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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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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.