Compiling code in GCC
Our resident developer, Bruno Ferreira, helped put together this code compiling test. Qtbench tests the time required to compile the QT SDK using the GCC compiler. The number of jobs dispatched by the Qtbench script is configurable, and we set the number of threads to match the hardware thread count for each CPU.
Here's a compelling start for Ryzen in our non-gaming tests. The R7 1700 goes blow-for-blow with the i7-7700K, and the R7 1700X only slightly tails the Core i7-5960X. The R7 1800X almost catches the Core i7-6950X. If Zen's floating-point performance leaves a bit to be desired, the integer side of the core can be a beast when it's churning away at full tilt.
These three benchmarks are about as single-threaded as it gets, so they're an excellent indication of how Ryzen CPUs perform in lightly-threaded workloads. Pay close attention to these numbers if you're curious about the IPC increases that AMD achieved with the Zen architecture.
There's a bit of variance in how these tests shake out, but they all paint largely the same picture. At 4 GHz or so, the Zen architecture lands somewhere between Broadwell and Haswell in single-threaded throughput. As clock speeds start to decrease, however, the picture grows less rosy. The Ryzen 7 1700X isn't much faster in this lightly-threaded workload than the Core i7-3770K at times, while the Ryzen 7 1700 can fall behind even the Core i7-2600K. Those measures have a direct correlation with how "snappy" a machine feels in common tasks, and the lower-end Ryzen 7 chips arguably won't feel much faster than Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge desktops running around the same clock speed. Trust us, though: if you're upgrading from an FX-series processor to Ryzen, you'll immediately notice that common tasks like web browsing are much snappier.
In this common desktop workload, Zen exhibits a rather large performance delta between its compression performance and decompression performance. Considering that I probably unzip 50 zip archives for every one I compress, that's probably not a bad tradeoff to make. Zen is only bested by Intel's high-end desktop chips in compression, and it puts the Core i7-5960X to shame when unpacking archives.
TrueCrypt disk encryption
Although the TrueCrypt project has fallen on hard times, its built-in benchmarking utility remains handy for a quick test of these chips' accelerated and non-accelerated performance when we ask them to encrypt data. The AES test should take advantage of hardware acceleration on the chips that support Intel's AES-NI instructions, while the Twofish test relies on good old unaccelerated number-crunching prowess.
All of these chips support AES acceleration in hardware, so their performance scales roughly with the number of cores, threads, and Hertz on offer. The story is much the same in Twofish rates. This is another test where Ryzen excels.
Scientific computing with STARS Euler3D
Euler3D tackles the difficult problem of simulating fluid dynamics. It tends to be very memory-bandwidth intensive. You can read more about it right here.
For this set of chips, Euler3D seems to tell two different stories. For chips with lots of memory bandwidth but few threads (like the Core i7-7700K), the execution resources the chip has to offer are the bottleneck. For big, wide machines like Ryzen, memory bandwidth seems to be the bottleneck. Both the Core i7-5960X and the Core i7-6950X deliver tremendous performance in Euler3D thanks to their potent combination of many execution resources and bountiful memory bandwidth. Makes one wonder what Ryzen could do with an extra two memory channels.