Best CPU in existence - Intel i9-9980xe? (vs. AMD Ryzen)

I am building a new high end system. I ordered a Ryzen 2990WX (32 core, 64 thread) but I think I will send it back when it arrives. I was linked to these reviews which indicate glitchy performance of these Ryzen processors on high load or low latency which defeats the purpose:

http://www.scanproaudio.info/2018/08/24/threadrippers-2990wx-2950x-on-the-bench-just-a-little-bit-of-history-repeating/
http://www.scanproaudio.info/2017/08/14/first-look-at-the-amd-threadripper-1920x-1950x/

So then that leaves the new Intel processors. It looks like the i9-9980XE will be the top CPU on the market once it becomes publicly available in the next week or two. From the links above, it looks like the Intel processors hold up much better on low latency which is ideal.

I require as much power as possible as I do additive synthesis with my own synths I’ve written and they are very CPU intensive. I like low latency because it allows more “real time” feeling for recording and playback performances.

Is the i9-9980XE likely king of the mountain?

Well…

From what I can tell the actual problem that Scan ran into was severe on specifically the new Threadripper CPUs with more than 16 cores. That problem was not the same for Techreport when they did their review of the same CPU. So this indicates that it’s a possible problem with the specific setup. Additionally Techreport had problems with Intel CPUs as well (but different problems).

Now, if you’re doing additive synthesis and it’s very CPU intensive then I can understand you want CPU horsepower. The DAWbench test is divided into two; the DSP test and the Virtual Instrument test. In the DSP test Ryzen has generally done a lot better than Intel at the same cost. In the VI test it’s important to remember that it’s a test of how many voices (polyphony) you can get before you get crackling during playback, all at a given buffer size.

So, if your work doesn’t include a lot of voices or it is relying heavily on the DSP part then an AMD CPU could be fine. On the other hand it might not be.

If I was a betting man (I am) then I’d say the top-of-the-line Intel CPU will beat the corresponding AMD CPU on the VI test and is a safer bet.

Personally I don’t like Intel as a company, and I also do work that is far more balanced (actually more leaning on plugins) so my preference is to either get more performance in the DSP part for the same amount of money or get the same performance and take the savings and spend them elsewhere (i.e. SSD drives, plugins etc).

But again: Most people will probably tell you that Intel’s top CPUs will beat AMD… at a price…

PS: You could of course double-check the return policy on the items you’ve purchased and see if there’s a way for you to set your system up, test it, and return it if it fails. I doubt that’s the case but if it is it might be worth trying.