Articles: CPU

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Application Tests

In Autodesk 3ds max 2015 we benchmark the speed of mental ray rendering of a 1920x1080 still from the Space Flyby scene of the SPEC benchmarking suite.

We benchmark performance in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 using our custom test that is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

The test scenario for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.6 is about post-processing of two hundred 12-megapixel RAW images captured with a Nikon D300 and exporting them into JPEG files (1920x1080 with maximum quality).

The performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 is measured as the time it takes to render a Blu-ray H.264 project with HDV 1080p25 video and apply special effects to it.

The processors’ performance in cryptographic tasks is measured with the built-in benchmark of the popular TrueCrypt utility that uses triple AES-Twofish-Serpent encryption. Besides optimizations for multi-core CPUs, it supports the AES instructions.

To test the processors’ performance at data archiving we launch WinRAR 5.0. Using maximum compression rate, we archive a 1.7GB folder with multiple files.

In order to measure how fast the tested CPUs can transcode video into H.264 format we used x264 FHD Benchmark 1.0.1 (64 bit). It measures the time it takes the x264 coder to convert an MPEG-4/AVC video recorded in 1920x1080@50fps resolution with default settings. The results have high practical value because the x264 codec is part of popular transcoding utilities such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc. We regularly update the coder used in this performance test. This time around, we use version r2453, which supports all contemporary instruction sets including AVX2.

We’ve also added the new x265 coder to our list of tests. It is designed to transcode video into the H.265/HEVC format which improves on H.264 and features more efficient compression algorithms. We convert an original 1080p@50fps Y4M video file into the H.265 format using the medium profile. The coder is version 1.3.

It is in resource-consuming applications for working with large amounts of data, images or video that we can see the true power of the new 8-core i7-5960X as it beats its predecessors by 20% to 40%. That's the benefits we wanted to see with each recent CPU generation, yet the microarchitecture improvements could only ensure a performance increase of just a few percent. The new $1000 chip is different. It combines a new microarchitecture with additional x86 cores, which indeed produce an astounding effect in a number of heavy professional applications. The only problem is that the extra cores are not utilized by all programs, so you may wind up having no performance benefits at all.

Anyway, the Core i7-5960X seems to be worth the investment for people who use their desktop PCs as workstations. It is not only a good replacement for Ivy Bridge-E configurations but also faster than the senior LGA1150 processor of the Devil's Canyon series.

The 6-core Haswell-E products offer high performance, too. The midrange Core i7-5930K model is comparable to the Core i7-4960X whereas the junior Core i7-5820K is as fast as the Core i7-4930K. Thus, the new 6-core CPUs are one step higher on the performance ladder compared to the year-old offers for the LGA2011 platform.

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