CPU Computing & Rendering Performance
CPU Performance: Workstation
Many modern suites include modules that are based exclusively on computing and simulations. This means we need to go beyond just 3D workstation performance to form our opinion of these high-end CPUs. However, software packages like SolidWorks don’t scale perfectly based on core/thread count. Consequently, even quad-core processors keep up if they run at high-enough frequencies and support SMT. We'll illustrate this by comparing Core i5-7600K to the newer -8600K, which benefits from more cores and cache.
Frequency is all that counts in Creo 3.0. Intel's Core i5-8600K can't do anything with its two extra cores; the -7600K is right behind on our chart. Cranking the clock rate up to 4.9 GHz, on the other hand...
Clock rate and core count both matter in 3ds Max 2015, allowing Intel’s Core i5-8600K to pull ahead of the -7600K by a larger margin.
The CPU composite score includes rendering, which is broken out into its own section below. There, AMD's Ryzen 7 does well, becoming the value champion to beat.
CPU Performance: Photorealistic Rendering
Final rendering doesn’t require a CPU that's good at everything. Rather, this task wants efficiency and fast parallel computation.
In pure rendering, Core i5-8600K is at the top of its class. However, you can see how AMD's Ryzen 7 1700 benefits a ton when its eight cores are overclocked. Thread count takes precedence over frequency, but performance does scale beautifully with the latter.
Core i7-8700K bests Ryzen 7 1700 at stock clock rates. Overclocking shoots AMD's affordable 8C/16T solution up to the front of our chart, though.
Intel's new Core i5 suffers somewhat due to its lack of Hyper-Threading. However, a 4.9 GHz clock rate certainly helps the six-core CPU compensate.
Last, but not least, we take a look at Blender. The usual workload (with a sample size of 200 pixels) confirms what we saw in the preceding benchmarks: Core i5-8600K trails the notably less expensive Ryzen 5 1600X.
The results obtained from SPECwpc’s Blender loop look similar, even though this benchmark presents a somewhat different task consisting of more than just rendering.
With the workload's rendering portion easing up, a stock Core i7-8700K suddenly becomes more competitive.
This trend intensifies as our benchmark begins incorporating tasks other than photorealistic rendering. Core count isn't the sole determiner of performance; IPC throughput factors in as well. That's why you see older quad-core models with SMT rise through the ranks. The tuned Core i5-8600K even takes the top spot.
In this test, the new Core i7-8700K and overclocked Ryzen 7 1700 lead. Core count matters, of course, but operating frequency is also a critical variable.
Intel’s Core i5-8600K offers acceptable performance in semi-professional applications; it's not just a gaming CPU. It's lack of Hyper-Threading support does show in threaded workloads, though. This keeps the Core i5 from dating above its league. If the chip performed too well, it'd cannibalize sales of pricier Core i7 models.
Going up against AMD isn't easy, though. The Ryzen processors fare well in stock form, and then respond readily to our overclocking efforts.
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