Chinese tech YouTuber EJ Hardware (opens in new tab) has benchmarked a pair of Hygon C86 3185 processors, which are rarely seen outside China. The Zen-based chips were the product of AMD's joint venture with Hygon, where the latter obtained x86 and SoC IP licenses to develop chips for the Chinese market.
Hygon's C86 series consists of both 14nm mainstream and server processors, meaning there are chips spanning from four up to 32 Zen cores. Hygon's C86 processors are physically identical to AMD's Ryzen and EPYC processors. In fact, the Chinese-made chips should slot into the same AM4 and SP3 sockets, but in the majority of the cases, the processors are soldered to the motherboard.
The Hygon C86 3185, launched last year, has eight Zen cores with simultaneous multithreading (SMT). It operates with a 2 GHz base clock and 3.4 GHz boost clock. There's also 4MB of L2 cache and 16MB of L3 cache. If you need a point of reference, the C86 3185 is basically a lower-clocked version of the Ryzen 7 1700X. The C86 3185 and the Ryzen 7 1700X even have the same 95W TDP, but the former's power consumption maxed out at 70W, according to EJ Hardware's findings. So right off the bat, we already know that the Ryzen 7 1700X is the faster of the two.
Hygon C86 3185 Specifications
|Processor||Cores / Threads||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||L2 / L3 Cache (MB)||TDP (W)||Microarchitecture||Lithography|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||6 / 12||3.7 / 4.6||3 / 32||65||Zen 3||7nm|
|Ryzen 7 1700X||8 / 16||3.4 / 3.8||4 / 16||95||Zen||14nm|
|C86 3185||8 / 16||2.0 / 3.4||4 / 16||95||Zen||14nm|
EJ Hardware probably pulled the motherboard with the Hygon processors out of a W550-H30 workstation system. The motherboard housed two C86 3185, amounting to 16 total first-gen Zen cores. On the contrary, the Ryzen 5 5600X wields six Zen 3 cores, running at a 3.7 GHz base clock and 4.6 GHz boost clock. The hexa-core 7nm chip also has double the L3 cache as the C86 3185 with a 30W lower TDP.
Being a server motherboard, there are certain caveats. For one, the memory frequency is locked at DDR4-1866, so memory performance was below average. There weren't any options to configure the memory for a higher frequency. Since the chips are soldered to the motherboard, EJ Hardware couldn't just rip them out and stick them in a B450 motherboard, either.
Hygon C86 3185 Benchmarks
|Processor||Cinebench R20 Single-Core||Cinebench R20 Multi-Core||Cinebench R23 Single-Core||Cinebench R23 Multi-Core||Blender (BMW Scene)||x264 HD Benchmark||PCMark 10|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||598||4,536||1,536||11,717||3:33.06||60.5||12,089|
|C86 3185 x 2||304||5,065||655||13,214||2:44.65||40.5||7,618|
As expected, the Ryzen 5 5600X dominated in single-core performance. The hexa-core processor is equipped with Zen 3 cores, whereas the C86 3185 is still on the first-generation Zen cores.
The Ryzen 5 5600X delivered up to 97% and 135% higher single-core performance than the dual C86 3185 in Cinebench R20 and R23, respectively. On the other hand, the pair of Hygon chips outperformed the Ryzen 5 5600X by 12% and 13% in the multi-core tests in Cinebench R20 and R23, respectively.
In Blender and the x264 HD Benchmark, the two C86 3185 were 23% and 33% faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X. When it comes to PCMark 10, however, the Ryzen 5 5600X crushed the Hygon team by a 59% margin.
EJ Hardware's gaming tests showed that the C86 3185 chips, at least in a two-fold configuration, have good gaming performance. When paired with a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, the processors had no problem delivering excellent frame rates at a 1080p and 4K resolution. The Hygon processors only struggled in Cyberpunk 2077.
EJ Hardware's results are testimony to Zen 3's prowess. It basically takes two gimped Ryzen 7 1700X in tandem to beat a single Ryzen 5 5600X in multi-threaded workloads, and the margin wasn't even very significant. The single-threaded performance between Zen and Zen 3 was night and day, though. However, China isn't chasing after performance — instead, the country aims to achieve technological self-sufficiency.