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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  • Targon - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    TSMC will do the job for AMD, and in March/April, we should be seeing AMD release the 3700X and/or 3800X that will be hitting the same clock speeds as the 9900k, but with a better IPC. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    I am certainly happy that AMD regained competitiveness. I grabbed an R7 1700X early on for thread heavy tasks while retaining use of my i7-6700K in a gaming PC. That said, I can't credit them with everything good that comes out of Intel. To say that Intel would not have released an 8 core processor without AMD is probably inaccurate. They haven't released a new architecture since Skylake and they are still on a 14nm class process. They had to come up with some reason for customers to buy new processors rather than sit on older models. Clock speeds kinda worked for Kaby Lake, but they need more for Coffee Lake. Small, fixed function add-ons that only affect a small portion of the market probably weren't enough. A six core chip on the mainstream platform may have been inevitable. Going yet another round without a major architecture update or new process node, it is entirely possible that the 8-core processor on the mainstream platform was also inevitable. I give AMD credit for speeding up the release schedule, though.

    As to claims that the GF manufacturing is responsible for the entire 1GHz+ frequency deficit, that is only partially true. It is very likely that some inferior characteristics of the node are reducing the potential maximum frequency achievable. However, much of the limitations on frequency also depends on how AMD layed out the nodes. More capacitance on a node makes switching slower. More logic between flip-flops require more switches to resolve before the final result is presented to the flip-flops. There is a trade-off between the number of buffers you can put on a transmission line as reducing input to output capacitance ratios will speed up individual switch speeds, but they will also increase the number of switches that need to occur. Adding more flip-flops increases the depth of the pipeline (think pentium 4) and increases the penalty for branch misses as well as making clock distribution more complicated. These are just a few of the most basic design considerations that can affect maximum attainable frequency that AMD can control.

    Consequently, there is no guarantee that AMD will be able to match Intel's clock speeds even on TSMC's 7nm process. Also, given that AMD's current IPC is more similar to Haswell and still behind Skylake, it is not certain that they next processors will have better IPC than Intel either. I very much hope one or the other ends up true, but unrealistic expectations won't help the situation. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. As such, I expect that AMD will remain competitive. I expect that they will close the gaming performance gap until Intel releases a new architecture. I expect that regardless of how AMD's 7nm processors stack against Intel's best performance-wise, I expect that AMD likely bring better value at least until Intel gets their 10nm node fully online.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, October 22, 2018 - link

    "To say that Intel would not have released an 8 core processor without AMD is probably inaccurate."
    It's technically inaccurate to say they would have never made any kind of 8-core processor, sure, but nobody's saying that. That's a straw man. What they are saying is that Intel showed no signs whatsoever of being willing to do it until Ryzen landed at their doorstep.

    To be clear, the evidence is years of Intel making physically smaller and smaller quad-core chips for the mainstream market and pocketing the profit margins, followed by a sudden and hastily-rescheduled grab for the "HEDT" desktop market the second Ryzen came out, followed by a rapid succession of "new" CPU lines with ever-increasing core counts.

    You're also wrong about AMD's IPC, which is very clearly ahead of Haswell. The evidence is here in this very article where you can see the difference in performance between AMD and Intel is mostly a function of the clock speeds they attain. Ryzen was already above Haswell for the 1000 series (more like Broadwell) and the 2000 series brought surprisingly significant steps.
    Reply
  • khanikun - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - link

    " What they are saying is that Intel showed no signs whatsoever of being willing to do it until Ryzen landed at their doorstep."

    Intel released an 8 core what? 3 years before Ryzen. Sure, it was one of their super expensive Extreme procs, but they still did it. They were slowly ramping up cores for the HEDT market, while slowly bringing them to more normal consumer prices. 3 years before Ryzen, you could get a 6 core i7 for $400 or less. A year before that it was like $550-600. A 1-2 years before that, a 6 core would be $1000+. 8 cores were slowly coming.

    What Ryzen did was speed up Intel's timeframe. They would have came and came at a price point that normal consumers would be purchasing them. If I had to guess, we're probably 2-3 years ahead of what Intel probably wanted to do.

    Now would Ryzen exist, if not for Intel? Core for core, AMD has nothing that can compete with Intel. So...ramp up the core count. We really don't see Intel going away from a unified die design, so that's the best way AMD has to fight Intel. I'm personally surprised AMD didn't push their MCM design years ago. Maybe they didn't want to cannibalize Opteron sales, bad yields, I don't know. Must have been some reason.
    Reply
  • Cooe - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Rofl, delusional poster is delusional. And anyone who bought a 2700X sure as shit doesn't need to do anything to "defend their purchase" to themselves hahaha. Reply
  • evernessince - Saturday, October 20, 2018 - link

    Got on my level newb. The 9900K is a pittance compared to my Xeon 8176. I hope you realized that was sarcasm and how stupid it is to put people down for wanting value. Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    >I think far too much emphasis has been placed on 'value'.

    Then buy the most expensive thing. There's no real need to read reviews at that point either. You just want the best, money is no object to you, and you don't care, cool. Just go down the line and put the most expensive part for each part of the PC build as you browse through Newegg/Amazon/whatever, and you'll have the best of the best.

    For everyone else, where money is a fixed and limited resource, reading reviews MATTERS because we can't afford to buy into something that doesn't perform adequately for the cost investment.

    So yes, Anandtech, keep making reviews to be value-oriented. The fools will be departed with their money either way, value-oriented review or not.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    They'll be parted, yes - and we can hope for departed. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Saturday, October 20, 2018 - link

    Don't be *too* harsh. They're paying the premium to cover lower-level chips which may be barely making back the cost of manufacturing, thus making them a good deal. (Of course, that also helps preserve the monopoly/duopoly by making it harder for others to break in...) Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, October 22, 2018 - link

    Yeah, to be honest the negatives of idiots buying overpriced "prestige" products tend to outweigh the "trickle down" positives for everyone else. See the product history of nVidia for the past 5 years for reference :/ Reply

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