X scores 35691 points. Now, these are stock clocks I might add but the point stands. At these performance levels and with pricing of $979 and $900 for the Intel and AMD part respectively, you are looking at Intel with a roughly 32% lead in performance per dollar as compared to the red counterpart. Not only that but you get significantly more features as well.

Intel 10th Generation HEDT Pricing Update

HEDT SKUCores / ThreadsNew PriceOld Price*
Intel Core i9-10980XE18/36$979$1979
Intel Core i9-10940X14/28$784$1387
Intel Core i9-10920X12/24$689 $1189
Intel Core i9-10900X10/20$590$989
* price shown for the 9th generation Intel HEDT counterpart.

Intel's new Cascade Lake X platform is shaping up to be extremely competitive and the company recently slashed launch prices in half. The 18-core which previously retailed for approximately 2 grand now only and $103 per core now only costs $979 and $57 per core. That's not all. Intel will actually be doubling the amount of supported memory (from 128 GB on 9th Gen Intel HEDT and AMD 2nd Gen Threadripper) to 256GB, as well as increasing the stock memory controller clock to 2933 MHz to match AMD (this was previously 2666 on Intel). Available PCIe lanes have also been increased from 68 to 72 (as opposed to AMD's 64) on the upcoming platform.

A word of caution though: Intel's new pricing might not trickle down (immediately) to the consumer. We believe Intel might face some resistance and/or push back from retailers and partners. If you are a business selling Intel's old 18-core for $1979, you aren't going to want to stock the upcoming 10th generation CPUs at a price that completely undercuts your existing stock. The channel is going to have to take some heavy losses on SKUs that, overnight, just got their valuations cut in half.

There are two ways Intel can do this. It can either let the free market take its course (and expect significant resistance in these price cuts trickling down to the consumer) or it can subsidize these losses and make channel partners adopt this new pricing on an urgent basis. For the big/known retailers, I believe you are going to see this happen although it's unlikely smaller retailers/etailers adopt this new pricing from the get-go.

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