CPU Benchmarks

The dynamics of CPU Turbo modes, with both Intel and AMD, can cause concern during environments with a variable threaded workload. There is also an added issue of the motherboard remaining consistent, depending on how the motherboard manufacturer wants to add in their own boosting technologies over the ones that the CPU manufacturer would prefer they used. In order to remain consistent, we implement an OS-level unique high performance mode on all the CPUs we test which should override any motherboard manufacturer performance mode.

HandBrake v0.9.9: link

For HandBrake, we take two videos (a 2h20 640x266 DVD rip and a 10min double UHD 3840x4320 animation short) and convert them to x264 format in an MP4 container. Results are given in terms of the frames per second processed, and HandBrake uses as many threads as possible.

HandBrake v0.9.9 LQ Film

HandBrake v0.9.9 2x4K

The variable turbo speeds of the CPUs results in a small difference in low quality conversion, and the high single core frequency of the 4790K wins there. For 4K conversion the problem becomes more parallel and the extra cores of the 5960X push it ahead of the pack. The 5930K and 5820K are both behind the 4960X however.

Agisoft Photoscan – 2D to 3D Image Manipulation: link

Agisoft Photoscan creates 3D models from 2D images, a process which is very computationally expensive. The algorithm is split into four distinct phases, and different phases of the model reconstruction require either fast memory, fast IPC, more cores, or even OpenCL compute devices to hand. Agisoft supplied us with a special version of the software to script the process, where we take 50 images of a stately home and convert it into a medium quality model. This benchmark typically takes around 15-20 minutes on a high end PC on the CPU alone, with GPUs reducing the time.

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Total Time

Photoscan's four separate components rely on different amounts of high frequency vs. many cores: check our Bench database for more detailed results but overall the 5960X comes out on top. That being said, the 5820K is less than 40% of the price and is only 1.2 minutes behind.

Dolphin Benchmark: link

Many emulators are often bound by single thread CPU performance, and general reports tended to suggest that Haswell provided a significant boost to emulator performance. This benchmark runs a Wii program that raytraces a complex 3D scene inside the Dolphin Wii emulator. Performance on this benchmark is a good proxy of the speed of Dolphin CPU emulation, which is an intensive single core task using most aspects of a CPU. Results are given in minutes, where the Wii itself scores 17.53 minutes.

Dolphin Emulation Benchmark

Dolphon loves single core speed and efficiency, meaning the 4790K wins out again. Interestingly the large L3 cache of the 5960X also helps here against the 5820K, despite the 5820K having a higher single thread frequency.

WinRAR 5.0.1: link

WinRAR 5.01, 2867 files, 1.52 GB

WinRAR is a variable thread workload, but more cores still wins out. Interestingly the xx60X CPUs are ahead of the xx30K CPUs followed by the xx20K. After this comes the 4790K, and then the 990X on par, showing how far three generations of Intel CPU have developed.

PCMark8 v2 OpenCL

A new addition to our CPU testing suite is PCMark8 v2, where we test the Work 2.0 and Creative 3.0 suites in OpenCL mode.

PCMark8 v2 Work 2.0 OpenCL with R7 240 DDR3

PCMark8 v2 Creative 3.0 OpenCL with R7 240 DDR3

PCMark v8 relies on a number of factors, and it would seem that frequency is preferred over cache and memory. Interestingly the 4930K beat the 4960X in the Creative Suite with no obvious explanation.

Hybrid x265: link

Hybrid is a new benchmark, where we take a 4K 1500 frame video and convert it into an x265 format without audio. Results are given in frames per second.

Hybrid x265, 4K Video

Converting 4K video gets another step in the preference for more cores in Hybrid x265. The 5820K matches the 3960X, showing the progression of CPU generational development.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 - Single Threaded

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded

3D Particle Movement

3DPM is a self-penned benchmark, taking basic 3D movement algorithms used in Brownian Motion simulations and testing them for speed. High floating point performance, MHz and IPC wins in the single thread version, whereas the multithread version has to handle the threads and loves more cores.

3D Particle Movement: Single Threaded

3D Particle Movement: MultiThreaded

FastStone Image Viewer 4.9

FastStone is the program I use to perform quick or bulk actions on images, such as resizing, adjusting for color and cropping. In our test we take a series of 170 images in various sizes and formats and convert them all into 640x480 .gif files, maintaining the aspect ratio. FastStone does not use multithreading for this test, and results are given in seconds.

FastStone Image Viewer 4.9

FastStone is a purely single threaded exercise, showing here how the lower core CPUs with high turbo perfom best, and by quite a margin.

Power Consumption, Test Setup Gaming Benchmarks


View All Comments

  • wireframed - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    I'm guessing you don't do much animation? :) Even though many of my renders only run around 10-20 minutes max, when you do a 30s animation, you can multiply that rendertime by 900... Even for a minute a frame (which is fairly fast), that's still 15 hours.

    But I think the main draw for people on X58 like us, is the newer platform. X58 is really low on modern features, it came out at an awkward time. No native USB 3.0, no 6Gbps SATA, no Thunderbolt (which might be relevant in the future), no PCIe 3.0, and no support for the newer standards coming out with Z97.
    Also consider DDR4 is going to be the standard going forward, so investing a lot of money in 32-64GB of DDR3, even at the lower prices, just seems like throwing good money after bad.
  • Kain_niaK - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    You are right! When I talking about a render, I am talking about exporting a music project to separate wave files (one per track). You can either record while playing it back or you can render it. Most VST plugins have a render mode as well so the end result is sometimes quite different. Not necessarily better, but different. And recording is done in real time, so sometimes a render is a lot faster. Reply
  • kevith - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Right on! Reply
  • bebimbap - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    the 31% is at the same frequency.
    being able to do double the work with the same amount of energy or the same work with 1/2 the energy is a big deal.
    imagine if cars could do that... 2x the horsepower but same amount of gas... or the same mileage at 1/2 the gas
  • Laststop311 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    ive been happily on my x58 i7-980x for 4 years and honestly if my chipset wasn't missing so many modern features i wouldn't even upgrade. But the lack of pci-e 3.0 lack of sata 3 lack of usb 3.0 are just becoming a pain in the ass. ur circo 2008 is wrong too i know because i got the i7-980x right when it came out and it was in 2010 not 2008 so that would be 100-110% over 4 years.

    I really want an ultra m2 pci-e 3.0 x4 drive as my main os and application drive. Can't wait to pop in a 1TB samsung sm951 ultra m2 drive. Also cant wait for the 16GB DDR4 sticks to start showing up. 8x16GB 128GB of ram, can you say 112GB ram drive and 16GB ram for the system. It's gotta be awesome working on video editing with your entire video in a super fast ram drive. My memory and storage is what's going to boost the performance for me gtom my x58 the cpu will too but not like the ultra m2 ssd with like 1400MB/sec read and 1200MB/sec write
  • nonoverclock - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    I recently went from an i7-950 to a i7 4770. It's made for a solid bump in performance. I notice it particularly in navigating game menus that used to be a little sluggish before. Reply
  • Railgun - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Sold! As I'm still on Gulftown, this is just what the doctor ordered. The i7-970, IMHO, has held its own for four years, at least for my needs. This will be one helluva shot in the arm. Reply
  • PEJUman - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    with you on this. I actually sold my gulftown with 48GB last year for the 6xSATA on z87, The x58 + gulftown is one heck of a system. If I don't already have the 4770k, this 5960 or 5820 would be extremely difficult to resist.

    I actually tempted to mount the mobo+CPU+intel sink on the wall instead of selling it, it was a piece of computing history.
  • bebimbap - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    If i remember the weight of that particular heatsink, you would need a sturdy mount for your wall... thumbtacks do not apply Reply
  • Laststop311 - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    48gb on gulftown thats strange considering gulftown supports 24gb ram. http://ark.intel.com/products/47932

    right on intel's page. i sense a fibber. Why lie about what pc u have?

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