AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Linux Benchmarks
For this exercise, we are using our legacy Linux-Bench scripts which help us see cross-platform “least common denominator” results we have been using for years as well as several results from our updated Linux-Bench2 scripts. At this point, our benchmarking sessions take days to run and we are generating well over a thousand data points. We are also running workloads for software companies that want to see how their software works on the latest hardware. As a result, this is a small sample of the data we are collecting and can share publicly. Our position is always that we are happy to provide some free data but we also have services to let companies run their own workloads in our lab, such as with our DemoEval service. What we do provide is an extremely controlled environment where we know every step is exactly the same and each run is done in a real-world data center, not a test bench.
We are going to show off a few results, and highlight a number of interesting data points in this article.
Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark
This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:
Plenty of single and multi-core performance along with solid memory bandwidth means that the Threadripper 3960X performs very well here.
c-ray 1.1 Performance
We have been using c-ray for our performance testing for years now. It is a ray tracing benchmark that is extremely popular to show differences in processors under multi-threaded workloads. We are going to use our 8K results which work well at this end of the performance spectrum.
This test is similar to some of the Windows rendering tests in that AMD performs very well. Here, the 2990WX is able to best the newer 3960X by a small margin.
7-zip Compression Performance
7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.
One item to look at here is the decompression/ compression ratio change generationally. With the previous generation Threadripper, the compression speed was much lower than with the current generation. That is an indicator of a major architectural shift.
NAMD is a molecular modeling benchmark developed by the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More information on the benchmark can be found here. We are going to augment this with GROMACS in the next-generation Linux-Bench in the near future. With GROMACS we have been working hard to support Intel’s Skylake AVX-512 and AVX2 supporting AMD Zen architecture. Here are the comparison results for the legacy data set:
We added some of our dual CPU results here. Interestingly enough, the Threadripper 3960X actually bested dual Intel Xeon Gold 6242’s in this test. Each Intel Xeon Gold 6242 has 16 cores but spread across two sockets.
Sysbench CPU test
Sysbench is another one of those widely used Linux benchmarks. We specifically are using the CPU test, not the OLTP test that we use for some storage testing.
This is a test where we see fairly straightforward performance stacking based on core counts which makes sense.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
Even with a core count deficit, the Threadripper 3960X at $1400 is able to outpace the $4449 Intel Xeon W-3275. That is a huge deal. Intel needs to re-position its stack from a competitive perspective if it wants to compete on performance and not just memory capacity.
UnixBench Dhrystone 2 and Whetstone Benchmarks
Some of the longest-running tests at STH are the venerable UnixBench 5.1.3 Dhrystone 2 and Whetstone results. They are certainly aging, however, we constantly get requests for them, and many angry notes when we leave them out. UnixBench is widely used so we are including it in this data set. Here are the Dhrystone 2 results:
Here are the whetstone results:
We added the dual Cavium ThunderX2 (2x 32 core) results here on the integer side to show how fast the new AMD chips are compared to a leading (shipping in market today) Arm solution. Here the ThunderX2 is closer to the 3970X but that puts the higher-power dual CPU solution between that 32 core part and the 3960X 24-core part. Arm performance is going to rise a lot in 2020 and into 2021 so this will change. We still wanted to show off what it can do.
Chess is an interesting use case since it has almost unlimited complexity. Over the years, we have received a number of requests to bring back chess benchmarking. We have been profiling systems and are ready to start sharing results:
On the chess side, we again see Threadripper 3960X perform extremely well. That should be no surprise at this point.
Next, we are going to look at the power consumption before getting to our final thoughts.