VRMark, 3DMark, AotS: Escalation and Dawn of War III
Unfortunately, Intel hasn’t sampled its other Xeon W processors. With that said, they largely mirror the capabilities and performance of our line-up's Skylake-X models, with the primary difference being reduced timings to accommodate ECC memory and locked multipliers.
We tested the Ryzen Threadripper processors in Game Mode, per AMD's suggestion, halving (or quartering) available execution cores. Company representatives tell us this facilitates optimal performance in games. Any mention of PBO in the charts indicates that we used AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive, an automatic overclocking feature that wrings out maximum performance based upon our platform's power delivery and cooling capabilities.
Gaming performance is measured at 1920 x 1080, minimizing graphics bottlenecks. Naturally, as you step up to higher resolutions, the differences between processors shrink.
We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.
Xeon W-3175X trails Intel's 18C/36T Core i9-9980XE at stock settings in the DX11 test, and overclocking to 4.6 GHz doesn't reel in the Core i9-9980XE at 4.4 GHz. This benchmark typically scales well with core count, and given the W-3175X's 10 extra cores and 200 MHz-higher clock rate, those results don't align with our expectations. We'll see that same trend repeat in several other game benchmarks.
Intel's new mesh architecture does cause performance regressions compared to some previous-generation models, but both of these processors feature the same design. However, as on-chip interconnects scale they can suffer from higher latency as a result, and a mesh is no exception. Simply put, a larger mesh can lead to higher cache and memory latency under certain conditions.
Preliminary tests indicate a latency advantage of up to 10ns favoring the -9980XE over Intel's much larger W-3175X. As we learned from the Threadripper processors, games are exceedingly sensitive to memory and cache latency. We also have to wonder if today's game and benchmark engines are fully optimized for the many-core era. We theorize that mesh latency, or a lack of software optimization for prodigious core counts, could be the source of the disparity.
AMD's Ryzen Threadripper chips land quite a ways down our charts. With that said, we did test in AMD's recommended Game Mode.
Intel’s processors take the lead in VRMark, largely due to their impressive per-core (a mixture of frequency and IPC) performance. The tuned W-3175X fares better in this benchmark, essentially tying the Core i9-9980XE.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that normally scales well with thread count.
It isn't surprising to see the W-3175X excel in our Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation benchmark given its generally solid optimization for threading and the chip's hefty allotment of 28 cores. But again, it scores a near-tie with the less complex Core i9-9980XE in spite of its higher frequency and core count.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
The Intel Core i9-9900K takes a commanding lead, while AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX with PBO active competes readily against Intel's high-end desktop CPUs.
In stock form, the W-3175X trails other chips with higher stock frequencies. Overclocking propels the CPU into third place behind the tuned Core i9-9980XE, though.
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