Intel’s Massive Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Reviewed With ASUS’ ROG STRIX X299-XE GAMING Motherboard

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Jan 30, 2018
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PRODUCT INFO

Intel Core i9-7980XE

2017
Type Processor
Price $1999

Conclusion

Is this processor the best  out there? Yes. Is this chip for everyone? No.

This was easily one of the most fun processors to review that we have seen so far. The sheer number of cores means we can do some very interesting tests with it (we will be rolling out a series on these unique tests soon) and get some pretty amazing results.

Needless to say, the 7980XE is the fastest chip on the planet (in the mainstream consumer space) and the cost for having the absolute best is a price tag that can probably get you a second hand car. At a cool $2000, you will be paying roughly $111 per core as opposed to, lets say, the Core i3-8100 where you pay $21.5 per core. This massive difference in price is something which is the cost of opting for the fastest processor available.

Of course, its an entirely different story if you are a streamer or video editor. The sheer number of cores will give you quite a return on investment and you will be able to get a lot more value out of it than a gamer ever can. In fact, once overclocked, the 7980XE becomes blazing fast and the only problem is taming the heat output of the chip, which can be massive. We will be detailing gaming and overclocking optimizations in later pieces but for the purposes of this review, the 7980XE offers significantly higher value to professionals and even amateurs then it does to gamers (obviously).

The 7980XE is an incredible piece of silicon, with all 18-cores existing on a single die and a mesh setup interlinking them. It is one of the greatest achievements of semiconductor technology and represents truly how much power can be packed in such a small space. That’s about it for our review but stay tuned for additional testing of the 7980XE including optimizing gaming and overclocking profiles that are coming soon.

You can buy the ASUS X299 STRIX XE for $316
You can buy the Core i9-7980XE for $2038

Ethics Warning: These are affiliate links and we will take a commission on the link if you buy.

8.8

This is the best mainstream consumer x86 processor that money can buy at the time of writing. The 7980XE is an excellent choice for enthusiasts who want to do some serious multitasking, streaming or video editing. Rendering and encoding speeds are blistering fast and while gaming performance is excellent as well - its not really designed for the gaming community in mind.

Performance9.8
Value7.5
Design & Aesthetics8.5
Features9.5

Pros

  • Fastest mainstream consumer chip
  • 18 cores (36 threads) XCC die
  • Huge overclocking potential
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 can boost a small number of cores higher
  • Reasonable power draw and thermals at stock settings
  • Excellent choice for video editors and professionals

Cons

  • Extremely huge price tag
  • IHS uses thermal paste instead of solder
  • Some games might not work (Anno 2205)
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