CPUs From 2004 Against AMD's New 64-Core Threadripper 3990X + Tests Against FX-9590
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 8 February 2020 at 08:10 AM EST. 63 Comments
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With having the initial AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Linux benchmarks out of the way, I did some fun Friday night benchmarking with this 64-core HEDT CPU... Seeing how the 3990X performance compares to some CPUs used when starting out Phoronix back in 2004 as well as also for fun seeing how the Threadripper 3990X compares to the notorious AMD FX-9590.

The CPUs tested for comparison to what was trending when starting out Phoronix in 2004 were an Intel Pentium 4 2.80GHz processor, a 2.8GHz processor with Hyper Threading for offering up two threads. Then on the low-end a single-core with no HT Intel Celeron 2.4GHz processor. Both of those CPUs were running on the legendary Abit IC7-MAX3 with 1GB of dual channel memory, 160GB Seagate HDD, and ECS Radeon 9200 graphics card. That's the oldest historical data I still have from when Phoronix started out and in a manner via the Phoronix Test Suite testing and version-locked test profiles where I can still carry out the test in a repeatable and standardized manner.

So solely for some Friday night benchmarking fun in between other more serious Threadripper 3990X benchmarks, here is how these extremes compare:

With the Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU from ~2003 it took 347 seconds to run the C-Ray multi-threaded ray-tracing benchmark or 520 seconds for the Intel Celeron that is approaching two decades old. But the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X can run the same exact test in the same configuration in just over one second.

Even on the single-threaded test front, there's a significant evolution from 2004 era hardware to 2020. The single-threaded FLAC audio encoding test on the old hardware took 45~53 seconds while the Threadripper 3990X could run the same exact test in 4.5 seconds.

That was fun, but for running some other tests a bit more relevant, I pulled up some historical OpenBenchmarking.org data from the AMD FX-9590 for comparing the Threadripper 3990X to that. The AMD FX-9590 as a reminder is the eight-core processor with 4.7GHz base frequency but could boost up to 5.0GHz and was known for running hot with its 220 Watt TDP. While such a TDP is no longer unheard of these days, the performance in going from an AMD FX-9590 to Threadripper 3990X is astounding.

This very parallel benchmark saw the Threadripper 3990X running 21x faster than the FX-9590 that was once at the top-end of AMD's portfolio about six years ago.

Code compilation with the Linux kernel is about four times faster due to I/O and other factors at play.

The C-Ray test is another multi-threaded case with about a 21x difference.

Or even for single-threaded MP3 encoding, the Threadripper 3990X with its Zen 2 CPU cores took half the time or so as the pre-Ryzen FX-9590.

Anyhow, hopefully you enjoyed these numbers for some casual weekend pondering, but back onto more interesting AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X benchmarking under Linux, BSDs, and Windows.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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