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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  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    What a great site, thank you for posting it! Reply
  • tommythorn - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Typo: ">>Unfortuantely<< AMD has stated ..."

    "once in a while, a truly great CPU" The 300 (but really, 450) MHz Celeron C300 II was such a processor. It was a kludge (desperate to compete with AMD, Intel rushed out a chip that was essentially a P-II but much cheaper). It ended up being an amazing value and with a few hacks even become the introduction to SMP for many.
    Reply
  • catavalon21 - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I remember it well. Crazy to get a 50% overclock, but almost everyone's 300A would hit, and keep, 450. Reply
  • MDD1963 - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    The famous Celeron 300A@464 MHz for $79 was quite popular, and, gamed as well as the $450 PII-450... Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    Funny how Intel's best price/performance moments tend to be knee-jerk responses to AMD :D Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Does the USB-C Hub support AVX2? Reply
  • 1_rick - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I'm not sure. Do the chickens have large talons? Reply
  • mikato - Sunday, May 24, 2020 - link

    Really, is that the only USB hub on sale in Australia to rank that high? Reply
  • yeeeeman - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Cheap price and good performance. That is why. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    $200 is the prime price for people building a fairly powerful computer, but with a budget. 3600 pairs well with pretty much any video card for gaming and is pretty powerful for anything else. Intel competition at this price point is weak, at least until Apollo Lake. 3600 is a obvious recommendation. Reply

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