CPU Tests: Legacy and Web

In order to gather data to compare with older benchmarks, we are still keeping a number of tests under our ‘legacy’ section. This includes all the former major versions of CineBench (R15, R11.5, R10) as well as x264 HD 3.0 and the first very naïve version of 3DPM v2.1. We won’t be transferring the data over from the old testing into Bench, otherwise it would be populated with 200 CPUs with only one data point, so it will fill up as we test more CPUs like the others.

The other section here is our web tests.

Web Tests: Kraken, Octane, and Speedometer

Benchmarking using web tools is always a bit difficult. Browsers change almost daily, and the way the web is used changes even quicker. While there is some scope for advanced computational based benchmarks, most users care about responsiveness, which requires a strong back-end to work quickly to provide on the front-end. The benchmarks we chose for our web tests are essentially industry standards – at least once upon a time.

It should be noted that for each test, the browser is closed and re-opened a new with a fresh cache. We use a fixed Chromium version for our tests with the update capabilities removed to ensure consistency.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

Kraken is a 2010 benchmark from Mozilla and does a series of JavaScript tests. These tests are a little more involved than previous tests, looking at artificial intelligence, audio manipulation, image manipulation, json parsing, and cryptographic functions. The benchmark starts with an initial download of data for the audio and imaging, and then runs through 10 times giving a timed result.

We loop through the 10-run test four times (so that’s a total of 40 runs), and average the four end-results. The result is given as time to complete the test, and we’re reaching a slow asymptotic limit with regards the highest IPC processors.

(7-1) Kraken 1.1 Web Test

Sizeable single thread improvements.

Google Octane 2.0

Our second test is also JavaScript based, but uses a lot more variation of newer JS techniques, such as object-oriented programming, kernel simulation, object creation/destruction, garbage collection, array manipulations, compiler latency and code execution.

Octane was developed after the discontinuation of other tests, with the goal of being more web-like than previous tests. It has been a popular benchmark, making it an obvious target for optimizations in the JavaScript engines. Ultimately it was retired in early 2017 due to this, although it is still widely used as a tool to determine general CPU performance in a number of web tasks.

(7-2) Google Octane 2.0 Web Test

Speedometer 2: JavaScript Frameworks

Our newest web test is Speedometer 2, which is a 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 repeat over the benchmark for a dozen loops, taking the average of the last five.

(7-3) Speedometer 2.0 Web Test

Legacy Tests

(6-3a) CineBench R15 ST(6-3b) CineBench R15 MT(6-5a) x264 HD 3.0 Pass 1(6-5b) x264 HD 3.0 Pass 2(6-4a) 3DPM v1 ST(6-4b) 3DPM v1 MT

CPU Tests: Encoding CPU Tests: Synthetic and SPEC
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  • DanNeely - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    "What makes these ones different this time around is that Intel is cutting the Ryzen 3 from retail,"

    AND here, not Intel.
    Reply
  • dwillmore - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    And they use Zen3 *processors*, not graphics. Reply
  • Rudde - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    “As it stands, these two new processors at retail fill out Intel’s retail offerings, at least down to $259.”
    Again, it is AMD's retail offerings.
    Reply
  • at_clucks - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    Intel features prominently at the forefront of Ian's conscious mind. :) Reply
  • abufrejoval - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    I thought that was pretty funny, but after so many years of reviewing CPUs perhaps it does become a bit tiresome.

    This chips would have made a huge wave two years ago and still received raving reviews a year ago.

    Today it's still excellent, but no longer that exciting.

    Good value, through.
    Reply
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - link

    Vega is showing its age. We all know the next big APU is Rembrandt with RDNA 2 graphics. After that, maybe Strix Point (rumored big/little). Reply
  • vlad42 - Thursday, August 5, 2021 - link

    Rembrandt will most likely use RDNA1 as AMD just recently submitted drivers to the Linux kernel for a new RDNA1 based APU. It is unlikely they are planning to release another APU given we have not heard any rumors to that effect. Though I would love to be wrong! Reply
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, August 5, 2021 - link

    No, it will use RDNA 2, just like Van Gogh (Steam Deck). That RDNA 1 APU is probably some embedded part. Reply
  • vlad42 - Thursday, August 5, 2021 - link

    I have seen no indication of such a part from the roadmaps AMD has presented in the shareholder meetings. Every official roadmap has shown Van Gogh, Rembrandt and if I remember correctly, some other iteration of Renoir/Lucienne. Given that every previous embedded chip has just been a variation of the laptop/desktop SKUs, it is highly unlikely they would hide the existence of a new dedicated embedded chip from investors (they can get sued over that!).

    I guess it could be a semicustom part where the customer wants open source Linux drivers?

    Remember how all the late stage rumors claimed Renoir and then Cezanne would use RDNA1, while the early rumors for both claimed Vega? New rumors that pop up in the months leading up to a new chip launch claiming radical technology changes from previous rumors, such as a change in GPU architecture, are normally wrong/bogus.

    It seems more realistic to temper expectations and assume Rembrandt will use RDNA1 given the driver submission, fact that all early rumors suggested so, and that it is the only other APU we know of that is releasing in the near future.
    Reply
  • vlad42 - Thursday, August 5, 2021 - link

    Just saw your post down below. I must have missed that Yellow Carp was for an APU as well. For some reason, I thought it was for the entry level discrete market.

    Maybe I missed that there is a new embedded market chip (it's not like they get much news coverage) or it is a semicustom part like I suggested above. It seems too early for Yellow Carp to be for the Zen4 based APUs unless they are coming sooner than we think or AMD is starting to upstream driver work earlier.
    Reply

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