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
AMD Ryzen 3000 AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard GIGABYTE X570 I Aorus Pro (1.12e)
CPU Cooler AMD Wraith
DRAM G.Skill FlareX 2x8 GB DDR4-3200 C14
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

Many thanks to...

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
DDR4
Silverstone
Coolers
Silverstone
Fans

 

Scale Up vs Scale Out: Benefits of Automation

One comment we get every now and again is that automation isn’t the best way of testing – there’s a higher barrier to entry, and it limits the tests that can be done. From our perspective, despite taking a little while to program properly (and get it right), automation means we can do several things:

  1. Guarantee consistent breaks between tests for cooldown to occur, rather than variable cooldown times based on ‘if I’m looking at the screen’
  2. It allows us to simultaneously test several systems at once. I currently run five systems in my office (limited by the number of 4K monitors, and space) which means we can process more hardware at the same time
  3. We can leave tests to run overnight, very useful for a deadline
  4. With a good enough script, tests can be added very easily

Our benchmark suite collates all the results and spits out data as the tests are running to a central storage platform, which I can probe mid-run to update data as it comes through. This also acts as a mental check in case any of the data might be abnormal.

We do have one major limitation, and that rests on the side of our gaming tests. We are running multiple tests through one Steam account, some of which (like GTA) are online only. As Steam only lets one system play on an account at once, our gaming script probes Steam’s own APIs to determine if we are ‘online’ or not, and to run offline tests until the account is free to be logged in on that system. Depending on the number of games we test that absolutely require online mode, it can be a bit of a bottleneck.

Benchmark Suite Updates

As always, we do take requests. It helps us understand the workloads that everyone is running and plan accordingly.

A side note on software packages: we have had requests for tests on software such as ANSYS, or other professional grade software. The downside of testing this software is licensing and scale. Most of these companies do not particularly care about us running tests, and state it’s not part of their goals. Others, like Agisoft, are more than willing to help. If you are involved in these software packages, the best way to see us benchmark them is to reach out. We have special versions of software for some of our tests, and if we can get something that works, and relevant to the audience, then we shouldn’t have too much difficulty adding it to the suite.

Turbo, Power, and Latency CPU Performance: System Tests
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  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Thanks Ian!
    While this is not important for many (most?) readers here, I would like to see AMD or anyone else putting a more basic GPU (under $ 50 retail) out that has HDMI 2.0a or better, display port out, and that has ASICs for x264/265 and VP9 decoding; AV1 would be a plus. This could be a PCIe dGPU or something directly soldered into a MB. Am I the only one who's find that interesting? I don't like to always have to plug a high-powered dGPU into each build that has more than just an entry level CPU, so this would help.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    You'll likely be waiting a while. You'd need to wait for the next generation of GPUs with new display controllers and video decoders. There's a rumour that Nvidia will be producing an Ampere "MX550" for mobile, which could mean a dGPU based on the same chip being released for ~$100. Give that a couple more years to drop in price and, well, by then you'll probably want new standards. :D Reply
  • Pgndu - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I come here for a clearer perspective more than benchmarks, but the timing of this article is weird, especially since 10th Gen's at the door. I get the market or Atleast pc builder cause and effect but market just got blown out of proportions with options, what actually transfers to general populace is not clear until OEM's embrace the reality like nividia Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    "The Core i5-10500 ... is 65 W, the same as AMD".

    Anandtech knows very well that Intel TDP is not the same as AMD TDP. Please stop falling into the noob-journo trap of simply repeating the Intel BS just because it's official BS.
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    In fairness, TMD is also turboing to 88W, with cores plus uncore measured as taking significantly more than 65W. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    Absolutely right, but also in fairness, Intel's sole enhancement for the 10 series appears to be enabling higher clock speeds - and they're made on the same process with the same architecture as the 9 series, which inevitably means more power will be required to reach those higher clocks.

    So, it's likely to be either a CPU with similar real power use to the AMD processor that never really hits its rated turbo clocks, or a CPU that does hit its rated turbo and never drops below ~100W under sustained load. It's likely to be power and speed competitive on an either/or basis, but not both at the same time.
    Reply
  • watzupken - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    This is true that its going above its TDP to provide the boost speed. However this is a practice that Intel has practiced since its Kaby Lake/ Coffee Lake series. Unfortunately, they are the worst violator when it comes to exceeding the supposed TDP when you consider how much power it is pulling to sustain its boost (PL2) speed. If you consider the boost speed of the Comet Lake, even the supposed 65W i5 10xxx series is not going to keep to 65W given the boost speed of up to 4.8Ghz, though nothing is mentioned about the all core turbo, but should be somewhere close, i.e. 4.2 to 4.6Ghz is my guess. Reply
  • lakedude - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I assume no one has mentioned the typo since it is still there.

    "Competition

    With six cores and twelve threads, the comparative Intel options vary between something like the Core i7-9600KF with six cores and no hyperthreading..." 

    Gotta be i5, right?
    Reply
  • Kalelovil - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    @Ian Cutress
    There appears to be a mistake in the AI Benchmark results, the Ryzen 5 3600 Combined result is less than the sum of its Inference and Training results.
    Reply
  • xSneak - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    Disappointed to see the continual cpu reviews using a GTX 1080 as the gpu. We would be better able to evaluate cpu performance if a 2080 ti was used given it is cpu bottlenecked at 1080p on some games. Hard to believe one of the biggest tech sites is using such under powered hardware. Reply

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