Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel HEDT i9-9980XE
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
AMD TR4 TR2 2970WX
TR2 2920X
X399 Zenith
1501 Enermax
Liqtech TR4
Corsair Vengeance
RGB Pro 4x8GB
TR2 2990WX
TR2 2950X
X399 Zenith
0508 Enermax
Liqtech TR4
G.Skill FlareX
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
VRM Supplimented with SST-FHP141-VF 173 CFM fans

Unfortunately due to travel back and forth to the US for AMD’s Horizon Event and Supercomputing 2018, I was unable to look into overclocking performance for this review. We will hopefully cover it in another article.

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
The Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019
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  • AdhesiveTeflon - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Yea, have fun waiting a month to render 2 airport terminals from a point cloud. Most professionals I know still use and have a need for desktops. If you're asking why you need this CPU then it's not for you.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Like to see you lug a desktop though an airport.
  • AdhesiveTeflon - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    It's kind of obvious that you leave the desktop stationary for any sort of real work. My comment was how the OP rarely seen any "professionals" use desktops anymore. Engineers, CAD workers, and rendering farms still use desktops because they're still the only thing that has any grunt behind it.

    So while a laptop is still trying to render the airport's bathroom from the point cloud, the desktop has already done the rest of the airport and the next two point-cloud scanning projects.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Yes I understand that but most of one you find on forums like this are not actually professionals - but instead hard core gamers - which desktop still have a lot of that market.

    The ideal platform is mobile platform that connect to desktop style monitors at work and if needed at home. My work required two video ports on Laptop.
  • Lord of the Bored - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    The ideal platform... depends on the task at hand. Crazy, I know. Some people need a small and light device, some need one they can hook multiple displays too, some need the one with the most raw power available...
  • twtech - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    That's fine if you don't need the power of a desktop. Your laptop in that case is essentially serving as a SFF desktop - and if that's good enough, great. You get all the benefits of a desktop, and all the portability advantages of a laptop in a single package.

    I can see how that works for some forms of software development. For me personally, at work I can use all the CPU power I can get. Around 32 cores @ 5GHz would be perfect.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Render farms do not typically consist of desktop computers. The workloads you're discussing should indeed be processed elsewhere on something other than whatever machine is local to the user's desk and that elsewhere is typically not a collection of desktop-class PC hardware.
  • M O B - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    PNC--you made a good point earlier about thin clients and servers, but not everyone is corporate. Efficiency is moot if you can't afford to get your foot in the door.

    I don't expect someone who isn't in the industry to know this, but small businesses and independent contractors do the majority of the transcoding, grading, editing, and effects that make it into every single thing you watch on TV or stream. These people often use powerful 1P desktops, and occasionally a single 2P system. Obviously large effects studios don't rely on 1P, but again, most people in this industry are not employed by one of the few giants.

    It's clear that you don't have these needs, but to pretend that this entire marketing segment is for "gaming," "not necessary," or inefficient is gross oversimplification. Thin clients and servers are a great solution for certain operations of scale, while for others it is as tone deaf and ignorant as crying "let them eat cake."

    These powerful 1P builds are our daily bread, and if you can get by with a laptop then that's great, but check your ignorance instead of speaking from it.
  • AdhesiveTeflon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    HStewart, I agree. My personal work setup is the same way with a laptop and multiple desktop monitors since I don't require the power that the Engineers and CAD workers need. Most of my users that aren't Engineers or CAD designers are the same way too.

    PeachNCream, we just purchased a dedicated i9 for the workloads for our point-cloud rendering, but each individual engineer/cad worker still requires a beefy computer. Moving one point of our services to a dedicated computer does not stop the daily work on other projects.
  • MisterAnon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    You are not a professional then (and if you are a professional they made a bad hire), because unless your job requires to walk around while typing a laptop is absolutely useless for the professional world. A desktop will get work done significantly faster with no drawbacks. You're sitting in a chair all day, not out camping.

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