SMT Integer Performance With SPEC CPU2006

Next, to test the performance impact of simultaneous multithreading (SMT) on a single core, we test with two threads on the same core. This way we can evaluate how well the core handles SMT. 

Subtest Application type Xeon E5-2690 @ 3.8 Xeon E5-2690 v3 @ 3.5 Xeon E5-2699 v4 @ 3.6 EPYC 7601 @3.2 Xeon 8176 @ 3.8
400.perlbench Spam filter 39.8 43.9 47.2 40.6 55.2
401.bzip2 Compression 32.6 32.3 32.8 33.9 34.8
403.gcc Compiling 40.7 43.8 32.5 41.6 32.1
429.mcf Vehicle scheduling 44.7 51.3 55.8 44.2 56.6
445.gobmk Game AI 36.6 35.9 38.1 36.4 39.4
456.hmmer Protein seq. analyses 32.5 34.1 40.9 34.9 44.3
458.sjeng Chess 36.4 36.9 39.5 36 41.9
462.libquantum Quantum sim 75 73.4 89 89.2 91.7
464.h264ref Video encoding 52.4 58.2 58.5 56.1 75.3
471.omnetpp Network sim 25.4 30.4 48.5 26.6 42.1
473.astar Pathfinding 31.4 33.6 36.6 29 37.5
483.xalancbmk XML processing 43.7 53.7 78.2 37.8 78

Now on a percentage basis versus the single-threaded results, so that we can see how much performance we gained from enabling SMT:

Subtest Application type Xeon E5-2699 v4 @ 3.6 EPYC 7601 @3.2 Xeon 8176 @ 3.8
400.perlbench Spam filter 109% 131% 110%
401.bzip2 Compression 137% 141% 128%
403.gcc Compiling 137% 119% 131%
429.mcf Vehicle scheduling 125% 110% 131%
445.gobmk Game AI 125% 150% 127%
456.hmmer Protein seq. analyses 127% 125% 125%
458.sjeng Chess 120% 151% 125%
462.libquantum Quantum sim 91% 129% 90%
464.h264ref Video encoding 101% 112% 112%
471.omnetpp Network sim 109% 116% 103%
473.astar Pathfinding 140% 149% 137%
483.xalancbmk XML processing 120% 107% 116%

On average, both Xeons pick up about 20% due to SMT (Hyperthreading). The EPYC 7601 improved by even more: it gets a 28% boost on average. There are many possible explanations for this, but two are the most likely. In the situation where AMD's single threaded IPC is very low because it is waiting on the high latency of a further away L3-cache (>8 MB), a second thread makes sure that the CPU resources can be put to better use (like compression, the network sim). Secondly, we saw that AMD core is capable of extracting more memory bandwidth in lightly threaded scenarios. This might help in the benchmarks that stress the DRAM (like video encoding, quantum sim). 

Nevertheless, kudos to the AMD engineers. Their first SMT implementation is very well done and offers a tangible throughput increase. 

Single Threaded Integer Performance: SPEC CPU2006 Multi-core SPEC CPU2006


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  • deltaFx2 - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    "Can you mention one innovation from AMD that changed the world?" : None. But the same applies to Intel too, save, I suppose, the founders (Moore and Noyce) contributions to IC design back when they were at Fairchild/Shockley. That's not Intel's contribution. Computer Architecture/HPC? That's IBM. They invented the field along with others like CDC. Intel is an innovator in process technology, specifically manufacturing. Or used to be... others are catching up. That 3-yr lead that INtel loves to talk about is all but gone. So with that out of the way...

    AMD's contributions to x86 technology: x86-64, hypertransport, integrated memory controller, multicore, just to name a few. Intel copied all of them after being absolutely hammered by Opteron. Nehalem system architecture was a copy-paste of Opteron. It is to AMD's discredit that they ceded so much ground on the CPU microarchitecture since then with badly executed Bulldozer, but it was AMD that brought high-performance features to x86 server. Intel would've just loved to keep x86 on client and Itanium on server (remember that innovative atrocity?). Then there's a bunch on the GPU side (which INtel can't get right for love or money), but that came from an acquisition, so I won't count those.

    "AMD exists because they are always inferior". Remember K8? It absolutely hammered intel until 2007. Remember Intel's shenanigans bribing the likes of Dell to not carry K8? Getting fined in the EU for antitrust behaviors and settling with AMD in 2010? Not much of a memory card on you, is there?

    AMD gaining even 5-10% means two things for intel: Lower margins on all but the top end (Platinum) and a loss in market share. That's plain bad for the stock.

    "Intel is a data center giant have head start have the resources...". Yes, they are giants in datacenter compute. 99% market share. Only way to go from there is down. Also, those acquisitions you're talking about? Only altera applies to the datacenter. Also, remember McAfee for an eye-watering $7.8 bn? How's that working out for them?
  • Shankar1962 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Nvidia who have been ahead than Intel in AI should be the more competent threat
    How much market share Intel loses depends on how they compete against Nvidia
    Amd will probably gain 5% by selling products for cheap prices
    Intel controls 98/99% share so it's inevitable to lose a few % as more players see the money potential but unless Intel loses to Nvidia there is annuphill battle for Qualcomm ARM.
  • HanSolo71 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Could you guys create a Benchmark for Virtual Desktop Solutions? These AMD chips sound awesome for something like my Horizon View environment where I have hundreds of 2 core 4GB machines. Reply
  • Threska - Saturday, July 22, 2017 - link

    For VDI wouldn't either an APU setup, or CPU+GPU be better? Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Kudos to the authors. I imagine its gratifying to have stirred such healthy & voluminous debate :) Reply
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    Are you guys still updating BENCH results? I cannot find there benchmark results for RYZEN CPUs when i want to compare them to others. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    They've been there since the launch

    AMD (Zen) Ryzen 7 1800X:
  • KKolev - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    I wonder if AMD'd EPYC CPU's can be overclocked. If so, the AMD EPYC 7351P would be very interesting indeed. Reply
  • uklio - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    How could you not do Cinebench results?! we need an answer! Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    I only do server benchmarks, Ian does workstation. Ian helped with the introduction, he will later conduct the workstation benchmarks. Reply

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