Visual Studio Compile

Our compile test is back and better than ever. With a much larger and faster SSD (Samsung SSD 830, 512GB), we're able to get more consistent compile times between runs. We're now using Visual Studio 2012 to compile Mozilla's Firefox project. The compile is multithreaded however there are periods of serial operation where performance is bound by the speed of a single core. The end result is a benchmark that stresses both single and multithreaded performance. Compile times are reported in minutes elapsed.

Windows 8 - Visual Studio 2012 - Firefox Compile

It's clear that IVB-E holds the advantage over Haswell when faced with heavily threaded workloads, but what about those workloads that are a good mix of both light and heavily threaded tasks? A medium-threaded workload if you will. It turns out our Firefox compile test is just that. Haswell's architectural improvements seem to do wonders for this test (under OS X as well), giving the 4770K a 16% lower compile time than Ivy Bridge. IVB-E on the other hand throws more cores at the problem, effectively equaling Haswell's performance but not exceeding it. In this case, if the rest of your applications are better threaded/demand more cores then IVB-E is the right solution for you. If, however, building Visual Studio projects is the most thread heavy thing you do then Haswell is a better option.


To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 - Retouch Artists Speed Test

Our Photoshop test provides another example of an application with both lightly and heavily threaded behaviors. In this case, our Photoshop test favors the latter as the 4960X manages a 13% performance advantage over the 4770K. Once again the IVB-E advantage over SNB-E is around 5%.

File Compression/Decompression

The 7-zip benchmark is a CPU bound multithreaded integer workload that looks at 7-zip compression/decompression algorithms where the IO subsystem is removed from the equation:

7-zip Benchmark

In its biggest advantage so far, the 4960X outperforms the 4770K by 56% in the 7-zip test. The IVB-E performance advantage compared to SNB-E shrinks to under 3% here. Heavily threaded integer workloads are also well suited for AMD's FX architecture. Here the FX-8350 is able to equal Haswell's performance.

Next up is our old Par2 test. Par2 is an application used for reconstructing downloaded archives. It can generate parity data from a given archive and later use it to recover the archive. Chuchusoft took the source code of par2cmdline 0.4 and parallelized it using Intel’s Threading Building Blocks 2.1. The result is a version of par2cmdline that can spawn multiple threads to repair par2 archives. For this test we took a 708MB archive, corrupted nearly 60MB of it, and used the multithreaded par2cmdline to recover it. The scores reported are the repair and recover time in seconds.

Par2 - Multi-Threaded par2cmdline 0.4

Here's another heavily threaded workload that does very well on the 4960X. We also see a rare situation where IVB-E increases performance over SNB-E by more than 10%.

Excel - Heavy Math

In our final CPU centric test we're running a monte carlo simulation on a large Excel spreadsheet. The process is well threaded.

Microsoft Excel 2007 SP1 - Monte Carlo Simulation

With 50% more cores, the 4960X delivers 33% better performance than the 4770K. If running multithreaded math workloads is up your alley, there's no alternative to the 6-core extreme edition parts.

Video Transcoding & 3D Rendering Performance Gaming Performance
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  • Kevin G - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    I believe the only way to get a specially binned or configured chip from Intel is to be an OEM and order a large volume. For an unlocked Xeon, the only chance Intel would release such a system would be under contract for a super computer contract that also used liquid cooling.

    OEM's like HP, Dell and Apple can also acquire specifically binned chips for a premium if the OEM wants something better or for a discount if Intel has excess inventories of low grade chips they need to sell.
  • 1Angelreloaded - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    Apple was the one who petitioned Intel to put the GPU on Die, so they could get away selling at higher prices with a lower cost to them. Do like I do BLAME APPLE.
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    In conclusion, if you're an enthusiast who wants a high core count, Xeon is your only choice. For the price of the top-end Xeon you can buy a pretty decent second-hand car!
    We really need AMD to get back into the high-end game.
  • f0d - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    yeah cpu's were much better when amd competed in the high end
    lets just hope they can pull a good one out of somewhere
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    Hate to burst your bubble but AMD is going through a bit of a reset right now.
    Opteron 6400s in 2014. Minimal increase in performance.

    Next Gen Ground Up architecture is 2015, or when you get your AMD rep drunk at a trade show, you hear more likely 2016. If they can pull it off, this is where they will become a player again.

    Most of their attention at the moment is Trinity style APUs with minimal Core Counts just like Intel's desktop stuff.
  • DG4RiA - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    When are these E5 V2 Xeons gonna be out ? Why release this first instead of the new Xeons ?

    Hardly any performance increase after 22 months. I get that they want to be able to sell the 12-cores Xeon for three grands instead of one, but why can't they just add two extra cores to 4960X instead of just adding 200MHz ?
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    E5-2600 v2 is next week, Septh 10th
    E5-4600 v2 and E5-2400 v2 will be very end of 2013 or early 2014.
    E7 (Ivy EX) will also be like January 2014. 15 cores is what I am hearing there.
  • DG4RiA - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the info. I'm looking at dual socket build, so hopefully these V2 Xeon is worth the wait.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    Intel is so greedy. They could have made this chip 10 core / 20 thread and the die size still would have been less than SNB-E. For a high end part, a chip this small is just a slap in the face. I hope their greed costs them lots of $$.
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - link

    Sure. Also, the TDP at close to 4 GHz would have been 220W. And the majority of customers would have tried to overclock them and drive 300W through them. And either complained because they damage too easily, or because of the lousy overclocking potential.

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