The AMD Zen and Ryzen 7 Review: A Deep Dive on 1800X, 1700X and 1700by Ian Cutress on March 2, 2017 9:00 AM EST
Benchmarking Suite 2017
For our Ryzen review, we are implementing our new CPU testing benchmark suite, fully scripted as of 2/17. This means that with a fresh OS install, we can configure the OS to be more consistent, install the new benchmarks, maintain version consistency without random updates and start running the tests in under 5 minutes. After that it's a one button press to start an 8-10hr test (with a high-performance core) with nearly 100 relevant data points in the benchmarks given below. The tests cover a wide range of segments, some of which will be familiar but some of the tests are new to benchmarking in general, but still highly relevant for the markets they come from.
Our new CPU tests go through six main areas. We cover the Web (we've got an un-updateable version of Chrome 56), general system tests (opening tricky PDFs, emulation, brain simulation, AI, 2D image to 3D model conversion), rendering (ray tracing, modeling), encoding (compression, AES, h264 and HEVC), office based tests (PCMark and others), and our legacy tests, throwbacks from another generation of bad code but interesting to compare.
A side note on OS preparation. As we're using Windows 10, there's a large opportunity for something to come in and disrupt our testing. So our default strategy is multiple: disable the ability to update as much as possible, disable Windows Defender, uninstall OneDrive, disable Cortana as much as possible, implement the high performance mode in the power options, and disable the internal platform clock which can drift away from being accurate if the base frequency drifts (and thus the timing ends up inaccurate).
Web on Chrome 56
Agisoft PS v1.0
LuxMark CPU C++
LuxMark CPU OpenCL
SYSmark 2014 / SE
3DPM v1 ST / MT
x264 HD 3 Pass 1, Pass 2
CB 11.5 ST / MT
CB 10 ST / MT
A side note - a couple of benchmarks (Dolphin, Civ 6) weren't fully 100% giving good data during testing. Need to go back and re-work this part of our testing.
The bad news for our Ryzen review is that our new 2017 GPU testing stack not yet complete. We recieved our Ryzen CPU samples on February 21st, and tested in the hotel at the event for 6hr before flying back to Europe.
I spent two days back in London, where ~12 CPUs relevant to the review today were testing on our new CPU benchmarks. This was before I had to fly to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, and I brought 30kg of kit with me to help with the review. I have had Ryzen set up in our shared flat for the past few days, and had Ryzen benchmarks running while attending meetings. As a result, our CPU data is good, but we lack any substantial GPU comparison data, power numbers (some idiot senior editor forgot his power meter...) or overclocking numbers. Based on a few Twitter polls conducted over at @IanCutress, people seemed more interested in CPU performance anyway, so we'll do a Pt 2 with more GPU data in the next couple of weeks.