Intel Core i9 Cascade Lake-X leak hints at a CPU which isn’t powerful enough to beat AMD

(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s purportedly incoming Core i9 Cascade Lake-X 10-core processor could struggle to compete with rival chips from AMD, at least going by a freshly leaked benchmark.

The supposed Core i9 10000 X Cascade Lake-X, a 10-core high-end desktop (HEDT) processor, was spotted by prolific leaker @momomo_us in the Geekbench database of results.

The chip shows up with a base frequency of 3.4GHz and Turbo to 4.6GHz, in a Dell Precision 5820 workstation PC, recording a single-core result of 5,019, and multi-core of 37,241.

The model details correspond with the recent 18-core Cascade Lake-X Geekbench leak – and that beefier CPU was also benchmarked in a Dell Precision 5820 – giving the authenticity of the new leak a bit more weight.

At any rate, the results don’t look too promising at first glance, certainly on the single-core front anyway. Multi-core looks somewhat better at 37,241, which would make this theoretical successor to the Core i9-9900X (10-core) on about the same level – which doesn't bode well for a generational successor. Still, we can't put too much stock in these leaked benchmark results. 

Ryzen rampage?

Matters get distinctly less impressive when you consider AMD’s silicon, with the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X is almost as fast in Geekbench 4 multi-core when we reviewed it, hitting 36,880, only a percentage point off Intel or thereabouts.

Of course, that Threadripper chip is a year old now, and AMD’s new Ryzen 9 3900X (3rd-gen mainstream processor) outdoes both that AMD CPU and this leaked Intel HEDT processor (as we saw in our review where it blasted way over 40,000 in multi-core). That’s when you have to step back and perhaps let out a long and weighty ‘hmmm’… 

Our components editor, Bill Thomas, notes that "the Intel Core i9-9900X comes in around $989 (£989, AU$1,499). If this rumored follow-up processor can't dethrone a mainstream AMD processor that costs half as much, Intel might be in trouble." 

Of course, there’s something of a minefield of caveats here. This is just a leak and the benchmark could somehow be awry, or it could be an early (relatively hobbled) engineering sample of the Cascade Lake-X 10-core processor – or it could just be completely fake.

So, we clearly have to be cautious about comparing this benchmark to our review results, and not get carried away here. Even if this leak is on the money, it’s still just a single benchmark, and that hardly tells the full story.

All that said, this is hinting at a disappointing picture for the 10-core Intel HEDT offering, although expectations for Cascade Lake-X have not been set all that high anyway. Of course, Intel is still trying to eke as much as it can out of 14nm here, and that’s likely becoming an increasingly difficult task. So in that light, what we’re seeing here could make sense – but we’d be foolish to draw any real conclusions yet.

Via Notebook Check

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).