VRMark, 3DMark & AotS: Escalation
As discussed on page two, Threadripper offers both Creator and Game modes to tailor the processor for different applications. We tested with both to compare the gaming-optimized and out-of-box configurations. Threadripper processors also feature two switches that allow for even more unique configurations, so we also tested with the full complement of cores (legacy off) and memory access set to "local." These “Local/SMT” results provide a nice boost for heavily-threaded games, particularly in overclocked configurations.
Most charts are presented in their entirety. But due to space constraints with our frame time variance graphs, we often include secondary charts with additional Threadripper performance data.
AMD notes that some games prefer different configurations, but we don’t have a detailed list of preferred settings for individual titles. Hopefully our results serve as a guide to gamers looking for the best settings.
Intel also released new microcode for its Skylake-X processors recently, which reduces performance in some titles and lowers the AVX offset by two bins. We also noticed far lower Turbo Boost activation thresholds, though that could separately be the result of MSI's newest BIOS. The changes likely come in response to some of the power and thermal issues we encountered during our extended testing. We consequently retested both Skylake-X processors with the newest microcode.
AMD's Ryzen gaming performance is also a moving target, though it continues to improve over time. Today's story reflects all processors re-tested with the latest chipset, BIOS, GPU drivers, and game patches. We're also deploying a new test image and game suite, so the results contained herein are only directly comparable to our Ryzen 3 1300X review.
VRMark & 3DMark
We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure game performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.
Futuremark's VRMark test lets you gauge your system's suitability for use with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, even if you don't currently own an HMD. The Orange Room test is based on the suggested system requirements for current-generation HTC Vive and Oculus Rift HMDs. Futuremark defines a passing score as anything above 109 FPS.
VRMark prizes IPC throughput and frequency. AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors fall to the bottom of the chart, while the Intel models lead. We suspect that VRMark lacks some of the optimizations incorporated into other games.
The Threadripper 1950X fares much better during the heavily-threaded DX11 physics test, where it leads by a large margin. And it squeezes by the overclocked Core i9-7900X during the DX12 CPU test due to its copious core count. The Core i7-7700K suffers through these two tests due to its quad-core design.
Gaming performance, from a host processing perspective, relies on generating the maximum amount of draw calls (sometimes tens of millions per second) using the relevant API. AMD's Threadripper 1950X shows well in our heavily-threaded DX12 tests. But Vulkan performance suffers with all 32 threads active.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count. That’s music to Threadripper’s ears as the overclocked configuration leads. Intel's 10-core -7900X puts up a stout defense with 60% fewer cores, though.
The 1950X doesn’t fare as well out of the box; an eight-core i7-7820X manages to beat the 16-core contender.
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