Thanks to a tip from chip detective @TUM_APISAK (opens in new tab), we get to see AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X go up against Intel's Core i9-10980XE in 3DMark's classic Fire Strike benchmark.
As a bit of a backgrounder, the Ryzen 9 3950X is based on AMD's Zen 2 microarchitecture and hails from TSMC's 7nm process node, while the Core i9-10980XE utilizes Intel's Cascade Lake microarchitecture and 14nm process node. The first is equipped with 16 cores, 32 threads, and 64MB of L3 cache, while the latter has 18 cores, 36 threads, and 24.75MB of L3 cache. The Ryzen 9 3950X features a 3.5 GHz base clock and 4.7 GHz boost clock. The Core i9-10980XE, on the other hand, runs with a 3 GHz base clock and 4.8 GHz boost.
The Ryzen 9 3950X system consisted of a Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite motherboard, 16GB of Kingston DDR4-3200 memory and MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The Core i9-10980XE system used an Asus WS X299 Sage/10G motherboard, 32GB of Samsung DDR4-2666 memory and Asus GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. As always, we should throw some salt because these are early benchmarks of unreleased silicon.
We'll focus on the Physics score as that's the test that mainly evaluates the processor's performance. Nonetheless, we want to highlight the fact that the difference in memory speeds could have given AMD a slight advantage. The Intel submission is no longer available, but Overclockers.ru (opens in new tab) managed to grab a screenshot of it before it was taken down.
The Ryzen 9 3950X scored 32,082 points while the Core i9-10980XE put up 25,838 points. Despite the two-core disadvantage, the Ryzen 9 3950X still manages to outperform the Core i9-1098XE by a margin of 24.2%. Of course, you can't really judge a processor's performance based on a single benchmark, but you can't deny that the Ryzen 9 3950X results do look quite promising.
The Ryzen 9 3950X is a consumer processor that's expected to debut at $749. in contrast, the Core i9-10980XE is in the HEDT (High End Desktop) category and commands a hefty $979 price tag. Both the difference in specifications and pricing make the Ryzen 9 3950X's victory even more astonishing. However, some would argue that the Core i9-10980XE isn't a gaming chip, but then again, the Ryzen 9 3950X isn't either.