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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  • jabber - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    I just wish he's cut that damn awful hair, put it in a ponytail or use some conditioner on it at least. The constant hair tucking....aarrghghhhhhhhhhh Reply
  • burnte - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I have a 3600X, not the 3600, and I can throw everything at it in 1440p. Once the perf patches came out for Fallen Order and the drivers for my RTX 2070, Fallen Order runs like butter. Shadow of the Tomb Raider never dipped below 90fps, and most of the time tops out my monitor's 144hz refresh rate, all running at 1440p. Reply
  • evilspoons - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I mean, you've got 1080p and 4K results already and as the resolution goes up the CPU is less important than the GPU. 1920x1080 vs 2560x1440 vs 3840x2160, the results are basically just going to be split down the middle. Reply
  • PeterCollier - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    It's interesting that in Australia, the Ryzen 7, instead of the 5, is the most popular. You would think that the VAT incentives the less expensive parts. Is electricity unusually cheap down under? Or is the 7 the best selling part because winter is coming to the southern hemisphere, and users needed upgrades from Preshott? Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Could be that once you've saved up the silly amount of money needed for an upgrade there, stretching a little further to the 3700X just seems to make sense? Reply
  • PixyMisa - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Yeah, the exchange rate is brutal right now so it makes sense to try to make your system last an extra year. I have two Ryzen 1700 systems and I'm hoping to hold onto them until DDR5 arrives. Reply
  • tmr3 - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Generally speaking, Amazon isn't really *the* go-to place for PC hardware shopping in Australia. We tend to rely more on established PC-centric retailers like PCCaseGear, Scorptec, Mwave, Centre Com, PLE and a few others depending on where in Australia you live. It's worth considering that Amazon has only been available as an AU website for around 2.5 years now, and depending on where you look, stock for certain products is often spottily available, way overpriced through third-party sellers only, or clearly international stock being sold as a "local" listing.

    On one of those retailer sites (Scorptec in this case) that has the option to list products by popularity, of the AM4 processors, the Ryzen 5 3600 takes top spot, followed by the Ryzen 5 1600 AF, the Ryzen 7 3700X, and then the Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 5 2600. For their Intel processor listings, the Core i7-9700K is followed by two "value bundles" featuring the Core i5-9400 and Core i3-8100, then it's the Core i7-9700F and the Core i9-9900K. Unfortunately, they don't offer a combined view so we can't compare overall popularity.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Australian winter isn't that cold. I think the Amazon ranking is skewed because we generally shop elsewhere. Reply
  • boozed - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Heard of the Core i9? Reply
  • ingwe - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Wow these are good results for AMD. Looks like this might have to be my next build. Reply

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