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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  • wow&wow - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    ‘consumers don’t care about process nodes, so you shouldn’t either’

    The ex-CEO said, Intel processors function as intended, no bug, so using the design shortcut of partial addresses, causing many more security holes than AMD's, is intended, and enterprise and consumers don't care, so you shouldn’t either!

    The more the security holes, the more the demand; what an amazing company and business!
  • nt300 - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    Intel Processors even dating back to 2008+ all have massive amounts of security and malware vulnerabilities nightmare. Not only is ZEN superior technologically, its faster, securer and much more cost effective.
  • HideOut - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    You state that the AMD loses on PCI lanes but those PCI lanes are 4.0 vs 3.0. They are twice as fast per lane. With the right hardware the total bandwidth is the exact same.
  • Thanny - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Which means nothing if you can't use your RAID controller or 10g network card because there aren't enough lanes to create the required expansion slots.

    I don't think there's a single X570 board capable of running a computer with a RAID controller or 10g network card, both of which require x8 slots. You could, in principle, bifurcate lanes to create more slots, but no one does that. So the fact that the lanes are PCIe 4.0 is utterly irrelevant.

    If you want a non-toy computer, you need either Intel's -E/-X series processors, or, since 2017, AMD's Threadripper processors.
  • kc77 - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    That summary makes no sense. The desktop AMD chip is beating the HEDT one with a $500 savings when you factor in motherboard cost. It's even beating it in gaming.

    If you picked up an older threadripper part for productivity it will walk all over the HEDT part and still be cheaper.

    It doesn't matter what Intel does there's an AMD part available for cheaper.
  • Thanny - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    TR 2000 is now cheaper, but its per-core performance lags behind Cascade Lake-X. It also has a higher-latency topology. If you want a real computer capable of running a RAID controller and 10g network card, for example, that also games reasonably well, and don't need really high core counts, then you'll get better results with Cascade Lake-X at the lower end.

    AMD has blundered. They should have released a 16-core Zen 2 chip, made it compatible with X399, and made it no more expensive than the MSRP of the 2950X.
  • kc77 - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    If you're going HEDT you need the cores that's the whole point. Further more if you need ECC you won't get that with these HEDT parts while you will on all Ryzen CPUs from the bottom to the top.

    For HEDT ECC can be mandatory. If you want that with Intel you'll spend an extra $1000. Nope not joking.
  • Jimbo Jones - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    "If you need HEDT but don't need cores ..."

    i7-7740x anyone? That CPU was laughed out of existence. Even the 8 core AMD TR died a quick death. That's how many people need a low core count HEDT processor.
  • peevee - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    AMD NEEDS 20-core TR right under $1000 to fill the gap between $750 3950X and $1400 3650X and take the ground from under Intel's 18-core part. Unfortunately, they are almost out of numbers. 3955X? ;)
    They would benefit from a $800 16-core part too, perfect for those who are limited by PCI lanes or memory on 3950X.
  • Thanny - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    As I see it, AMD is being daft by not releasing an X399-compatible 16-core Threadripper 3955X based on Zen 2.

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