Intel Core i9-10980XE shown up by the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X in 3DMark
The Ryzen 9 3950X has been a long time coming, with its 12-core sibling having impressed us during our review in August. The 16 core Zen 2-based processor will launch alongside third-generation Threadripper chips next month, but 3DMark has offered an insight into its potential in the meantime.
The upcoming processor scored 29,663 points in 3DMark Fire Strike 1.1, a laudable score but one that the GPU which it has been paired will skew. The test system included one of the most powerful desktop GPUs on the market, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, so the processor would likely achieve a lower score if partnered with a lesser graphics card. Relying on this score would also make it difficult to compare the Ryzen 9 3950X against a recent Core i9-10980XE 3DMark listing, which also appeared last week but with a GeForce RTX 2070 instead.
As PC Perspective pointed out, a better comparison between the two chips would be the 3DMark Physics score, as this concentrates more on CPU performance than the overall score does. The Core i9-10980XE, as we have covered previously, has two more cores than the Ryzen 9 3950X and can execute up to four more threads simultaneously. However, the former trounces the latter in 3DMark Physics, with the Ryzen 9 3950X scoring 32,082 points to the 25,838 points that the Core i9-10980XE achieved.
While we would not recommend drawing conclusions based on one benchmark, the gulf in performance belies where the processors sit in their respective product stacks. The Core i9-10980XE sits atop of Intel's High-End Desktop (HEDT) offering, which will compete against third-generation Threadripper processors. By contrast, the Ryzen 9 3950X is AMD's flagship enthusiast desktop processor, effectively a rung below its HEDT offering. Incidentally, the Core i9-10980XE also retails for around a third more than the Ryzen 9 3950X at US$1,000 and US$749 respectively.
Overall, these 3DMark results beg the question of how well the Threadripper 3000 series will fare against its Intel competitors. If previous leaked benchmark results are anything to go by, then it promises to be worth the wait.