Intel Core i9 7980XE / 7960X review: Intel back in the lead with 18 cores

New Skylake-X processors go up against AMD Threadripper

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How does Hardware.Info test processors?

Since June 2017 Hardware.Info uses an entirely renewed test method for processors with a set of new, up-to-date benchmarks.

All processors are tested using the Windows 10 Creators Update with the energy profile set to High Performance (unless stated otherwise). Most of our benchmarks are done using the in processors integrated GPU, while a processor without iGPU (e.g. Intel Skylake-X or AMD Ryzen) are used in conjunction with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. 

All of the game benchmarks are done in conjunction with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at Full HD resolution using medium and ultra settings. We choose this relatively low Full HD resolution because if possible the bottleneck is not the GPU but the CPU. In the first two graphs you can find the average amount of frames per second that is calculated (FPS). Even more interesting is the 99th percentile frametime, seen in the last two graphs. This is the time in which 99% of all images in the test were calculated. A lower 99th percentile frametime means a lower maximum delay when calculating a new frame. It is a better method to show the worst-case performance of a CPU/GPU-combination instead of the minimum FPS that a lot of other publications show.

All test systems use 8 GB of memory per channel (16 GB with dual-channel and 32 GB with quad-channel) working at the highest clock frequency that is officially supported by the processors. We also use Samsung 850 Evo SSDs and Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W power supplies.

We measure the power consumption with a professional EMU 1.X4. 

A list of the used benchmarks

:

  • Content creation
    • Abobe Lightroom 6
    • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 - Photo editing
    • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 - Panorama
    • Adobe Premiere Pro 2017 - 4K Hardware.Info TV export
  • Video- and audio-encoding
    • x264 encoding
    • H.264 QuickSync / VCE encoding
    • x265 encoding
    • FLAC encoding
  • 3D-rendering
    • Blender 2.78c
    • Cinebench 15 (single and multi threaded)
  • Data-compression and -encryption
    • 7-Zip
    • WinRAR
    • AIDA64 - Zlib
    • AIDA64 - AES
    • AIDA64 - Hashing
  • Web-browsing and Microsoft Office
    • Chrome 58 - Jetstream
    • Microsoft Word 2016 - 1000 pages to PDF
    • Microsoft Excel 2016 - Monte Carlo stock analysis
  • Integrated GPU benchmarks
    • 3DMark Skydiver
    • Counterstrike: GO
    • Minecraft
    • Dota 2
  • Gaming benchmarks (GTX 1080 Ti)
    • Battlefield 1
    • Doom
    • GTA V
    • Prey
    • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Power consumption
    • Cinebench 15
    • 3DMark Skydiver (iGPU)
    • Adobe Premiere
    • Idle

The table below shows the specifications of our test systems. Note that we tested the Core i9 7980XE using a Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 motherboard instead of the ASUS Prime X299-A. The ASUS motherboard had some difficulty with this CPU and let the chip operate at incorrect Turbo-values. This is presumably a BIOS-issue that will be resolved quickly. The 7960X did work without any issues on the ASUS Prime. The 7980XE showed no problems when we used the Gaming 7. 

Platform LGA1151 LGA2011-3 LGA2066 Socket AM4 Socket TR4
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Ranger MSI X99A SLI Plus ASUS Prime X299-A ASUS Crosshair VI Hero ASUS Zenith Extreme
Chipset Intel Z270 Intel X99 Intel X299 AMD X370 AMD X399
Memory G.Skill
6GB DDR4-2400
G.Skill
32GB DDR4-2400
G.Skill
32GB DDR4-2666
G.Skill
16GB DDR4-2666
G.Skill
32GB DDR4-2666
SSD Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
Power supply Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W Seasonic Prime Titanium 750W
Graphics card (IGP tests) - Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Graphics card (other tests) Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
OS Windows 10 x64 Creators Update Windows 10 x64 Creators Update Windows 10 x64 Creators Update Windows 10 x64 Creators Update Windows 10 x64 Creators Update

Below you can find the CPU-Z screenshots of the Core i9 7980XE and the Core i9 7960X, both when under load and when idle (click to enlarge):


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