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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  • flyingpants265 - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Haha, I knew somebody would would be slow enough to say that. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    Why are so many people who make terrible points under the impression that it's their critics who are slow? Reply
  • dromoxen - Thursday, May 28, 2020 - link

    perhaps the slow one is the Flying trousers .. You have already paid out 100 so to upgrade you would need to spend an extra 290 cad Reply
  • shabby - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I paid 10k for a used corvette, who in their right mind would pay 60k for a new one... Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I guess nobody, if the only advantage is a 15% performance increase. Thanks for proving my point! Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - link

    😴 Reply
  • lmcd - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - link

    Someone had to buy the original for there to be a used one

    If no one buys the original, there will be no used ones for you to buy
    Reply
  • dudedud - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Why does the ryzen 3 3300X scores so high in DigiCortex even with half the cores of the 3700X?

    Or is a typo?
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    Probably because the interaction between the cores matters, and the 3700X has cores on two separate complexes. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, May 18, 2020 - link

    I got a 3600 recently, and it works fine on my Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3, a B350 board from mid-2017. It does occasionally peak up to about 4.15GHz as far as I can tell from Ryzen Master, which is in no doubt helped by reusing my 1600's v1 Spire, along with MX-4 paste, in place of the packaged Stealth. Folding can still push temperatures up pretty high, especially if handling CPU and GPU work orders at the same time; partly thanks to having a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590, CPU temperatures were spiking to the low 90s Celsius, but a combination of two new Corsair ML120 case fans (twice as effective as the Aerocool intake fan/ancient Akasa exhaust fan combo I had before) plus some slightly tweaked fan profiles knocked this down nearly ten degrees, along with boosting CPU folding speed a little. It's a great CPU, though I wish I had more than an RX 590 to go along with it. Reply

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