AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 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:
If you are a software developer that is constantly doing local compile work, this chart should say a lot. Not only is the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X almost twice as fast as the previous generation 2990WX, but it is getting close to being 3x the speed of the 16-core Threadripper 1950X. If you have a system that has been running for the last two years, there may be massive performance improvements from a new workstation. Given the performance gains, this is one area where one can make the business case that the cost of a new system will see a positive ROI within even a 30-day window. That is spectacular.
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.
Like Cinebench on the Windows side, our c-ray results tend to skew toward the AMD architecture. We added the AMD EPYC 7302P here just to give some guidance as to how these compare to our AMD EPYC 7002 figures. The additional clock speed and TDP yield more than a 2x performance advantage over the EPYC part. Translating that, it means the Threadripper cores are running at higher clocks doing more work per core.
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.
If you are still running a dual Intel Xeon E5 V4 workstation, this is an opportunity to consolidate to a single CPU solution. You can see here performance that is almost 3x what a dual Intel Xeon E5-2630 V4 (10 cores each) system can do on this test.
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:
This we found fascinating. While using AVX2 and AVX-512 can change this picture when we are running code using lower levels of optimization for both architectures the AMD solution performs very well. Here, dual Intel Xeon Gold 6242 CPUs are no match for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The HEDT segment is cannibalizing the dual Xeon workstation market and this is a great example. Those are frequency optimized Xeons designed for per-core licensing. Still 32 cores v. 32 cores the AMD solution is performing better.
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.
Again, we are seeing great performance in sysbench from the Threadripper 3970X.
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:
OpenSSL is considered a foundational web technology. Having a lot of cores means that the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X performs well here. Performance is higher per core here than with the Xeon W-3275. We also wanted to note here that this is a great example of where the earlier dual Xeon E5 V1/ V2 workstations can be consolidated into a single socket. The dual Intel Xeon E5-2670 V1 solution has half as many cores as the single Threadripper 3970X but is only performing at about one quarter the speed.
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 some varied results to this chart. Perhaps the most notable here is that the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X actually pulled ahead of the dual ThunderX2 32 core part. Similarly, even the top bin from early 2017 dual Intel Xeon E5-2699 V4 is behind the new Threadripper part. On the floating point side, the Intel Xeon W-3275 is able to claim a victory.
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:
At this point, one can probably surmise the performance figures by saying with 32 cores the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X performs at or better than previous generations and compared to Intel competition. Still, the Intel Core i9-10980XE is generally maintaining a level of performance well beyond 50% of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. This is despite the Core i9-10980XE having a list price less than half of the 3970X. When looking at a system, if one does not need to scale this high, the Core i9 may actually be a great option.
The performance summary is, of course, that the Threadripper 3970X is an excellent performer on both Windows and Linux.
Next, we are going to look at the power consumption before getting to our final thoughts.