The Intel Core i9-9980XE Review: Slight Iteration
Power Consumption, Overclocking, and Pricing
Despite having the same TDP rating as the 7980XE, the new i9-9980XE draws significantly more power than it's predecessor. We measured the difference between these two processors at 82 Watts.
At just north of 350W, the i9-9980XE's power draw is right in line with the 32-core AMD Threadripper 2990WX.
Given the stock clock speed increases we seeing with the 9th generation Core X-series processors over the previous generation, I wasn't expecting there to be a lot of overclocking headroom.
However, I was pleasantly surprised and able to get our i9-9980XE to an all-core frequency of 4.5GHz, compared to the stock 3.8GHz. While it seems we do have the ability to clock the chip higher, we ran into temperature limits, with Blender's BMW benchmark at 4.5GHz bringing us to a sustained temperature of just under 100C with our Corsair H100i liquid cooler.
While the move back to Solder TIM on the i9-9900K didn't seem to do much for its overclocking, it seems to be making a significant difference here on the i9-9980XE.
At 4.5GHz, the i9-9980XE drew an additional 216W from the wall, putting the total power consumption at around 574W.
Pricing and Availability
The Intel Core i9-9980XE is set to be available, alongside the rest of the 9th generation Core X-series lineup, today for a suggested retail price of $1979.
At just under $2000, the Intel Core i9-9980XE becomes a difficult processor to recommend to just about anyone, just like last year's 18-core Intel processor.
For consumers looking to build a high-end graphics rendering workhouse that will be able to take advantage for all the cores you throw at it, AMD's latest Threadripper processors provide substantially higher core counts at a significantly lower price. For around $200 less, you can gain an additional 14 cores and 28 threads with the Threadripper 2990WX.
For hardcore PC enthusiasts looking for a more balanced approach between core count and single-threaded performance, the Intel i9-9900K strikes a much more reasonable balance than the new i9-9980XE. At a price point of around $500, the i9-9900K is set to take over the premium gamer space that Intel's lower end HEDT processors previously occupied.
Still, if you are looking to build an all-around workstation for mixed single and multi-core optimized applications, the Intel Core i9-9980XE might be your best bet—if your budget allows. By not sacrificing single-threaded performance for multi-thread prowess, the 9980XE is a compelling part by from a performance perspective, just not at it's given price point.