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Ryzen 9 3950X Outperforms Core i9-10980XE in 3DMark Fire Strike Benchmark

Thanks to a tip from chip detective @TUM_APISAK, we get to see AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X go up against Intel's Core i9-10980XE in 3DMark's classic Fire Strike benchmark.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

(Image credit: AMD)

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.

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Ryzen 9 3950X 3DMark Fire Strike

(Image credit: Overclockers.ru)
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Ryzen 9 3950X 3DMark Fire Strike

(Image credit: Overclockers.ru)

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 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.

  • logainofhades
    I wonder if this is a limitation, of how many cores/threads firestrike can actually use? Granted Ryzen 3000 does have higher IPC, than Intel, right now, so that might be the reason for the win.
    Reply
  • martin1993
    The 10980 score is low, the 9980XE on average is around 31500 - though absolutely not bad at all, given the 2 core disadvantage
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    logainofhades said:
    I wonder if this is a limitation, of how many cores/threads firestrike can actually use? Granted Ryzen 3000 does have higher IPC, than Intel, right now, so that might be the reason for the win.
    It's a limitation of THG's staff to do the bare minimum amount of research to put these scores in context so instead they can post sensational garbage like:

    "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. "

    As Martin mentioned above, the average score for the 10980XE's predecessor, the 9980XE, is about 31500. Out of 416 submissions for the 9980XE, only 26 scored below 26000 (6.25%). Of those 26 scores, 12 of them came from 2 accounts. So, who knows what those 2 were doing to score so low. There is a near as makes no difference 0% chance an OC'd 3950x will be 24% faster than an OC'd 10980XE in Fire Strikes physics.
    Reply
  • PCWarrior
    It really annoys me when media outlets, spread misinformation. I expected better from Tom’s hardware than just parroting such "news" without bothering to do some critical thinking and cross verification. So, the 3950X supposedly scores 32082 on Firestrike physics and that is supposedly 24.2% higher than the supposed score of 25838 of the 10980XE huh?

    As it has already been pointed out if you go and check actual benchmarks from reviews of the 9980XE, the processor that the 10980XE replaces, it achieves a physics score of around 28200-29000 (depending on RAM, etc) at stock and around 32300-32500 when moderately OCed. This puts it above the supposed leaked score of 3950X. So much about the 3950X outperforming the 10980XE by 24.2% then…

    Also Firestrike’s physics score scales with boost clocks. On Tom’s hardware own testing, going from stock 7980XE to stock 9980XE, Firestrike's physics score went from 25477 to 28214, a 10.7% increase. We should expect a similar increase with the 10980XE versus the 9980XE meaning we should be expecting stock Firestrike physics scores of 31200-32100 and of course even higher when moderately OCed. And, for the record, when overclocked to its absolute max the 9980XE scores a physics score of over 46000. So expect the 10980XE to breach the 50000 milestone this time around. We will see…

    Last but not least, although media are always quick to point out that the 3950X achieves what it achieves while having 2 fewer cores, they never mention that it does have almost 70% more L2+L3 cache. So it is by no means with fewer overall resources.
    Reply