Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel Cascade Lake Core i9-10980XE
Motherboard ASRock X299 OC Formula (BIOS P1.80)
CPU Cooler TRUE Copper + Silverstone Fan
DRAM Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8 GB DDR4-2933
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
SSD Crucial MX500 2TB
OS Windows 10 1909

For our motherboard, we are using the latest firmware. I do not believe that ASRock has updated its BIOSes to provide fixes for the latest Intel security updates, as these take time.

The latest AMD TR3 benchmarks were run by Gavin Bonshor, while I attended Supercomputing in Denver last week. Unfortunately both Intel and AMD decided to sample processors before the annual trade show conference, with launches only a couple of days after the show finished. As a result, our testing has been split between Gavin and myself, and we have endevoured to ensure parity through my automated testing suite.

Also, our compile test seems to have broken itself when we used Windows 10 1909, and due to travel we have not had time to debug why it is no longer working. We hope to get this test up and running in the new year, along with an updated test suite.

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
Power Consumption CPU Performance: Rendering Tests
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  • Santoval - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Wait for the prices of both to adjust first.
  • Drumsticks - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    I don't care about process nodes, as long as they're delivering competitive prices, core counts, and performance per core. Intel's not quite out of the game yet since AMD's HEDT goes higher than Intel's, but they've gotten smashed at the halo spot, and they won't be able to deliver on price and performance if they can't get something in order.
  • Braincruser - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    No they haven't been "smashed at the halo spot". The 3900X and 3950X are both beasts and both shred in most of the important benchmarks. For video rendering both the 3900x and 3950X hand out with both the threadrippers and the intels. You get 90% of the performance for 1/4th the price. 12-16 cores is also a very important number for programmers, since you have enough CPUs for compiling, and running 2-3 VMs comfortably.
  • Dolda2000 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Why is it that Intel gains so incredibly much more from AVX512 than AMD gains from AVX2?

    In the 3DPM2 test, the AMD CPUs gain roughly a factor of two in performance, which is exactly what I'd expect given that AVX2 is twice as wide as standard SSE. The Intel CPUs, on the other hand, gain almost a factor of 9, which is more than twice what I'd expect given that AVX512 as four times as wide as SSE.

    What causes this? Does AVX512 have some other kind of tricks up its sleeves? Does opmasking benefit 3DPM2?
  • Xyler94 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Basically, AVX-512 is double the performance of AVX2 (or another way to see it, 256bit vs 512bits, which 512 is double 256). So anything optimized for 512 will be about double in speed from 256, even on the exact same processor.
  • Xyler94 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    To note: That's a highly overly simplistic view of it, there's a lot more under the hood.
  • eek2121 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Well that and the obvious point that AMD CPUs do not support AVX-512.
  • DanNeely - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    AVX-2 is 256 bits wide, and thus only does have as much/instruction as AVX-512.
  • JayNor - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    I believe for 10 cores and up there are dual avx512 units per core. You can see the dual avx512 units in the Execution Engine diagram at this link.

    Also, cascade lake added dlboost 8 bit operations in avx512 to support ai inference convolutions.
  • Dolda2000 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    But Zen 1/2 also has two 256-bit FMAs per core. And Intel also has two SSE units per core as well, so I don't see how that would explain the ratios.

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