Principled Technologies Releases Updated Test Results

Principled Technologies issued an updated game testing report to respond to the controversy surrounding its recent gaming benchmarking report. As expected, the readjusted testing conditions resulted in better performance for AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X.

The original report, which was paid for by Intel, pitted AMD's Ryzen processors against the Intel's new lineup of Coffee Lake Refresh processors. A closer examination of the results revealed a few test conditions that obviously could skew the results in favor of Intel's processor, including using a less-capable CPU cooler on AMD's chip and disabling half the cores on an AMD Ryzen processor.

Principled Technologies released a statement about the new reports, stating that it had retested all AMD processors in Creator Mode. As expected, Creator Mode "yielded the best gaming performance on the 2700X." The Threadripper processors provided the best performance in the Game Mode testing used in the original report.

Intel also provided a statement:

“Given the feedback from the tech community, we are pleased that Principled Technologies ran additional tests. They’ve now published these results along with even more detail on the configurations used and the rationale. The results continue to show that the 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K is the world’s best gaming processor. We are thankful for Principled Technologies’ time and transparency throughout this process. We always appreciate feedback from the tech community and are looking forward to comprehensive third party reviews coming out on October 19.”

Principled Technologies originally tested the Ryzen 7 2700X in Game Mode, which turns the eight-core processor into a quad-core chip. That would obviously punish the processors in many of the multi-threaded games. The second batch of testing includes both the original Game Mode testing and retesting with the 2700X's native Creator's Mode. This allows the processor to use the full heft of its eight cores and sixteen threads, which resulted in performance improvements in several of the 19 game titles. The report also includes testing of the Threadripper processors in Creator Mode, though we see the expected mix of performance improvements and regressions with the changes.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Ryzen 7 2700XCreator Mode (FPS)Game Mode (Original Testing - FPS)Intel 9900K
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive298.1295.9442.4
Gears of War 4 (Overall)151.5129.2189.2
War Thunder118.1128149.3
Ashes of the Singularity47.435.555.8
Forza Motorsport 7178.3150.9203.6
Assassin's Creed: Origins (FPS)10684119
Far Cry 5113103135
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth99.396.5129.2
Civilization VI (frame time - ms- lower is better)9.8310.6011.86
World of Tanks (enCore benchmark score)32,53533,11138,193
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Overall)279.5263.2309.4
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Entrance)232.2213.8252.1
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Overall Average)171.9169.1185.8
Middle-earth: Shadow of War143140155
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands123.7121.3131.1
Grand Theft Auto V175.1174.8186.5
Final Fantasy XV (Benchmark Score)10,51810,19310,874

Enthusiasts also raised the alarm about the cooling solution the firm used on the Ryzen 7 2700X. As we know, less-capable coolers can impact performance, but the company stuck with the stock AMD cooler yet again in the retests, leaving the potential issue unresolved.

A beefier cooler on the AMD processor could improve performance by allowing it to take full advantage of its XFR boost frequencies. As we've proven in the past, improved cooling benefits both AMD and Intel's chips by allowing the processors to operate at their Boost frequencies more frequently, and then maintain the heightened clock speeds for longer periods of time. The company is leaving itself open to criticism for not retesting with a more capable cooling solution or providing test data to prove the cooler didn't impact the test results in its specific testbed configuration. The performance deltas attributable to the cooler can be slight to nonexistent with open-air benches, so it may not have impacted the results, but the issue can be more pronounced in cases with restricted airflow. We're reaching out to Principled Technologies for more detail.

We've seen misleading reports in the past from almost every vendor, so, as always, we advise readers to wait for reviews instead of plunking down their hard-earned cash based solely on vendor-provided or commissioned benchmarks. We'll publish our full review on October 19 at 9AM ET.

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • Krazie_Ivan
    it's nice that PT was immediately receptive to the criticism & retested. it would have been better if they just applied all the changes/fixes, & maybe invited an experienced 3rd party (Tech Jesus comes to mind) to be there for some oversight & prevent further critique. results are still skewed, even if just slightly, but it's beating a dead horse now.

    i'd say this fiasco will hopefully teach certain people to wait for multiple independent reviews before ordering, but lets be realistic... most people will never know any of this happened.

    (not so) eagerly awaiting all the NDA benchmark results from cherry-picked review samples next week...
  • that1tallguy
    And yet, this site exclaims that the 9900k is one of the 'best tech deals' and we should all plunk down cash to buy it.,30458.html

    This is hypocrisy.
  • nitrium
    It's just confirming what everyone already knew, even based off of the old tests: Intel's chip is faster than AMD's equivalent but is an absolutely terrible bang for the buck and thus only attractive to people either obsessed with having the very fastest chip regardless of value or irrational Intel fanbois.
  • da.hilloulin
    Yeah, now in many games the 2700x is at 10% or so of the 9900k. The cooling could improve maybe by 5%. And then you are at spitting distance...
    The price difference is clearly not in the favour of the 9900k.
    I wonder who would buy the 9900k instead of buying the 2700x and putting the extra cash in the GPU instead, or the RAM, or SSD, or anything really.
    But once again it will be the "processor of choice" because everyone wants the bigger Amazon commission. (Even though probably it would make more money to recommend to upgrade the GPU)
  • PapaCrazy
    This CPU launch is giving me Tourettes. 50% faster... price (per 1,000qty)... numbers mean nothing to Intel.
  • rantoc
    @1080p, who beside perhaps a few who plays in the extreme fps competition plays in that resolution with a rig in the price class those chips will land in? @1440p+ the diff is perhaps a handful frames in the majority of games, sure the intel is better but at double the price... worth it?
  • marcusvtai
    I see no mention of the AMD pre-test memory optimization???
  • marcusvtai
    Specifically was XMP or DOCP enabled for the 2700X inn the retest - if not why not? What's to hide??
  • marcusvtai
    Launch headline should have been "50% Higher price in 1000 quantities"
  • barryv88
    The biggest gripe that I have for a while now, is not even based on the numbers from benchmark results by these tech companies (sorry that includes you Tom's), but the over usage of the word "faster".
    In many ways, a beefy chip such as the 2700X is no slouch at gaming whatsoever. And in sheer performance, it falls slightly short from comparative Intel chips on bench results. But does it really mean that these Intel chips are "faster"? If both chips score in the region of say 130-150fps in our favorite games, will every average Joe gamer out there see a difference if you game on both systems and have to tell them apart?
    No. No human on this planet possesses such unique abilities to tell that difference. Your FPS is FAR over the 60fps mark. You don't run faster, you don't shoot faster. It's all smooth on both systems. Stop using the "faster" term. Its BS.