Intel’s new high-end desktop processors (i9-9960X vs i9-9920X vs i9-9820X) are all set to replace the current products from their Core X Series processors. These CPUs have built much of hype since their announcement last month, and enthusiasts are anticipating how smooth and godly their performance level is going to be. Intel has announced seven new processors so far.
Today, we will be talking about some of them and discover what differences they share. It will help PC builders to understand the processors’ potential and choose the right one for their next big build.
Comparing all seven processors together will be pretty confusing both for us and the readers; regardless of them being from the technical background or not. Thus, we decided to narrow the participants and picked up three processors with similar performance bracket from the new X series processors.
We will be comparing following Intel Core X series CPUs in this post:
- Intel Core i9 9960X (Amazon|Newegg)
- Intel Core i9 9920X (Amazon|Newegg)
- Intel Core i9 9820X (Amazon|Newegg)
Also Read: Best Skylake-X 2017 LGA-2066 Motherboards
Intel Core i9-9960X vs i9-9920X vs i9-9820X – The Comparison
We will go through all important technical details side by side, divided into several categories, which will provide you with a clear look at their performance and the differences they share. Note that being from the same family/series, they offer a lot of common technologies too. We will talk about them at the end of the comparison. For now, let us begin with the technical comparison:
|Launch Date||Fourth Quarter, 2018||Fourth Quarter, 2018||Fourth Quarter, 2018|
|Manufacturing Method||14 nm ++||14 nm ++||14 nm ++|
|Includes Fan / Heat Sink||No (Best Air Cooling) / (Water Cooling)||No (Best Air Cooling) / (Water Cooling)||No (Best Air Cooling) / (Water Cooling)|
All of these three (in fact, all new X series processors) were announced a month ago. Intel’s official website states the status as “Launched,” however, they are nowhere to be found on major online marketplaces yet. However, we assume they will be accessible all over soon enough. All i9-9960X, i9-9920X, and i9-9820X are manufactured on top of 14 nm lithography. None of these ship with additional accessories such as heat sinks or fans, however, this may vary depending on from where you are buying.
|Base Process Frequency||3.1 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.3 GHz|
|Boosted Process Frequency||4.4 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.1 GHz|
|Turbo Boost Frequency |
(Intel Turbo Boost 3.0)
|4.5 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|Bus Speed||8 GT/s DMI 3||8 GT/s DMI 3||8 GT/s DMI 3|
|TDP||165 W||165 W||165 W|
As the table shows, i9-9960X comes with 16/32, i9-9920X with 12/24 and i9-9820X with 10/20 cores/thread combinations. This makes them profoundly different concerning multitasking performance. However, they pack nearly similar processing power. It is surprising that i9-9960X has the lowest base processing frequency of all and i9-9820X has the highest. However, with overclocking or Intel turbo boost technology, i9-9960X and i9-9920X are better than the last one.
All three processors offer Smart Cache technology, which helps processor optimize the available cache resource more effectively. The amount of cache is undoubtedly different for all three processors as the table implies. Bus speed is same for all three processors and so is TDP at 165 W. With the superior performance, comes the increased operating heat and voltage, however, it looks like Intel has given their best to keep the figures under check. None of the processors have QPI links.
|Max Memory Size||128 GB||128 GB||128 GB|
|ECC Memory Type||Not Supported||Not Supported||Not Supported|
These processors do not share any differences when it comes to memory configuration. All i9-9660X, i9-9920X and i9-9820X support up to 128 GB of DDR4-2666 main memory; provided in up to quad channels. However, the amount of max supported memory may wary based on what type of memory you want to use and in how many channels. None of them support ECC DIMMs. We believe this matters the least as only a few would think about using these processing giants in small builds.
Expansion & Package Specifications:
|Scalability||1S Only||1S Only||1S Only|
|PCI Express Revision||3.0||3.0||3.0|
|Max. PCIe Lanes||44||44||44|
|Max. CPU Configuration||1||1||1|
|Thermal Solution Spec.||PCG 2017X||PCG 2017X||PCG 2017X|
|Thermal Junction||85 C||92 C||92 C|
As the table above clearly shows, there are no significant differences between these three Intel X series processors when it comes to expansion and CPU configuration specifications. However, it is quite surprising that i9-9960X generates less amount of heat compared to rest two despite being the most powerful CPU chip of all three. It gets even more striking when you note that the thermal solution configuration is the same for all three as well and they require the same type of socket.
Advanced Technologies & Security:
|Intel Optane Memory||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Turbo Boost||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Intel Hyper-Threading Technology||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Virtualization Technology||Yes|
|Intel Virtualization Technology for Direct I/O||Yes|
|Instruction Set Expansions||Intel SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX2, AVX – 512||Intel SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX2, AVX – 512||Intel SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX2, AVX – 512|
|AVX 512 FMA Units||2||2||2|
|Enhanced Intel Speed Step Technology||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel AES New Instructions||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Execute Disable Bit||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, these new Intel X Series processors share many common technologies. We will try to summarize quickly how each of these technologies helps the processor to perform even better and enhance the overall reliability. Here are some details about these technologies:
Intel Optane Memory:
Intel Optane memory is a great plus for all creators, gamers and regular workers as well. It helps to improve the system’s responsiveness by booting IOs. Your gaming, creating and producing speed will be enhanced as this technology will remember frequently accessed pictures, videos, and application and recognize them as you power off the system. Next time you boot up, your regular files/apps are all set to be loaded as quickly as possible, so you have to wait for less.
Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Intel Turbo Boost 2.0:
Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 is offered in a combination of both hardware and software. It makes your system more than 15% better for single-threaded operations. This technology is available in most of the Core X Series processor family CPUs on Intel x299 platforms. Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 provides enhanced processor and graphics performance, especially in peak moments. It helps processor deliver better-operating frequency compared to the rated one.
The processor automatically decides if it needs to inter Turbo Boost Max 3.0 or Turbo Boost 2.0 technology mode. This decision depends more or less on the following factors. Moreover, these also determine what the boosted frequency of the processor will be:
- Workload Type
- Number of cores being utilized currently
- Estimated power and current consumption
- Processor Temperature
- Device Driver / Hardware Support
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology:
This technology helps processor use all the available processors more efficiently. It enhances the performance in the multi-threaded task and enables multiple threads to run on each core. It will help in improving overall performance in threaded software by increasing overall processor throughput. As far as Core X series CPU family is considered these processors are first to feature this technology. Before, it was available with most of Intel Core VPro, Intel Core Processor, Intel Core M, and Intel Xeon Processor families. It helps the system run demanding applications smoothly without harming system responsiveness, decrease impact on productivity and provide headroom for future system growth.
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT):
The VT Technology helps the CPU to categorize resources as if it is handling multiple computers. It allows hosting various OS and environments on a single processor. This technology relies more on hardware compatibility of the processor, allowing it to isolate the computing capacity to run multiple virtual machines and OS. It is an upgrade to Vanderpool technology. It also works in cohesion with software to allow developers, service providers, and end-users to utilize the technology to build several environments on top of it.
It delivers 64-bit computing capability in embedded designs. When combined with supported software, it helps improving performance by allowing the computer to address / access over 4 GB of virtual and physical memory. The Intel 64 bit architecture comes with following features:
- 64-bit flat virtual address space, pointers, wide general purpose registers, and integer support
- Up to 1 TB platform address space
Instruction and Execution:
Other than these technologies, all of these three processors offer dual advanced vector extension 512 units, paired with instruction/execution performance-boosting technologies including Enhanced Intel Speed Step, AES New instruction and Intel Execute Disable Bit technologies.
We hope this post helps you to get a good understanding of these new Intel Core X-Series processors. We tried our best to cover as much as available information about these processors. Still, we will keep this post updated with any new info coming out. If there any question or doubt, feel free to let us know in the comment section below. Make sure you subscribe to this blog for regular tech updates like this. With that, see you until next post, Thank You!