Intel Core i9-10980XE Cascade Lake-X 18 Core, $979 US CPU Review With MSI Creator X299 – Creation Enthusiasts Ahoy!

Nov 25, 2019
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PRODUCT INFO

Intel Core i9-10980XE CPU / MSI X299 Creator Motherboard

2019
Type Processor / Motherboard
Price $979 US / $539 US

Intel X299 HEDT Chipset - Still Intel's Top HEDT Solution

The Intel X299 continues as the chipset of choice for Intel's enthusiast platform. The Intel X299 platform has continued for 3 good years and now enters its fourth. The X299 platform has seen many launches, the first-gen existed of the Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X lineup with the latter being discontinued last year. The second-gen saw the release of Skylake-X refresh and this year, we are getting the Cascade Lake design for X299.

Intel X299 PCH Features

Intel’s new X299 chipset supports all LGA 2066 socketed Core-X processors. The X299 platform will be centered around the LGA 2066 socket which will be compatible with at least three generations of processors. In specs, the X299 chipset offers up to 24 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes. The chip also offers up to quad-channel memory with speeds up to DDR4-2933 MHz (native).

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Intel X299 has full support for CPU overclocking which is a bonus. While that's a plus, independent testings performed prior to our review revealed that the chips don't feature in chip soldering and use the thermal paste as a layer that connects the die with the heat spreader. This may result in higher temperatures but we have to find that our in our own tests.

The Basin Falls PCH also offers a maximum of 14 USB ports (10 USB 3.0 Max), 8 SATA 3.0, and Intel LAN (Jacksonville PHY) controllers. The chipset can also drive three M.2 drives with Intel RST tech. Additional features include Enhanced SPI, SPI, LPC, SMBus and HD audio which are integrated underneath its hood.

Intel X299 Chipset Features:

ChipsetIntel X79 “Patsburg”Intel X99 “Wellsburg”Intel X299 "Basin Falls" With KBL-XIntel X299 "Basin Falls" With SKL-X
SKU Focus SegmentEnthusiast DesktopEnthusiast DesktopEnthusiast DesktopEnthusiast Desktop
CPU SupportSandy Bridge-E /
Ivy Bridge-E
Haswell-E / Broadwell-EKaby Lake-XSkylake-X / Cascade Lake-X
CPU Core Options4, 66, 8, 1046, 8, 10, 12, 14,16, 18
Max Chipset PCI-E Lanes882424
Max CPU PCI-E LanesUp To 40Up To 40Up To 16Up To 44
Memory TypeDDR3DDR4DDR4DDR4
Memory DIMMsQuad Channel (8)Quad Channel (8)Dual Channel (4)Quad Channel (8)
OverclockingYesYesYesYes
Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 SupportYesYesYesYes
Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 SupportNoNoNoYes
Intel Optane TechnologyNoNoYesYes
Intel Rapid Storage TechnologyYesYesYesYes
Intel Rapid Storage Technology For PCIe Storage Drive SupportNoNoYesYes
RAID 0,1,5,10YesYesYesYes
Intel Smart Response TechnologyNoYesYesYes
Integrated LANYes1 GbEIntegrated MACIntegrated MAC
Total USB Ports (Max USB 3.0)N/A61010
Total USB Ports (Max USB 2.0)14141414
Max SATA 6 Gbps Ports6 (2 Rated at Full 6 Gbps)1088
TDP7.8W6.5W6.0W6.0W

Intel LGA 2066 Socket - Now With Cascade Lake-X Support

Since nothing on the platform has changed, the LGA 2066 also continues on as the socket of choice for Intel's HEDT platform. All Core-X processors are compatible with the LGA 2066 socket but some motherboard makers have only listed support for 9th and 10th Gen Core-X processors due to BIOS limitations on certain motherboards.

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The LGA 2066 socket features 2066 pins which support Cascade Lake-X and Skylake-X CPUs but doesn't allow compatibility with Intel Xeon processors. The Intel Xeon class processors that are part of the Skylake-SP family will be featured on the much different LGA 3647 socket which is huge compared to LGA 2066.

Cooler Compatibility With LGA 2066 Socket

The socket hasn't changed so you won't have any trouble with compatibility on the new boards. Even older LGA 2011 socket retention brackets are compatible with LGA 2066 so you are pretty much good with any cooler you bought in the last 5 years or so.

As for a cooler recommendation, I would personally advise users to go for a liquid cooling option since the Core-X processors are heat spitting monsters at full load. You need good cooling to hit good temperatures.

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