2D & 3D Workstation Performance
2D Workstation Performance
Our GDI/GDI+ tests are used to test two different output methods that can be found in older applications and printing tasks. Today, they, or at least a modified version of them, are commonly used to display the graphical user interface (GUI). They are also great benchmarks for direct device write throughput and memory performance when handling gigantic device-independent bitmap (DIB) files.
Tom’s Hardware Synthetic 2D Benchmarks
We take a look at direct device write throughput first. The graphics driver uses the CPU heavily for this task, but doesn’t employ many threads. There hasn’t been true 2D hardware acceleration since the introduction of the unified shader architecture, after all. Microsoft's Windows driver model provides a huge obstacle for 2D hardware acceleration as well.
We up the ante by introducing memory to the mix. This is done with the help of the only remaining 2D hardware function: generating the graphics output in memory and then copying it to the output device all at once. The benchmark’s the same as before. We just plot a bitmap in memory, as opposed to sending the information directly to the monitor. The bitmap’s copied to it only once it’s complete. This pushes the CPUs, since they’re no longer platform-bound.
The results are surprising: AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper dominates the field, including the Core i7-7700K that’s usually a strong contender.
AutoCAD 2016 (2D)
Even though AutoCAD does use DirectX, ultimately it just duplicates every single draw function in software. The results are exactly as expected, and IPC throughput is emphasized due to AutoCAD’s limited scaling with additional cores.
3D Workstation Performance
Most professional development applications have been optimized and compiled with Intel CPUs in mind. This is reflected in their performance numbers. Still, we include them in order to motivate developers to focus their efforts on AMD’s Ryzen processors as well. This would give users more than one choice. The same goes for an emphasis on multi-core processors, at least where that’s feasible and makes sense.
AutoCAD 2016 (3D)
Clock rate trumps core count. AMD’s Ryzen 7 and Ryzen Threadripper end up fairly close to each other. AutoCAD’s performance turns out to be close to that of older games, since it uses DirectX and isn’t really optimized to take advantage of multiple cores.
Cinebench R15 OpenGL
The Cinebench R15 OpenGL benchmark demonstrates what happens when software isn’t optimized for AMD’s Ryzen processors. Clock rate edges out core count, and Cinebench R15 OpenGL retains its tendency to favor Intel processors.
The same goes for SolidWorks 2015. Even a Threadripper 1950X processor overclocked to 3.8 GHz loses to a Ryzen 7 1800X. Changing the memory access setting in the BIOS would result in parity. However, doing so would also negatively impact most compute tasks. It’s one or the other, and we can’t have both. This is a hard decision that comes down to which of the two is more important.
The trend continues with Creo 3.0. For AMD’s Threadripper processor, core count edges out clock rate this time around. Still, it ends up at the bottom of this 3D benchmark heap. Optimized BIOS settings would push it up to the middle of the field, but would also negatively impact the CPU composite score, which can be found on the next page.
Blender (Real-time 3D Preview)
Notwithstanding Intel's Core i7-7700K, the Blender benchmark results are acceptable. Taken together with the fantastic rendering performance, which is shown on the following page, things look good.
Catia V6 R2012
This is one of the graphics benchmarks that has been optimized time and again (it’s part of the free SPECviewperf 12 suite). Clock frequency is important to this metric.
The same can be said for Maya 2013. Note that the real-time 3D output numbers don’t tell the whole story. AMD’s Threadripper processors fare a lot better when it comes to final rendering.
For pure design and drafting work, AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is a respectable option. It isn't great either, though. In the end, it can be used for these professional tasks if you simultaneously hit it with other workloads that need to be completed at the same time. Otherwise, fewer cores operating at higher clocks tend to offer better performance.
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