SPEC2017 Single-Threaded Results

SPEC2017 is a series of standardized tests used to probe the overall performance between different systems, different architectures, different microarchitectures, and setups. The code has to be compiled, and then the results can be submitted to an online database for comparison. It covers a range of integer and floating point workloads, and can be very optimized for each CPU, so it is important to check how the benchmarks are being compiled and run.

We run the tests in a harness built through Windows Subsystem for Linux, developed by Andrei Frumusanu. WSL has some odd quirks, with one test not running due to a WSL fixed stack size, but for like-for-like testing it is good enough. Because our scores aren’t official submissions, as per SPEC guidelines we have to declare them as internal estimates on our part.

For compilers, we use LLVM both for C/C++ and Fortan tests, and for Fortran we’re using the Flang compiler. The rationale of using LLVM over GCC is better cross-platform comparisons to platforms that have only have LLVM support and future articles where we’ll investigate this aspect more. We’re not considering closed-source compilers such as MSVC or ICC.

clang version 10.0.0
clang version 7.0.1 (ssh://git@github.com/flang-compiler/flang-driver.git

-Ofast -fomit-frame-pointer
-mfma -mavx -mavx2

Our compiler flags are straightforward, with basic –Ofast and relevant ISA switches to allow for AVX2 instructions.

To note, the requirements for the SPEC licence state that any benchmark results from SPEC have to be labeled ‘estimated’ until they are verified on the SPEC website as a meaningful representation of the expected performance. This is most often done by the big companies and OEMs to showcase performance to customers, however is quite over the top for what we do as reviewers.

SPECint2017 Rate-1 Estimated Scores

Opening up our performance analysis of the Ryzen Threadripper 7980X in SPEC2017 1T, as we typically do, we split the results between SPECint2017 and SPECfp2017. Starting with SPECint2017, we can see clear gains in the Ryzen Threadripper 7980X (Zen 4) compared to the previous Threadripper 3990X processor (Zen 2). Given the generational gap between the two core architectures, AMD never released regular HEDT-focused Zen 3 Threadripper processors.

In the majority of our tests, we're seeing single-threaded performance gains of between 65 and 93% within the 500.perlbench_r test of the SPECint2017 1T suite provided the largest gain in ST performance we saw. Looking at how the Intel Xeon W9-3495X performed in SPECint2017, lower single-threaded performance is expected due to the slower core frequencies, and our data shows this. It still puts it ahead of the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X in each scenario, but the Ryzen Threadripper 7980X performs best of all.

SPECfp2017 Rate-1 Estimated Scores

Focusing on the second half of our SPEC2017 1T suite, the SPECfp2017 section, we can see that although the performance gap between the Threadripper 7980X isn't as big as SPECint2017 1T, it still represents solid generational gains over the 3990X. The SPECfp2017 1T section of the suite also puts the Intel Xeon W9-3495X closer to the older Threadripper 3990X, which can, again, be explained due to the much slower core frequencies, e.g., 1.9 G base, 3.4 G turbo vs. 2.9 G base, 4.3 G turbo.

Overall, in SPEC2017 1T, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 represents significant single-threaded gains over the Threadripper 3990X, but we expected this given the generational jump between the two processors.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X and 7970X Review SPEC2017 Multi-Threaded Results
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  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, November 23, 2023 - link

    Yes. Deceptive everything.
  • boozed - Monday, November 20, 2023 - link

    "While it's clear in multi-threaded workloads such as rendering, the Ryzen Threadripper 7980X and 7970X are more potent with higher core counts, there are certain situations where the current desktop flagship processors still represent a better buy."

    Good to know if I ever start playing Dwarf Fortress?
  • FatFlatulentGit - Monday, November 20, 2023 - link

    One test I'd like to see is encoding 4+ videos at once. One 4K AV1 or HEVC encode is not going to top out all of the cores on the 7980X, but enough parallel encodes will blast the thing.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing how they stack up against the WX series, especially in regard to RAM channels when the CPU is saturated.
  • garblah - Tuesday, November 21, 2023 - link

    So, even with a 5,000 dollar CPU, encoding an hour of 1080p AV1 video at 30fps with the medium quality preset would take nearly 2 hours? I guess AV1 software encoding is still pretty slow.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, November 21, 2023 - link

    Just raising the presets a few steps can cut down the time considerably, without too much of a loss of quality. On my system, SVT-AV1's fastest preset, 12, approaches x264 preset medium, if I remember right, and the quality is still better than the latter.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, November 21, 2023 - link

    And preset 6, which is medium, is roughly similar to libaom's fastest, cpu-used 8.
  • FatFlatulentGit - Tuesday, November 21, 2023 - link

    A single AV1 encode is not going to saturate 64/128 cores. The advantage is being able to do multiple simultaneous encodes.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, November 23, 2023 - link

    Or splitting into scene-based chunks.
  • SanX - Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - link

    These new processors are just the BS and utter ripoff. Look at supercomputers which use very similar processors: You can find there a lot of different models and test them. What these tests show is that during simulations they almost always stay around base frequency which is for this article's 64-core 2.5GHz processor equivalent to 32-cores of standard consumer ~5 Ghz 7950x which costs ~$500. So you pay 10x money for just the 2x increase in performance. What is 2x increase in performance ? NOTHING! When you compare computers, remember, you compare not a salary, game fps or your weight loss :) stop thinking this way, in computers, and specifically in supercomputers it is 3-10x when things are really different. Typically if usual PC is really not enough for you then the next step you need is 10x or 100x more, or even 1000x. So these hell expensive toys have no economic sense for almost everyone. Just get supercomputer time if you need more than your PC gives you and stop wasting your money. By the way these processors made off $10 chiplets cost probably $100 to manufacture
  • Thunder 57 - Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - link

    You're all over the place. First of all a 7950X has 16 cores. Even if tweo of those could match a 64 core TR (it won't), you'd need all of the other parts associated with a second computer. You are also forgetting about PCIe and memory bandwidth.

    Then you say maybe $100 to manufacture. You know how much it costs to develop these chips? AN insane amount of money. You make it sound like AMD is selling a $100 widget for $5000 because they can. People will buy these for $1000's. If they didn't sell, AMD would have to lower prices. The market will determine what is "fair".

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