CPU Performance: SPEC2006 at 2.2 GHz

Aside from power, the other question is if the Cannon Lake microarchitecture is an efficient design. For most code paths, it holds the same core design elements as Skylake and Kaby Lake, and it does have additional optimizations for certain instructions, as we detailed earlier in this review. In order to do a direct IPC comparison, we are running SPEC2006 Speed on both of our comparison points at a fixed frequency of 2.2 GHz.

In order to get a fixed frequency on our chips required adjusting the relevant registers to disable the turbo modes. There is no setting in the BIOS to do this, but thankfully the folks at AIDA64 have a tool to do this and it works great. Choosing these two processors that both have a base frequency of 2.2 GHz make this a lot easier.

SPEC2006 is a series of industry standard tests designed to help differentiate performance levels between different architectures, microarchitectures, and compilers. All official submitted results from OEMs and manufacturers are posted online for comparison, and many vendors try and get the best results. From our perspective, these workloads are very well known, which enables a good benchmark for IPC analysis.

Credit for arranging the benchmarks goes completely to our resident Senior Mobile Editor, Andrei Frumusanu, who developed  a suitable harness and framework to generate the relevant binaries for both mobile and PC. On PC, we run SPEC2006 through the Windows Subsystem for Linux – we still need to do testing for overhead (we’ll do it with SPEC2017 when Andrei is ready), but for the purposes of this test today, comparing like for like both under WSL is a valid comparison. Andrei compiled SPEC2006 for AVX2 instructions, using Clang 8. We run SPEC2006 Speed, which runs one copy of each test on one thread, of all the integer tests as well as the C++ based floating point tests.

Here are our results:

SPEC2006 Speed
(Estimated Results)*
Intel Core i3-8121U
10nm Cannon Lake
AnandTech Intel Core i3-8130U
14nm Kaby Lake
Integer Workloads
24.8 400.perlbench 26.1
16.6 401.bzip2 16.8
27.6 403.gcc 27.3
25.9 429.mcf 28.4
19.0 445.gobmk 19.1
23.5 456.hmmr 23.1
22.2 458.sjeng 22.4
70.5 462.libquantum 75.4
39.7 464.h264ref 37.2
17.5 471.omnetpp 18.2
14.2 473.astar 14.1
27.1 483.xalancbmk 28.4
Floating Point Workloads
24.6 433.milc 23.8
23.0 444.namd 23.0
39.1 450.soplex 37.3
34.1 453.povray 33.5
59.9 470.lbm 68.4
43.2 482.sphinx3 44.2

* SPEC rules dictate that any results not verified on the SPEC website are called 'estimated results', as they have not been verified.

By and large, we actually get parity between both processors on almost all the tests. The Kaby Lake processor seems to have a small advantage in libquantum and lbm, which are SIMD related, which could be limited by the memory latency difference shown on the previous page.

CPU Performance: Memory and Power Stock CPU Performance: System Tests
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  • BigMamaInHouse - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Thank you for your Great reviews.
    Look like we should not ecpect much from those new 10nm CPU's for cunsumers for new future, maybe in Q1 2020 with 10++ gen.
    2019 going to be on AMD's Favor!.
    Reply
  • jaju123 - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    12 or 16 core Ryzen with a 13% IPC increase, at equivalent power to the i9-9900k is not going to go well for Intel. Seems like they'll be able to compete with the AMD processors of 2019 around late 2020 at the earliest. Reply
  • ZolaIII - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Take a look at the Spec 2006 benchmark and make the comparation to A76 (Snapdragon 855) it beats this Intel SKU (@2.2 GHz) In most cases with only half the power used. When SVE NEON SIMD lies in CISC is doomed. Reply
  • Gondalf - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Unfortunately we don't know how perform AMD new cpus, only cherry picked results nothing more.
    Even less we know about power consumption. Are we certain AMD 7nm cores will are winner over 12nm ones?? AMD is unhappy about clock speed for example, so the IPC advantage will be likely vanished.
    IMO AMD is painting a too bright future to be trusted. TSMC process is not perfect at all, instead of Nvidia should be on it right now.
    Reply
  • levizx - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    Rubbish written in garbled words. Reply
  • KOneJ - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    What exactly are you trying to babble about here? Reply
  • Valantar - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    Lying about future products is grounds for lawsuits from shareholders (and possible criminal charges many places), so that's quite unlikely. We do have one indication of power draw from Zen2, from the live Cinebench demo where an 8-core Zen2 chip matched the 9900K's score at ~50W lower power. Of course we don't know how clocks will scale, nor the clock speed that test was run at, and it's relatively well established that Cinebench is a workload where AMD does well. Still, TSMC 7nm is proven good at this point, with several shipping large-scale SKUs on it (Apple A12, A12X, among others). Even if these are all mobile low-power chips, they're very high performance _and_ low power, which ought to fit Zen2 well. Also, the Cinebench score matching the 9900K means that either IPC has improved massively, SMT scaling on Zen2 is ~100%, or clocks are quite high. Likely it's a mix of all three, but they wouldn't reach that score without pretty decent clocks. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - link

    Ignoring any Zen IPC improvement whatsoever, process improvements alone this year would make them competitive with Intel going forward. All they need to do is ramp up the clock frequency a bit without a TDP penalty and they have an automatic win... Reply
  • Makste - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    Lol😆 Reply
  • Vegajf - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Icelake desktop will be out 3q 2020 from what I hear. We will have another 14nm refresh before then though. Reply

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