Monday , March 27 2023

Intel Core i9-9980KSE CPU Reviev: Refresh Up to Hertz


It's been more than a year since Intel introduced its Skilake-Ks processors and the Basin Falls platform with several six-core processors up to eighteen cores. At that time, Intel's competition went through the roof in the number of cores, PCI tracks, and energy consumption. In order to compete, Intel went down to the other route, with its refreshing product focusing on frequency, cache updates and updated thermal interface. Today we are testing a top-of-the-line processor on that list, the Core i9-9980KSE.

Intel's latest processors

In October, at the Fall Desktop event, Intel lifted the lid on its next-generation high-end desktop processors. There will be seven new processors, with core Core i9-9980KSE with an eighteen core at the top, up to eight core Core i7-9800Ks as the cheapest model.

Intel basin Falls Skilake-Ks Refresh
AnandTech Cores TDP Frek L3
L3 Per
The core
i9-9980KSE $ 1979 18/36 165 V 3.0 / 4.5 24.75 1.375 2666 44
i9-9960Ks $ 1684 16/32 165 V 3.1 / 4.5 22.00 1.375 2666 44
i9-9940Ks 1387 dollars 14/28 165 V 3.3 / 4.5 19.25 1.375 2666 44
i9-9920Ks 1189 dollars 12/24 165 V 3.5 / 4.5 19.25 1.604 2666 44
i9-9900Ks $ 989 10/20 165 V 3.5 / 4.5 19.25 1.925 2666 44
i9-9820Ks $ 889 10/20 165 V 3.3 / 4.2 16.50 1.650 2666 44
i7-9800Ks $ 589 8/16 165 V 3.8 / 4.5 16.50 2.031 2666 44

The key emphasis on these new processors is the increased frequency of most parts compared to the models they replace, with increased L3 cache on most parts, and now all of the desktop processors will have 44 PCIe tapes from the CPU from the box (excluding chip strips).

In direct comparison with the previous generation of Intel's high-end desktop processors, the key features are in frequency. There is no six-stage processor, as the main processor line goes up to eight cores. Anything with twelve cores or below gets an extra L3 cache and 44 PCIe bands, but it also increases on a permanent TDP of 165V.

All new processors will be manufactured on Intel's 14 ++ node, which allows for higher frequency and will use thermal materials between the processor and the thermal plant to help manage temperatures.

New HCC cover

Intel's high-end desktop cadence from 2010 was relatively simple: the first new microarchitecture with a new socket on the new platform, then updating with the same microarchitecture and socket, but on a new processor node. Skilake-Ks Refresh (or Basin Falls Refresh, named after the family of chipsets) the processor series breaks that mold.

The new processors instead use Intel's medium-sized silicon configuration to exploit additional L3 cache. I'll break this into what it really means:

Intel historically produces three different sizes of CPUs in the enterprise: low core computer (LCC) design, large core design (HCC) and extreme core design (KSCC). For the Skilake-SP family, the latest family of businesses, LCC design offers up to 10 cores and 13.75 MB of L3 cache, HCC design has up to 18 cores and 24.75 MB of L3 cache, and the KSCC design has up to 28 cores with 38, 5 MB L3 cache. Intel then prevents the cores from matching the necessary configurations that it needs. However, the processor with 8 cores in this model can be a 10-core LCC that decreases by two cores or 18 HCC cores reduced by 10 cores. Some of these cores can have their L3 cache still enabled, creating more differentiation.

For the high-end desktop, Intel usually uses the LCC design of the exclusive number exclusively. For Skilake-Ks, this has changed, and Intel has begun offering HCC designs of up to 18 cores in its desktop portfolio. Separation was apparent – only 10 cores or below were LCC, and 12-18 cores were HCC. The options were very strict – 14 cores had 14 cores of L3 cache, 12 cores had 12 cores of L3 cache, and so on. Intel also distributed processors to some who had 28 PCIe tape, and some with 44 PCIe tape.

For new refreshments, Intel has decided that there are no more LCC variants. Each new processor is a HCC variant, cut from a HCC matrix with 18 cores. If Intel did not open it, it will easily be spotted with the number of L3 caches: the smallest new chip is the Core i7-9800Ks, an eight-core processor with 16.5 MB L3 cache, which could be more than LCC silicon could offer.

The use of HCC in all new processors is a two-handed sword sword. On the plus side, some CPUs have more cache memory, and all have 44 PCIe bars. On the other hand, TDP has increased to 165 V for some of these parts, but it also means that a lot of silicon may be "lost." HCC silicon is significantly larger than LCC silicon, and Intel receives fewer processors on the plates it produces. This ultimately means that if these processors were in high demand, then its ability to produce would be lower. On the other hand, with one silicon design for the whole range of processors, but with bits disabled, it can facilitate inventory management.

Because new parts use the Skilake-Ks core, it comes with AVKS512 support, as well as Intel's network interface. As with the original Skilake-Ks parts, Intel does not define the basic frequency of the network, but suggests the recommended range for the frequency of the network. This means that we will probably see the motherboard manufacturers in their frequency implementation: some will work at the maximum frequency of the turbo network at any time, some will monitor the frequency of the network with the base frequency, and others will run the network at all – the turbo frequency.

Thermal soldering material with soldering (sTIM)

One of the key messages from Intel's Fall Desktop Launch event is to return to the materials of the thermal interface with higher performance. As we've covered several times, Intel returns to the use of thermal fat in processor design. This thermal grease usually has a better longevity through a thermal drive (although we compare the years of use with years of use) is cheaper, but it's worse for heat management. Intel's consumption line uses thermal mass from Ivi Bridge, while high-end desktop processors are subject to masses for Skilake-Ks.

Thermal interface
Intel Celeron Pentium Core i3 Core i5 Core i7
Core i9
Sandi Bridge LGA1155 Paste Paste Paste Vezano Vezano Vezano
Ivi Bridge LGA1155 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste Vezano
Hasvell / DK LGA1150 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste Vezano
Broadvell LGA1150 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste Vezano
Skilake LGA1151 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste
Kabi Lake LGA1151 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste
Coffee Lake 1151 v2 Paste Paste Paste Paste Paste
CFL-R 1151 v2 ? ? ? K = Bonded
Zambezi AM3 + Vezano Carrizo AM4 Vezano
Vishera AM3 + Vezano Bristol R AM4 Vezano
Llano FM1 Paste Summit R AM4 Vezano
Trinity FM2 Paste Raven R AM4 Paste
Richland FM2 Paste Pinnacle AM4 Vezano
Kaveri FM2 + Paste / Bonded * TR TR4 Vezano
Carrizo FM2 + Paste TR2 TR4 Vezano
Cabins AM1 Paste
* Some Refresh Kaveri were tied

With an update up to 9th Parts of the generation, both processors that can rotate and all high-quality desktop processors, Intel returns to the soldered interface. The use of fluid and metal binding agents between the processor and the heat sink should help to improve thermal efficiency and the ability to separate heat from the processor faster when sufficient heaters are applied. It should also remove the need for some extreme enthusiasts to "do" the processors to put their liquid metal interface between them.

The key thing here with Intel's event is that, in its own words, the company recognizes that the soldering interface provides better thermal performance and "can provide benefits for high-frequency business segments." Enjoyed here by enthusiasts. For professional or commercial users looking for stability, this upgrade will help the processor to work more coolly for a given thermal solution.

How did Intel get 15% efficiency?

Looking at base frequencies, the Core i9-9980KSE will run at 3.0 GHz for a permanent TDP of 165 V. Comparing this with a previous generation of just 2.6 GHz, this would represent a 15% increase in efficiency in the real sense. These new processors do not have microarchitectural changes in relation to the previous generation, so the responses are in two main areas: optimization of binning and process.

The binning argument is simple – if Intel raises the bolts in its best basket, then we'll see a really good product. A company that is as big as Intel needs to balance how often a processor gets in the basket with demand – it does not make sense to advertise a magic 28-core 5 GHz CPU at a low TDP if only one million hits that value.

Optimization of the process will be a probable reason in that case. Intel now produces these parts at its 14 ++ node, which is part of Intel's "14nm class" intelligence and represents a slightly relaxed version of 14+ with a larger transistor tilt that provides a higher frequency:

As with all adjustments in semiconductor processes, if you improve one parameter, then a few others change. Increasing higher frequencies typically means higher power consumption and output power, which can be helped by a thermal interface. In order to use 14 ++ over 14+, Intel may have to use new masks, which could also make some minor adjustments to also improve energy consumption / heat efficiency. One of the key features currently in the CPU world is the ability of the chip to efficiently monitor the voltage per core to reduce total energy consumption, however, Intel usually does not pass the kernel to such functions unless it has a proofing point.

Exactly how much Intel performance with its new processor stack will go through our testing.

More PCIe 3.0 please: you get 44 tapes, all get 44 tapes

The top desktop space has begun to become a PCIe tape competition. The more tape available directly from processors, multiple accelerators, high-performance network networks, and high performance storage options can be applied on the same motherboard. Instead of offering somewhat cheaper, lower core numbers with only 28 tapes (and placing a motherboard full of pain), Intel has decided that each of its new CPUs will offer 44 PCIe 3.0 tape. This makes it easier to understand the layout of the motherboard and allows for a lot of fast storage through the CPU, even for cheaper parts.

Above all, Intel likes to promote its high-end desktop chipset and also has 24 PCIe 3.0 tape. This is a little bit, given that these tapes are closely linked with PCIe 3.0 k4 to the CPU, and that some of these tape will be covered with USB ports or network connectivity, but much more like any link center, the idea is Chipset connections are not always "striking" connections. What's in my cow is that Intel likes to add 44 + 24 tapes to say that there are "PCIe 3.0 Lanes" platforms, which means everyone is equal. It's not difficult for me.

Intel is confronting the competition here on PCIe tracks, as AMD's platform "Threadripper 2" offers 60 PCIe tape in all its parts. AMD recently announced that 7nm enterprise processors will use PCIe 4.0 for the next generation, so we can expect AMD's HEDT platform to get PCIe 4.0 in the future. Intel will have to continue its game here to safely remain competitive.

Options of the motherboard

New high-quality desktop processors are built to fit into the LGA2066 socket and use the Ks299 chipset so that each Ks299 motherboard in the BIOS update market must be able to accept these new parts, including the Core i9-9980KSE. When we asked ASRock for the new BIOS, given that they did not say whether new processors were supported, we were told that "the most recent BIOS is already supported." It sounds like MB makers are ready with a microcode for at least a few months, so every user with an updated motherboard can be OK right away (although we recommend that you double-check and update it in any case).

For users who watch new high-end desktop systems, we have rich reviews of motherboards for searching:

We will probably see some new models coming into the market as part of refreshments, as we have already seen with GIGABITE's new Ks299-UA8 double-PLX chips, although most of the manufacturers already have significant Ks299 motherboard lines.


In this review Core i9-9980KSE, Intel has two classes of competition.

First, alone. Core i9-7980KSE was the leading product of the previous generation, and will undoubtedly be offered at a discount when the i9-9980KSE hits the shelves. It also raises the question of whether more cores or higher frequencies are best, which will be answered on the basis of perfomance. We have all the HEDT processors of the Skilake-Ks 7000 series tested for such a response. We will test the rest of the 9000 series when the samples are available.

AnandTech Cores TDP Frek L3
L3 Per
The core
i9-9980KSE $ 1979 18/36 165 V 3.0 / 4.5 24.75 1.375 2666 44
i9-7980KSE $ 1999 18/36 165 V 2.5 / 4.4 24.75 1.375 2666 44
TR 2990VKS 1799 dollars 32/64 250 V 3.0 / 4.2 64.00 2.000 2933 60
TR 2970VKS $ 1299 24/48 250 V 3.0 / 4.2 64.00 2.000 2933 60
TR 2950Ks $ 899 16/32 180 V 3.5 / 4.4 32.00 2.000 2933 60

Second, AMD. The recent release of the Setripper 2 processor sets was probably noticed by Intel, offering 32 cores at Intel Core i9-9980KSE price with 18 cores. What we found in our review of the Threadripper 2990VKS is that Intel can not compete for benchmarks that can use biomodal configurations. However, Intel's processors cover a greater range of workloads. It's a tough sale when we compare items like 12-core AMD with 12-core Intel, where benchmarks are equal, but AMD is half the price with more PCIe tape. This will be unusual for Intel to be competitive on all fronts (and vice versa).

Availability and prices

Interestingly, Intel has offered only our sample of i9-9980KSE last week. I suppose it means that processors, or at least i9-9980KSE, will be available from today. Otherwise, very soon: Intel promised by the end of the year, along with 28 Kseon V-3175Ks (still not a word of it yet).

Prices are as follows:

Intel * AMD **
i9-9980KSE $ 1979
1799 dollars TR 2990VKS
i9-9960Ks $ 1684
i9-9940Ks 1387 dollars
$ 1299 TR 2970VKS
i9-9920Ks 1189 dollars
i9-9900Ks $ 989
i9-9820Ks ~ 890 dollars TR 2950Ks
$ 649 TR 2920Ks
i7-9800Ks $ 589
i9-9900K $ 488
$ 329 Rizen 7 2700Ks
* Intel price for 1k units
** The AMD pricelist is recommended for retail prices

Pages in this review

  1. Analysis and Competition
  2. Test bed and adjustment
  3. 2018 and 2019 Benchmark Suite: Specter and Meltdown enhanced
  4. Performance of HEDT: Encoding Tests
  5. Performance HEDT: Tenders for testing
  6. Performance of HEDT: system tests
  7. Performance HEDT: Office Tests
  8. Performance of HEDT: Web and Legacy Tests
  9. Performance HEDT: SISMark 2018
  10. Gaming: Vorld of Tanks enCore
  11. Gaming: Final Fantasy KSV
  12. Gaming: Shadov of Var
  13. Gaming: Civilization 6
  14. Gaming: Ashes Classic
  15. Gaming: Strange Brigade
  16. Gaming: Grand Theft Auto V
  17. Gaming: Far Cri 5
  18. Gaming: Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  19. Gaming: F1 2018
  20. Power consumption
  21. Conclusions and closing arguments
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