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Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review: Still Too Expensive

Far Cry 5, GTA: V and Hitman

Far Cry 5

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Intel's Core i9-9980XE leads the high-end desktop field. But the Core i9-9900K, which drops into a more mainstream platform, is faster still. The Ryzen 7 2700X also fares admirably given its value-oriented price point.

Notice that the HEDT Core i9 models, -9980XE included, suffer a sharp dip in our 99.9th percentile measurements. In other words, they all incur notable frame time outliers during the benchmark run.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V favors Intel architectures and, more generally, multi-core designs with high clock rates.

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It’s no surprise, then, to see Core i9s up front in our benchmark. Ryzen Threadripper 2950X follows behind, offering solid performance at its price point, particularly after overclocking.

Hitman

Our Hitman benchmark was rendered almost useless by a patch that imposed a 90 FPS performance cap. A subsequent update restored our test to its prior glory.

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Hitman responds well to high core counts and clock rates, so our overclocked Core i9-7980XE is rewarded with a first-place finish. Remember, there wasn't time to tune the -9980XE before Intel's embargo. A stock Core i9-9980XE is faster than the -7980XE at its factory settings, though.

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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.