The Core i9-9990XE is the latest and fastest horse in Intel’s stable. Puget Systems has now published the price and further benchmarks of the 14-core part.
i9-9990XE: Selected 14-core runs at 5 GHz All-Core
About a month ago the first rumors about a new flagship in Intel’s Skylake-X Refresh series came up. The Intel Core i9-9990XE should become a very special processor. It is the technical specification on the one hand and the distribution channel on the other that makes it special. So the i9-9990XE has not more cores than the i9-9980XE, which starts with 18 cores. He’s even got a little less at 14 cores. But the special thing about it is its high clock speed. The processor reaches 5 GHz on all cores simultaneously and up to 5.1 GHz on two of the cores. This makes it a highly selected i9-9940X. Officially, Intel does not have an entry in its own database, let alone a statement or a product page. The distribution channel is also unusual. OEMs can bid for the i9-9990XE through quarterly auctions. It is therefore not available for private customers – there is also no warranty on it.
Puget Systems publishes Benchmarks and Price
One of these OEMs is also the American company Puget Systems. It was the first to confirm the existence of the i9-9990XE with a Twitter post and its inclusion in its own database. However, the end of the flagpole is far from reached. Puget Systems has also posted some benchmarks from the Adobe suite (Photoshop, After Effects, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro) and ultimately the price for which the company bought the processor at auction. The i9-9990XE, which was initially only purchased for testing purposes, cost a good 2,300 US dollars. This is a good 64 percent above the i9-9940X, on which the 9-9990XE is based, and a good 15 percent above the i9-9980XE. But the high clock rate can definitely pay off in some applications, as Puget Systems shows in its benchmarks.
Currently there are only benchmarks for the Adobe suite and Pix4D online, but these show a clear picture: the high clock rate also allows a high performance. For example, the processor in Premiere Pro is a few percentage points ahead of the i9-9980XE, even though it has less cores. Only when exporting is the 18 cores are still a bit faster. In Lightroom, the high clock rate is generally an advantage. Here it takes the crown away from the i9-9900K. In Photoshop it looks a bit different. Here the 14-core is in second place, just beaten by the i9-9900K. In Pix4D, Puget System also compares the processor with Threadripper processors. Depending on the scene, the i9-9990XE is clearly superior, but doesn’t always come close to the 32 cores of the Threadripper 2990WX.
i9-9990XE for private individuals difficult to get
If you read Puget Systems’ reviews of the i9-9990XE, you’ll always hear a certain undertone. In general, the company does not really recommend the processor. There are much cheaper alternatives that are far less difficult to cool. Another point is availability. Since the i9-9990XE can only be auctioned by OEMs, it is comparatively difficult to get close to it. In fact, the processor is only built into systems and not simply sold. In addition, the number is supposedly very limited – so we won’t see it in many PCs.