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Intel Xeon W-3175X Review: Ultimate Performance at the Ultimate Price

SPECWorkstation 3 Test Suite

The SPECworkstation 3 benchmark is designed to measure workstation performance in professional applications. The full suite consists of more than 30 applications, but we've winnowed down the list to eight tests that focus specifically on CPU performance. We've included the processors we had time to test during this round, but we'll expand our test pool in future articles.

Calculix

This test is based on the finite element method for three-dimensional structural computations. This benchmark scales well across the Intel processors based on core count, but Threadripper's core count advantage doesn't equate to a win over the W-3175X.

Kirchoff Migration 

The earth’s subsurface structure can be determined via seismic processing. One of the four basic steps in this process is the Kirchhoff Migration, which is used to generate an image based on the available data using mathematical operations. Threadripper 2990WX performs well in this benchmark, only trailing the stock W-3175X by a slim margin.

Financial Services - Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo simulation is used to project risk and uncertainty in financial forecasting models. Threadripper 2990WX beats the Intel W-3175X by 14%, which is impressive. The W-3175X eked past after tuning, but turning the knobs on the 2990WX would likely allow it to regain the lead.

NAMD

NAMD is a parallel molecular dynamics code designed to scale well with additional compute resources. Those optimizations are clear as the Threadripper 2990WX leverages its extra cores to pull ahead of the stock W-3175X during the three subtests of molecular interactions.

Sequential Reweighted Message Passing (SRMP)

SRMP algorithms are used for discrete energy minimization. AMD processors have traditionally struggled with these tests, suggesting the benchmark might be latency-sensitive.

Rodinia LifeSciences

SPECworkstation 3's Rodinia LifeSciences benchmark steps through four tests that include medical imaging, particle movements in a 3D space, a thermal simulation, and image-enhancing programs. Threadripper 2990WX trails the stock W-3175X by 9.4%, but as with many of these benchmarks, we have to take Intel's premium pricing into account. The W-3175X's high price tag means you'll pay 66% more for that sub-10% performance gain.

Python

The Python benchmark conducts a series of math operations, including numpy and scipy math libraries, with Python 3.6. This test also includes multithreaded matrix tests that would obviously benefit from more cores, provided the software can utilize the host processing resources correctly. Here we see the 2990WX trail the Intel W-3175X by a substantial margin.


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  • rantoc
    Shame i don't live on the north-pole where this cpu could be fully utilized - As a space heater and cpu ;)
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    21725395 said:
    Shame i don't live on the north-pole where this cpu could be fully utilized - As a space heater and cpu ;)

    With this current polar vortex.... you might not need to live at one of the poles to take advantage of the space heater qualities.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    As impressive as it is that Intel can match or beat more cores with less Intel really needs to get pricing in check. Its hard to justify this CPU when its cost is nearly double but the performance is not always double.

    I like Intels platform but man they really have to come back down to earth and start competing with AMD from a price perspective as well.
    Reply
  • rschiwal
    I've always been an AMD fan. For my gaming and Blender use it's Ryzen all the way! you can't beat the performance/cost ratio, but as a system administrator, I would recommend a Dell server with this processor as a core server in business infrastructure. Xeon is a known commodity. I would love to see Threadripper servers in non-critical operations until I know how dependable they are, but they are the new hotness. In business, you are looking for a dependable tractor, not a flashy sports car.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    21725395 said:
    Shame i don't live on the north-pole where this cpu could be fully utilized - As a space heater and cpu ;)

    *fortunatelly. One Blender run would melt the entire polar cap.
    Reply
  • bloodroses
    21725522 said:
    21725395 said:
    Shame i don't live on the north-pole where this cpu could be fully utilized - As a space heater and cpu ;)

    With this current polar vortex.... you might not need to live at one of the poles to take advantage of the space heater qualities.

    I know what you mean. I live in Michigan and was greeted to -6 F outside this morning. :( I'm just glad this is only supposed to stay for a day or 2.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    More ridiculous pricing from team blue. You could build a couple of threadripper systems, for the cost of this single Intel system.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    21725843 said:
    More ridiculous pricing from team blue. You could build a couple of threadripper systems, for the cost of this single Intel system.

    The issue is the market this is geared towards. That market doesn't see the same way we do. As another user said they will stick with what has worked until TR can be proven to work as well and support the same.

    I agree the pricing is a bit insane though and Intel needs to get on the same level but I doubt they will until AMD truly threatens them. I mean look at the results. Its a 28 core chip thats performing on the same level and sometimes beating a 32 core chip.
    Reply
  • dorsai
    The vast majority of corporate IT departments will not care at all about the unlocked multiplier...most have strict policies about overclocking being a no go...so there's no reason to boost the rating of this chip because of it. Outside of a few key exceptions most of the test results would never justify the price associated with migration to the w-3173x platform...indeed I would guess that few of these processors will ever be bought outside of corporate IT shops with the deep pockets to purchase them. This chip is destined to be nothing but a niche product exemplifying both what Intel can do when pushed to it...and a lesson in cost vs performance economics
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    If the system has the potential to earn you tens of thousands of dollars more than a competing system, then spending an extra $3K is a no-brainer. Of course, you have evaluate your choices 100% objectively, which isn't always easy to do without actually purchasing and using them, so Dorsai is likely correct that the vast majority will end up medium/large corporations. However, the few that do end up with reviewers and enthusiasts will undoubtedly garner the most attention.
    Reply