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Threadripper Tops Multithread Tests

September 19, 2017

Author: Loyd Case

Our benchmark testing shows AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors offer excellent performance on applications that use many threads, but they fall short of Intel’s latest Core processors on applications that use fewer threads. We compared the performance of the 16-CPU Threadripper 1950X and 12-CPU Threadripper 1920X versus the 10-CPU Core i9-7900X using a variety of benchmarks.

Our results varied with core count, clock frequency, and instructions per clock (IPC). For example, the SPECwpc 2.1 financial test used a number of heavily threaded applications, particularly Monte Carlo and Black-Scholes financial-market simulations; it favored AMD by as much as 62%. Tests weighted more toward fewer threads ran better on the Intel system. In particular, PCMark 10 values a blend of core count and execution efficiency, so the Core i9-7900X outperformed the AMD processors.

We ran the game benchmarks in both creator (normal) and game modes. The Division and Civilization 6 AI tests differed little between these modes. But game mode increased performance on the Warhammer and Tomb Raider tests. AMD’s game performance improved when running in game mode, in part thanks to lower latencies.

AMD’s impact on pricing is evident when comparing the $999 price of Intel’s 10-CPU Core i9-7900X versus the older 10-CPU Core i7-6950X, a desktop processor that still costs nearly $1,600. Since Threadripper arrived, Intel has begun to deliver 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-core processors targeting premium desktop PCs, albeit at higher prices. AMD’s biggest contribution to the premium-desktop market may be that it’s forcing Intel to compete once again, which is always welcome.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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