Quick Gaming, Power Consumption and Overclocking

Quick 1080p Gaming Results

One of the benefits we SHOULD see with the Intel Core i9 HEDT processors in comparison to Threadripper is better gaming performance. Because the clock speeds on the 7980XE and 7960X are going to be very high at low thread counts, they should look much more like the 7700K.

In general, that's the case. Though we only are showing you 1080p results here, because that is where differences will appear if they exist, the Core i9-7980XE and 7960X look better than the two AMD Threadripper processors. Hitman and Rise of the Tomb Raider are two extreme examples of that, while Ashes and Ghost Recon show homogeny. 

It's worth noting that Far Cry Primal doesn't run on systems with more than 20-cores/thread enabled, so there are only partial results. The score for the Core i9-7980XE was achieved after disabling cores in the MSCONFIG tool.

Power Consumption

If you remember to both the 7900X and the 1950X reviews, I was critical of the power consumption that these platforms showed in comparison to their rated TDP and power draw numbers.

The same is basically true here. The Core i9-7980XE system draws 274 watts total from the wall while the Core i9-7960X drops that to 264 watts. Compared to the 10-core Core i9-7900X, that is 36 watts higher, which is near expectations with a 25-watt rated TDP delta between them. The Threadripper 1950X and 1920X match system power draw. But because the multi-threaded performance of the 7980XE is generally higher, the power efficiency of the Skylake-X architecture wins out.

Overclocking the Core i9-7980XE – 18 cores at 4.3 GHz!

Overclocking with the Core i9-7980XE was a combination of awe-inspiring performance and eye-raising power consumption numbers. The process was made easy with the ASUS X299-Deluxe and its impressive handling of voltages on AUTO settings. I was able to increase the voltage on our 7980XE to 1.2v and jump to a multiplier of 43x on all cores. Temperatures were in the upper 80C to lower 90C range but I never once ran into stability issues, even when running longer form benchmarks and burn-ins. All of this was done with a Corsair 240mm radiator all-in-one liquid cooler.

Let’s start with the almost scary looking power consumption numbers we saw in our peak overclock state.

Okay, guys, this is a real number. And it’s not even the highest number I measured in our testing, but it is the most apples to apples. When setting voltage to AUTO in the ASUS BIOS and running at 43x multiplier, I measured a power draw of 610 watts with Blender. After backing it down to 1.2v fixed and using Cinebench as our standard power draw test, we get 553 watts. That is 279 watts HIGHER than the 7980XE running at stock settings. Even if you assume that the 7980XE was running at its specified 180 watts TDP in those conditions (which is debatable), that puts this CPU at 459 watts of total power draw.

I don’t know how else to say this guys…but that’s friggin’ nuts.

If you are going to draw that much power, what performance can you get out of your system at least?

The overclocked Core i9-7980XE was able to run 25-27% faster than stock settings in this state. That puts it 40% faster than the Threadripper 1950X at stock and 25% faster than the Threadripper we had overclocked to 4.0 GHz on all cores.

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