CPU Performance, Short Form

For our motherboard reviews, we use our short form testing method. These tests usually focus on if a motherboard is using MultiCore Turbo (the feature used to have maximum turbo on at all times, giving a frequency advantage), or if there are slight gains to be had from tweaking the firmware. We put the memory settings at the CPU manufacturers suggested frequency, making it very easy to see which motherboards have MCT enabled by default.

Rendering - Blender 2.7b: 3D Creation Suite - link

A high profile rendering tool, Blender is open-source allowing for massive amounts of configurability, and is used by a number of high-profile animation studios worldwide. The organization recently released a Blender benchmark package, a couple of weeks after we had narrowed our Blender test for our new suite, however their test can take over an hour. For our results, we run one of the sub-tests in that suite through the command line - a standard ‘bmw27’ scene in CPU only mode, and measure the time to complete the render.

Rendering: Blender 2.79b

Rendering – POV-Ray 3.7.1: Ray Tracing - link

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a freeware package for as the name suggests, ray tracing. It is a pure renderer, rather than modeling software, but the latest beta version contains a handy benchmark for stressing all processing threads on a platform. We have been using this test in motherboard reviews to test memory stability at various CPU speeds to good effect – if it passes the test, the IMC in the CPU is stable for a given CPU speed. As a CPU test, it runs for approximately 1-2 minutes on high-end platforms.

Rendering: POV-Ray 3.7.1 Benchmark

Compression – WinRAR 5.60b3: link

Our WinRAR test from 2013 is updated to the latest version of WinRAR at the start of 2014. We compress a set of 2867 files across 320 folders totaling 1.52 GB in size – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are small 30-second 720p videos.

Encoding: WinRAR 5.60b3

Synthetic – 7-Zip v1805: link

Out of our compression/decompression tool tests, 7-zip is the most requested and comes with a built-in benchmark. For our test suite, we’ve pulled the latest version of the software and we run the benchmark from the command line, reporting the compression, decompression, and a combined score.

It is noted in this benchmark that the latest multi-die processors have very bi-modal performance between compression and decompression, performing well in one and badly in the other. There are also discussions around how the Windows Scheduler is implementing every thread. As we get more results, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Encoding: 7-Zip 1805 Combined

Neuron Simulation - DigiCortex v1.20: link

The newest benchmark in our suite is DigiCortex, a simulation of biologically plausible neural network circuits, and simulates activity of neurons and synapses. DigiCortex relies heavily on a mix of DRAM speed and computational throughput, indicating that systems which apply memory profiles properly should benefit and those that play fast and loose with overclocking settings might get some extra speed up. Results are taken during the steady-state period in a 32k neuron simulation and represented as a function of the ability to simulate in real time (1.000x equals real-time).

System: DigiCortex 1.20 (32k Neuron, 1.8B Synapse)


Test Bed Setup and Thermal Performance Gaming Performance
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  • tamalero - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    You're using the 3,000 RPM ones?
    Have you tried the 2000 ones?
  • FatBoyDiesel - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I got two EK Vardar Ferocity fans instead of Corsair's LL120 or ML120 fans for $43.98. The Corsair fans were $40-$45 each with roughly half (or less) the static pressure. The choice was obvious to me.
  • FatBoyDiesel - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I meant Furious, not Ferocity. Autocorrect fail.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I paid $18 each for the 6 Phanteks 140mm x 25mm PH-F140XP-BK fans in my current build 5 years ago. Compared to the $10 each I'd previously paid for a batch of 120mm Yate Loon fans, even that felt steep. $40+ per fan is insane; thankfully unlike most performance parts fans are also used in large numbers by 'boring' system builders so getting models without paying a surcharge for frag harder disco blights should still be possible when I build my next system.

    From an increase in overall noise I think one of the fans started to go bad a few months ago (and from a reduction in the amount of dust on the corresponding filter I think I know which one); the other 5 are still going strong. The increase in fan noise hasn't gotten high enough for me to confirm my suspicions by selectively disconnecting fans to see if the noise goes down.
  • 12345 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    These radiators don't require that much static pressure. They're only 16fpi and the fins aren't louvered.
  • eek2121 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Corsair charges a lot for their fans, however, they also have some of the best performing fans on the market.
  • sarafino - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Noctua fans easily outperform Corsair's fan lineup.
  • Daveteauk - Sunday, February 9, 2020 - link

    You're obviously a Corsair fanboy as that is completely untrue!
  • satai - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I would like to see a comparison (both performance and noise) to a high end air cooler.
  • brontes - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Odd that the pics show 240+360 rads and he only uses the 240. General rule of thumb is 240/280 per cooled component.

    As for noise, I'm running 360x2 "thin" rads (28mm?, hwl gts, corsair's oem) and good fans (a12s, notably not corsair.) Full/artificial load on an oc 3950x and a 1080ti is somewhere between actual silence and a very subtle woosh, depending on how far below spec/stock the component temps are kept. So as far as noise goes, if that's your concern and what you build around, you can safely assume it will be imperceptible/effectively silent 100% of the time, with heavy ocs, with a larger case and 360x3 or 420x2 rads (and expensive fans.)

    Air is great for cpus, especially for relatively lower wattage 7nm amd stuff, if you don't mind minor spinup/spindown from brief temp spikes.

    But there is absolutely no comparison with putting the gpu under water. You simply can't move 300W of heat quietly even with a fancy axial fan 2.5 slot hsf. I'm not sure that I could ever go back to the obnoxious noise of an air cooled gpu.

    A single 280(?!) rad setup, as in this article, is relatively pointless and likely sounds about the same as system on full air. Which is a little disappointing and even a bit unfair in a corsair showcase, as they're rebadging the literal best components in hwl rads and the d5 pump.

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