CPU Performance: Web and Legacy Tests

While more the focus of low-end and small form factor systems, web-based benchmarks are notoriously difficult to standardize. Modern web browsers are frequently updated, with no recourse to disable those updates, and as such there is difficulty in keeping a common platform. The fast paced nature of browser development means that version numbers (and performance) can change from week to week. Despite this, web tests are often a good measure of user experience: a lot of what most office work is today revolves around web applications, particularly email and office apps, but also interfaces and development environments. Our web tests include some of the industry standard tests, as well as a few popular but older tests.

We have also included our legacy benchmarks in this section, representing a stack of older code for popular benchmarks.

All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

WebXPRT 3: Modern Real-World Web Tasks, including AI

The company behind the XPRT test suites, Principled Technologies, has recently released the latest web-test, and rather than attach a year to the name have just called it ‘3’. This latest test (as we started the suite) has built upon and developed the ethos of previous tests: user interaction, office compute, graph generation, list sorting, HTML5, image manipulation, and even goes as far as some AI testing.

For our benchmark, we run the standard test which goes through the benchmark list seven times and provides a final result. We run this standard test four times, and take an average.

Users can access the WebXPRT test at http://principledtechnologies.com/benchmarkxprt/webxprt/

WebXPRT 3 (2018)

WebXPRT 2015: HTML5 and Javascript Web UX Testing

The older version of WebXPRT is the 2015 edition, which focuses on a slightly different set of web technologies and frameworks that are in use today. This is still a relevant test, especially for users interacting with not-the-latest web applications in the market, of which there are a lot. Web framework development is often very quick but with high turnover, meaning that frameworks are quickly developed, built-upon, used, and then developers move on to the next, and adjusting an application to a new framework is a difficult arduous task, especially with rapid development cycles. This leaves a lot of applications as ‘fixed-in-time’, and relevant to user experience for many years.

Similar to WebXPRT3, the main benchmark is a sectional run repeated seven times, with a final score. We repeat the whole thing four times, and average those final scores.

WebXPRT15

Speedometer 2: JavaScript Frameworks

Our newest web test is Speedometer 2, which is a accrued test over a series of javascript frameworks to do three simple things: built a list, enable each item in the list, and remove the list. All the frameworks implement the same visual cues, but obviously apply them from different coding angles.

Our test goes through the list of frameworks, and produces a final score indicative of ‘rpm’, one of the benchmarks internal metrics. We report this final score.

Speedometer 2

Google Octane 2.0: Core Web Compute

A popular web test for several years, but now no longer being updated, is Octane, developed by Google. Version 2.0 of the test performs the best part of two-dozen compute related tasks, such as regular expressions, cryptography, ray tracing, emulation, and Navier-Stokes physics calculations.

The test gives each sub-test a score and produces a geometric mean of the set as a final result. We run the full benchmark four times, and average the final results.

Google Octane 2.0

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: Core Web Compute

Even older than Octane is Kraken, this time developed by Mozilla. This is an older test that does similar computational mechanics, such as audio processing or image filtering. Kraken seems to produce a highly variable result depending on the browser version, as it is a test that is keenly optimized for.

The main benchmark runs through each of the sub-tests ten times and produces an average time to completion for each loop, given in milliseconds. We run the full benchmark four times and take an average of the time taken.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

3DPM v1: Naïve Code Variant of 3DPM v2.1

The first legacy test in the suite is the first version of our 3DPM benchmark. This is the ultimate naïve version of the code, as if it was written by scientist with no knowledge of how computer hardware, compilers, or optimization works (which in fact, it was at the start). This represents a large body of scientific simulation out in the wild, where getting the answer is more important than it being fast (getting a result in 4 days is acceptable if it’s correct, rather than sending someone away for a year to learn to code and getting the result in 5 minutes).

In this version, the only real optimization was in the compiler flags (-O2, -fp:fast), compiling it in release mode, and enabling OpenMP in the main compute loops. The loops were not configured for function size, and one of the key slowdowns is false sharing in the cache. It also has long dependency chains based on the random number generation, which leads to relatively poor performance on specific compute microarchitectures.

3DPM v1 can be downloaded with our 3DPM v2 code here: 3DPMv2.1.rar (13.0 MB)

3DPM v1 Single Threaded3DPM v1 Multi-Threaded

x264 HD 3.0: Older Transcode Test

This transcoding test is super old, and was used by Anand back in the day of Pentium 4 and Athlon II processors. Here a standardized 720p video is transcoded with a two-pass conversion, with the benchmark showing the frames-per-second of each pass. This benchmark is single-threaded, and between some micro-architectures we seem to actually hit an instructions-per-clock wall.

x264 HD 3.0 Pass 1x264 HD 3.0 Pass 2

CPU Performance: Encoding Tests Gaming: World of Tanks enCore
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  • GreenReaper - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    The answer is "yes, with a but". Certain things scale really well with hyperthreading. Other things can see a severe regression, as it thrashes between one workload and another and/or overheats the CPU, reducing its ability to boost.

    Cache contention can be an issue: the i9-9900K has only 33% more cache than the i7-9700K, not 100% (and even if there were, it wouldn't have the same behaviour unless it was strictly partitioned). Memory bandwidth contention is a thing, too. And within the CPU, some parts can not be partitioned - it just relies on them running fast enough to supplky the parts which can.

    And clearly hyperthreading has an impact on overclocking ability. It might be interesting to see the gaming graphs with the i7-9700K@5.3Ghz vs. i9-9900K@5.0Ghz (or, if you want to save 50W, i7-9700K@5.0Ghz vs. i9-9900K@4.7Ghz - basically the i9-9900K's default all-core boost, but 400Mhz above the i7-9700K's 4.6Ghz all-core default, both for the same power).
    Reply
  • NaterGator - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Any chance y'all would be willing to run those HT-bound tests with the 9900K's HT disabled in the BIOS? Reply
  • ekidhardt - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Thanks for the review!

    I think far too much emphasis has been placed on 'value'. I simply want the fastest, most powerful CPU that isn't priced absurdly high.

    While the 9900k msrp is high, it's not in the realm of irrational spending, it's a few hundred dollars more. For a person that upgrades once every 5-6 years--a few hundred extra is not that important to me.

    I'd also like to argue against those protesting pre-order logic. I pre-ordered. And my logic is this: intel has a CLEAR track record of great CPU's. There hasn't been any surprisingly terrible CPU's released. They're consistently reliable.

    Anyway! I'm happy I pre-ordered and don't care that it costs a little bit extra; I've got a fast 8 core 16 thread CPU that should last quite a while.
    Reply
  • Schmich - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    You have the numbers anyway. Not everyone buys the highest end and then wait many years to upgrade. That isn't the smartest choice because you spend so much money and then after 2-3 years you're just a mid-ranger.

    For those who want high-end they can still get a 2700x today, and then the 3700x next year with most likely better performance than your 9900k due to 7nm, PLUS have money over PLUS a spare 2700x they can sell.

    Same thing for GPU except for this gen. I never understood those who buy the xx80Ti version and then upgrade after 5 years. Your overall experience would be better only getting the xx70 but upgrading more often.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, October 22, 2018 - link

    This is what actual logic looks like! Reply
  • Gastec - Sunday, November 4, 2018 - link

    Basically "The more you buy, the more you save" :-\ Reply
  • shaolin95 - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Exactly. I think the ones beating the value dead horse are mainly AMD fanboys defending their 2700x purchase Reply
  • eva02langley - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Sorry, value is a huge aspect. The reason why RTX is such an issue. Also, at this price point, I would go HEDT if compute was really that important for me.

    It is not with 10-15% performance increase over a 2700x at 1080p with a damn 1080 TI that I will see a justified purchase.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Gratuitous trolling, drags down thread quality. Do you really still need to be told what AMD has done for this market? Do you even think this product would exist without them - except at maybe twice the already high price? Go pick on someone that deserves your scorn, such as ... Intel. Reply
  • Great_Scott - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    What a mess. I guess gaming really doesn't depend on the CPU any more. Those Ryzen machines were running at a 1Ghz+ speed deficit and still do decently.

    Intel needs a new core design and AMD needs a new fab.
    Reply

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