Who needs an 8-core processor

And the battle continues again. The multi-core war has not abated for many years. The planet’s population was divided into several camps. Some people believe in single-threaded computing, while others are adherents of multi-core processors. And this world will be helped only by those who dare to enter the path of justice and show the light to the warring parties. We find out what the subsistence minimum of cores is necessary for the average adult processor.

We continue to compare the performance of current components in everyday tasks. This time, let’s check who actually needs an eight-core processor. And also, is there a need to chase the maximum performance, the number of cores and threads, if you are not familiar with the concepts of “rendering” or “3D-modeling”.

Three from the casket
The eternal problem of the buyer is the selection of the optimal components for their assembly. Whether six good cores are enough for everyday comfortable work , or is it better to squeeze the will into a fist, scrape along the bottom of the barrel, sell the kolobok and run after the eight. And, if an experienced user presents all the characteristics in advance and what to expect from them in practice, then an inexperienced user can easily fall on the hook of a marketer.

Favorite bike on the net is that four cores of ten years ago are still “dragging”, and there can be no talk of new six or eight. So where is quantity useful, and where is quality?

You can and should answer this question even before buying. To do this, you need to decide: for what tasks is the computer going? What are the main problems the user poses to the PC: an office assistant , an Internet clicker, a YouTube viewer, a computer gamer or a serious machine for working with photos, videos, 3D graphics and mathematical calculations.

The rest for the user is done in the material below. You just need to relax while sipping juice in your chair. And we will show what modern four, six and eight cores are in practice.












Test configuration
The processor testing platform was selected as follows:

Asus Maximus VIII Hero (coffeemod);
Core i3 9350k – for the test of four cores;
Core i5 9600k – for the six-core test;
Core i7 9700k – for the test of eight cores;
Ballistix 16 GB with a frequency of 4000 and timings of 16-21-21-39 CR1;
Palit RTX 2070 Super GameRock Premium with a core frequency of 1950 at 0.950v, +800 to the memory frequency;
SSD Samsung ;
Monitor: Philips Moda 1920×1080 60Hz;
Keypad without wire ;
Mouse with a wire ;
Hands with fingers.
The processor frequency is fixed at 5 GHz to ensure that frequency hopping does not affect the accuracy of performance measurements. All limits are “released”, and the cores work together with the bus frequency of 4700 MHz.

The RAM is manually tuned and overclocked to 4000 MHz with manual timings: tCL 16; tRCD 21; tRAS 39; Command Rate 1. The tests were carried out simultaneously with the measurement of power consumption, which characterizes in more detail the behavior of the processors in operation.

Common software was selected for testing, the results of which can be easily replicated by the reader at home. Some programs do not have built-in performance testing tools, so these tasks were created manually using the necessary files for rendering and video encoding, as well as a stopwatch.

WinRAR is the simplest and most synthetic one:

This is a built-in test of the archiver, which can calculate the average processor performance in a file compression task.

If we compare the numbers of six and eight cores, then the difference in percentage will be 22.4%. The four cores are 44% behind. The power consumption of the processor in this program is unremarkable.

7Zip is a twin of synthetic:

MIPS performance refers to the number of instructions executed in one second during a test. In this case, it is still the same speed at which the compression is performed. The percentage difference between the two multi-cores was 28%, which is 6% different from the difference in the previous test.

Take the reference percentage difference between three processors, which is 25%. This number was obtained by solving a mathematical example:

8 = 100% – 6 = x

x = 8 * 100/6

x = 25% – remember the value, it will be needed in the future.

(in fact, there is a simpler option – 100/8 * 2 = 25, as you like)

The result in this test does not catch up with the reference 25%. These numbers help us determine the dependence of the program on the number of cores, and how it knows how to parallelize tasks. In this case, the lag is 3%.

CPU-Z – for statistics:

There is no difference in single threaded performance. The multithreading is expectedly different from the smallest to the largest.

Cinebench R20 – Overclocker’s Favorite Tool:

There are supporters of the theory that this software is “sharpened” for the processors of the blue team. However, we will not disdain and compare the numbers. With only a small addition – we will arm ourselves with a stopwatch and compare not only the dry numbers given by the program, but the amount of time required to execute the benchmark. After all, in fact, this is a programmed rendering segment that can be repeated in real conditions.

So, the difference between the eight-core and six-core processors was 24 seconds. Between 4 and 8 the difference is almost a minute.

Corona Benchmark – drawing military equipment:

Again, the difference between eight and six cores is greater than between four and six. Thanks to the multitasking optimization.

Moreover, the ratio of performance per watt of energy for an eight-thread processor is higher. About 15 watts per core for an eight-core, almost 17 watts for a six-core and as much as 19 watts for a four. A big difference!

Blender – rendering a real project:

For the test, a demo scene from The Junk Shop from the gallery of the program’s official website was used.

And again the multithread goes forward, and the four weaves behind. This is not surprising, although the difference between the two upper samples has a smaller coefficient than between the two lower ones. And again the miracles of optimization.

Handbrake – converting 4k to 1080p:

Why do we need a bunch of cores? To mix movies from 4k to 1080p.

All three copies coped with the task. Faster than all eight cores, you can not argue with that. Although, for some, waiting for six cores is also not a disaster.

HEVC – new processors, new codecs:

To a modern processor without working with modern compression.

Surprisingly, six cores practically catch up with eight with a difference of just over 8 seconds, but four threads are 12.7 seconds behind them! Optimization!

3DMark – how can it be without games:

In the popular gaming benchmark harvester, a processor / video card combination is tested. The graphics part of the picture is calculated on the video card, and the physics on the processor. That is, the processor is responsible for the movement of particles, their behavior. For example, dust particles in the air, snowflakes or some lighting effects.

So, the highest frame rate of particle processing was obtained for eight streams. And the energy consumed per core turned out to be less than that of its younger counterparts. Interesting.