Application Performance Test Notes
All systems in this section of tests use our standard test bench setup listed on the second page of the article.
Our rendering test suite finds Intel's processors in hostile territory: Multi-threaded rendering has become the domain of Zen-based architectures and their core-heavy designs. Threadripper 2970WX leverages its 24 cores and 48 threads to upset the stock -10980XE in several of the threaded rendering benchmarks, and tuning would improve its performance further. The Ryzen 9 3950X also impresses in the threaded LuxMark and POV-Ray tests.
The stock Core i9-10980XE is competitive in the single-core POV-Ray benchmark due to its strong performance in AVX workloads, but the 3950X takes the lead in both the single-threaded POV-Ray and Cinebench benchmarks.
Intel's Core i9-10980XE excels at single-threaded workloads due to its aggressive 4.8 GHz boost clock, so it takes the lead over the AMD processors in the LAME benchmark at stock settings.
The 3950X beats the stock -10980XE in the HandBrake x264 test, and in the AVX-heavy x265 version of that same benchmark. Flipping through to the SVT-AV1 encoder, which is heavily threaded, paints a similar picture.
Compression, Decompression, Encryption, AVX
The 7zip and Zlib compression/decompression benchmarks rely heavily upon threading and work directly from system memory, thus avoiding the traditional storage bottleneck in these types of tasks.
The first-gen Threadripper processors are notorious for an unexplained deficiency in threaded 7zip compression workloads that find them trailing even the eight-core Core i9-9900K, but third-gen Threadripper marks a tremendous step forward in compression workloads. Meanwhile, the 3950X doesn't fare quite as well in compression, but proves nimble with decompression as it easily beats the stock -10980XE.
The 2970WX suffers during the single-threaded y-cruncher benchmark, which computes pi using AVX instructions, while the 3950X is far more competitive. That said, the -10980XE caps an all-Intel win.
Office and Productivity
Microsoft's office suite runs via PCMark 10's new application test and uses real Microsoft Office applications. It seems like an odd fit to test these fire-breathing processors in such mundane tasks, but Office is ubiquitous. As we've come to expect, the overclocked -10980XE leads the tests, but the Ryzen 9 3950X challenges, and often beats, the stock Core i9-10980XE.
The application start-up metric measures load time snappiness in word processors, GIMP, and Web browsers. Other platform-level considerations affect this test as well, including the storage subsystem.
Browsers tend to be impacted more by the recent security mitigations than other types of applications, so Intel has generally taken a haircut in these benchmarks of fully-patched systems. Unsurprisingly, the Ryzen 9 3950X and Core i9-9900K are pretty agile in these workloads, but the Core i9-10980XE in stock trim is plenty snappy, too.
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