Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor Review

Back when Intel announced their Core-X Series high-end desktop (HEDT) processors one really stood out. It was at the top of the product stack, having more cores and threads than any other Intel consumer desktop processor before it and with its price tag it is the most expensive Intel consumer desktop processor as well. The processor I am talking about is of course the Core i9-7980XE. It is Intel’s flagship Core-X series processor packing in 18-cores, 36-threads with 27.45 MB of L3 cache. The chip has a base clock of 2.6 GHz with a boost clock of 4.2 GHz, and two cores reaching up to 4.4 GHz with the new Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. This chip like the 14 and 16 core chips in the Core-X series has a higher TDP of 165W. If you are building an X299 system this will be the ultimate processor to get, but is it worth its $1999 price tag? Read on as we find out!

Special thanks to Intel for providing us with the Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor to review.

As we mentioned this chip sits at the top of Intel’s Core-X series. Below is a chart showing the entire series.

intel core x series processor skus

We’ve gone over much of the architectural details on the Core X series and the X299 chipset in an article we published back when everything was announced. Please be sure to check that out if you need any fine details on anything about these processors or the chipset.

Our processor came directly from Intel, so we do not have a retail box or anything like that. Intel introduced new box designs with their Core X-Series and the Core i9-7980XE actually has its own box, which you can see below.

Intel Core i9-7980XE

The Core i7-7980XE looks just like the other processors in the X-Series, and it does have the larger heatspreader like the other Core i9 chips.

Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor

Flipping the processor over here is a quick shot of the back.

Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor

If you are looking to run one of these new Core X-Series processors you will need a new X299 motherboard. Previous LGA2011v3 coolers are compatible with LGA2066 so you shouldn’t have an issue if you are upgrading from an X99 system. We had no issues getting the NZXT Kraken X52 installed on our chip.

Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core Processor

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