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Our testing methods
For each of our benchmarks, we ran each test at least three times, and we've reported the median result. Our test systems were configured like so:

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Motherboard
Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5
Chipset AMD X370 (Promontory)
Memory size 16 GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3866 (rated) SDRAM
Memory speed 2933 MT/s
Memory timings 13-13-13-33 1T

 

Processor AMD FX-8370 Intel Core i7-2600K Intel Core i7-3770K
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Chipset 990FX + SB950 Z77 Express
Memory size 16 GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair Vengeance Pro Series DDR3 SDRAM
Memory speed 1866 MT/s
Memory timings 9-10-9-27 1T

 

Processor Intel Core i7-4790K Intel Core i7-6700K Intel Core i7-7700K Intel Core i7-6950X Intel Core i7-5960X
Motherboard Asus Z97-A/USB 3.1 Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming Gigabyte GA-X99-Designare EX
Chipset Z97 Express Z270 X99
Memory size 16 GB (2 DIMMs) 16 GB (2 DIMMs) 64GB (4 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair Vengeance Pro Series
DDR3 SDRAM
G.Skill Trident Z
DDR4 SDRAM
G.Skill Trident Z
DDR4 SDRAM
Memory speed 1866 MT/s 3866 MT/s 3200 MT/s 2400 MT/s
Memory timings 9-10-9-27 1T 18-19-19-39 1T 16-18-18-38 1T 15-15-15-35 1T

They all shared the following common elements:

Storage 2x Kingston HyperX 480GB SSDs
Discrete graphics Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming
Graphics driver version GeForce 376.33
OS Windows 10 Pro
Power supply Corsair RM850x

Thanks to Corsair, Kingston, Asus, Gigabyte, Cooler Master, Intel, G.Skill, and AMD for helping us to outfit our test rigs with some of the finest hardware available.

Some further notes on our testing methods:

  • The test systems' Windows desktops were set at a resolution of 1920x1080 in 32-bit color. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled in the graphics driver control panel.

  • After consulting with our readers, we've decided to enable Windows' "Balanced" power profile for the bulk of our desktop processor tests, which means power-saving features like SpeedStep and Cool'n'Quiet are operating. (In the past, we only enabled these features for power consumption testing.) Our spot checks demonstrated to us that, typically, there's no performance penalty for enabling these features on today's CPUs. If there is a real-world penalty to enabling these features, well, we think that's worthy of inclusion in our measurements, since the vast majority of desktop processors these days will spend their lives with these features enabled.

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.