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The impact of AMD Ryzen and SMT cores number on games and applications

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The impact of AMD Ryzen and SMT cores number on games and applications

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The popular French resource Hardware.fr conducted its own  study of the influence of the number of cores in AMD Ryzen processors and multithreading support on modern applications and popular games.  From this point of view, Ryzen processors are very convenient.  Support for SMT can be deactivated, and for the difference in the cores the clock speed of the corresponding Ryzen models is practically unaffected.  Thus, the frequencies of the 6-core model R5 1600X and 8-core R7 1800X are exactly the same and equal to 3.6 / 3.7 GHz.  So theoretically the difference in performance of these models will approach to 33% and only due to the difference in the number of cores / threads.  The Ryzen 5 1500X with 4 cores has a higher frequency at 100 MHz, which gives it a theoretical superiority of 2.8% compared to the frequencies of the 6- and 8-core models, while the "core" superiority between the Ryzen 5 1500X and the R5 1600X achieves 50%.

The source took for 100% the performance of the 4-nuclear model Ryzen 5 1500X.  How much the performance of the system has changed with the increase in the number of cores to 6 and 8 pieces, we look below on the graph.

Professional applications, which obviously massively responded to the increase in the number of cores, and the difference in the speed of work of the 4-core system and 6-core did approach 50%.  Particularly well on the growth of the number of nuclei reacted Stockfish, Komodo and codec x264.  Three applications, however, behaved differently.  The programs 7-Zip and WinRAR showed a somewhat worse scalability, but for this it is necessary to blame the shortcomings in the operation of the AMD Ryzen platform memory system.  A bad result was obtained at the launch of Lightroom, which can be explained by the fact that the software does not yet know how to work with the new AMD processors.  On average, the transition from the 1500X model to the 1600X gave 44% performance gain, and the transition from 1600X to 1800X added 26.8%.  In both cases, the approximation to the theoretical limit is noticeable.

How the change in the number of cores affects games, look at another graph (above).  Unlike applications, as you can see, games are less optimized for working on multi-core platforms.  But the effect of nuclear growth is still there.  Best of all, the Warhammer game (with patch 1.6.0, which correctly recognizes SMT) responded to the increase in cores.  At the transition from 4 cores to 6, the speed increase was 26.9%.  But the transition from 6 cores to 8 gave a modest increase of 3.4%.  Another game, eagerly responding to the core, was Battlefield 1. The worst thing was the increase in the number of cores reacted to the game Project Cars.  On average, the transition from 1500X to 1600X showed an increase in performance in games by 12.7%.  The transition from 6 cores to 8 increased the speed in games by only 2.6%.

Now about the effect of multithreading (SMT) on applications.  Disabling of SMT technology is accepted for 100%.  This is also interesting for the reason that Intel Core i5 models do not support HyperThreading.

Looking at the graph immediately strikes the point that with SMT processors with fewer cores work better.  After activation of SMT, individual applications show growth of up to 40% and 47% (Komodo and Visual Studio).  The x264 codec responded smoothly to the SMT disconnection / inclusion, and the x265 codec showed a bias towards a smaller number of cores.  The Lightroom editor again excelled - went into negative after the activation of multithreading, which indicates the lack of support for the package of this technology.

Finally, about the impact of SMT on games.  For quad-core systems, activation of SMT has proved to be the best.  Performance has increased by about 20% in games Witcher 3, Civilization VI and F1 2016. For 6-core and 8-core processors, it's worse.  The lack of optimization for AMD processors is indicated by the fact that the inclusion of SMT in a number of games led to a decrease in performance.  On average, the performance for six-core processors increased by 4.6%, and for eight-core processors it decreased by 1.4%.  In other words, AMD's 6- and 8-core AMD Ryzen processors can not yet be considered the optimal choice for games.

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