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RealityCapture CPU Performance: Intel Core X-10000 vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen

Written on November 25, 2019 by William George
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Introduction

For years, choosing between Intel and AMD processors has been relatively straight forward. Intel held a strong lead in per-core performance, and combined with a moderate number of cores that gave their processors an edge in lightly to moderately threaded applications. AMD excelled in pure core count, making them great for heavily threaded workloads, but with lower per-core performance and architectural design limitations that led to poor results in some situations. This changed quite a bit on the consumer side when AMD launched their 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs, but still held true when it came to the HEDT (High End Desktop) processors from both brands.

Now, both Intel and AMD are launching new HEDT processors that have the potential to shake things up dramatically!

On Intel's side, the new Core X-10000 series processors are only slightly faster than the previous generation - but Intel has cut their prices nearly in half. For example, while the MSRP of the Core i9 9980XE was $1,979 the new Core i9 10980XE is just $979.

On AMD's side, the new Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs are actually a little more expensive than earlier models (by $100-200) but their raw performance is expected to be quite a bit better. The gains are not in core count, though, but rather in clock speed, performance per core, and architectural improvements which eliminate some bottlenecks that the first and second generation Threadripper CPUs had.

Intel Core X-1000 series vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen in RealityCapture

For this article we are taking a look at how these new processors compare against each other, the previous generation they are replacing, and their mainstream desktop counterparts. The focus is on photogrammetry processing in RealityCapture, using a benchmark tool we developed here at Puget Systems. More info about this utility is available in the Benchmark Details.

If you would prefer to skip over our test setup and benchmark sections, feel free to jump straight to the Conclusion.

Looking for a RealityCapture Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor-made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide the most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

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Test Hardware

Here are the specifications of the different platforms we used for our testing:

AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel 9th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9900K ($499)
Intel Core i7 9700K ($385)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 2nd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 2990WX - DLM on ($1,799)
AMD TR 2970WX - DLM on ($1,299)
AMD TR 2950X ($899)
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
Motherboard Gigabyte X399 AORUS Xtreme
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-9000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9980XE ($1,979)
Intel Core i9 9960X ($1,684)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9940X ($1,387)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9920X ($1,189)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9900X ($989)​​​​​​​
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Xtreme
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-10000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
Intel Core i9 10940X ($784)
Intel Core i9 10920X ($689)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 10900X ($590)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Shared Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1903)
RealityCapture 1.0.3.9898
Puget Systems RealityCapture Benchmark

A quick note about memory specifications: the latest CPUs from AMD and Intel support varying speeds of RAM depending on how many modules are installed. In past articles we've sometimes tested at multiple speeds, but to help keep things more uniform going forward we are standardizing on the speed that each processor / platform supports when all memory slots are used (even if we aren't filling them completely for our testing). Along with using the same total RAM capacity, that should help to keep results fair and consistent.

Benchmark Details

For testing photogrammetry applications, we have four image sets that we own the rights to - covering both smaller and larger size model and map projects. The smaller image sets are included in our public RealityCapture benchmark, which you can download and run if you want to compare your system's performance to what we measured in our testing.

  • Rock Model - 45 photos at 20 megapixels each
  • School Map - 51 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • School Model - 278 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • Park Map - 758 photos at 18 megapixels each

Benchmark Results

A lot is going on in the chart below, so before getting into it here is a reference key for the color scheme:

  • Light blue = Intel consumer CPUs (9th Gen Core series)
  • Dark blue = Intel HEDT CPUs (X-9000 series)
  • Dark blue with glow - NEW Intel HEDT CPUs (X-10000 series)
  • Light red = AMD consumer CPUs (Ryzen 3rd Gen)
  • Dark red = AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 2nd Gen)
  • Dark red with glow - NEW AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 3rd Gen)

Analysis

From the charts above, it looks like Intel has improved performance slightly with the new Core X series compared to the previous generation. Combined with the massive price reductions on this line, that represents a solid increase in value.

However, AMD's Threadrippers - while actually slightly more expensive than their predecessors - saw a substantial boost in processing speed. They finish projects in RealityCapture in 30-40% less time than the older models, which also makes them the best overall performing CPUs among all those we tested for this article. Interestingly, however, there was very little difference between the 3960X and 3970X in this application (1-5%).

Is Intel X Series or AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs better for RealityCapture?

AMD's Threadripper 3rd Gen processors are 10-20% faster than Intel's Core X series in RealityCapture. While the offer the best absolute performance, though, AMD's more mainstream Ryzen 9 3950X is an even better value for many users. It costs hundreds of dollars less, while performing only 2 to 5% slower than the current top-end Threadripper 3970X.

Looking for a Photogrammetry Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor-made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide the most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

Configure a System!

Tags: Intel 9th Gen, Intel X-series, Intel vs AMD, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, AMD Threadripper 2nd Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, Threadripper, CPU, RealityCapture, photogrammetry
João Marques

No Agisoft test this time?

Posted on 2019-11-25 16:12:27

Its still coming, should be up later today. But spoiler alert (and part of the reason it wasn't as high of a priority for launch time this morning): Metashape doesn't do well on high core count CPUs. Or... I'm not certain it is the core count... but something about Threadripper and Core X makes it perform far worse on them than on mainstream (Core and Ryzen) chips :/

Posted on 2019-11-25 18:05:25
João Marques

Oh thats wierd.

So maybe the max core for agisoft is 16/32!

One more question, is it possible to share the dataset ''Park Map - 758 photos at 18 megapixels each''?

Or is just for internal benchmarks?

I'm planning upgrade my 6800k, but still not sure what to choose if 3900x or 3950x.

(i work 100% only with agisoft)

Thank you,
JM

Posted on 2019-11-25 18:14:14
Andrzej Poznanski

Sir, you are doing one heck of a job with all these tests and performance comparisons, thank you! I guess there is one last unknown not tackled in your RC tests - influence of 2/4/8 RAM sticks and higher RAM speeds. I guess it would be best to test this with larger projects, with 'High Detail' reconstruction on dual GPU and fast NVME/M.2, to really make sure there is a lot of data to move around. Fingers crossed you can find time for that!

Posted on 2019-11-26 10:05:35

Thank you for your kind words :)

Higher RAM speed tests are probably outside of our scope, though, since we focus on testing what we could actually sell in our workstations - and to ensure the best reliability we need to stick as closely as possible to manufacturer's officially supported memory speeds. Likewise, I don't think we would ever intentionally sell a system without all the memory channels being populated... so testing just 2 sticks (at least on Threadripper or Core X) wouldn't make any sense, since it would be handicapping the quad-channel memory controller. I did do some testing with different amounts of memory, though, which you might find interesting: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2019-11-26 17:49:39