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RealityCapture Performance: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen

Written on May 20, 2020 by William George
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TL;DR: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen for RealityCapture

Intel's new 10th Gen Core processors, in particular the top-end Core i9 10900K, are as fast or faster per dollar than AMD's Ryzen 3rd Gen chips in RealityCapture. That isn't saying a lot, though, as there isn't a big performance difference between most of the CPUs we have tested in this application - with $400 Core and $4,000 Threadripper chips less than 10% apart in processing time.

Introduction

Intel has just launched its next generation of consumer desktop processor: the 10th Gen Intel Core family. Historically, this product line from Intel has offered fantastic clock speeds with moderate core counts, but recently Intel has been steadily increasing the number of cores included in these CPUs. There are quite a number of chips launching today, but to gauge what potential this series have we are going to look at the very top-end Core i9 10900K, Core i7 10700K, and Core i5 10600K models.

RealityCapture Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen

For this article, we are looking at how the new Intel 10th Gen Core processors compare to other currently-available models and the preceding 9th-gen Core series. The focus is on photogrammetry processing in RealityCapture, for which we have developed internal benchmarks here in our lab. More info about those tools and how we use them are available in the Test Methodology section.

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

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:

Intel 10th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10900K ($488)
Intel Core i7 10700K ($374)
Intel Core i5 10600K ($262)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z490 Vision D
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
(Set to 2666MHz for 10600K testing)
AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X ($329)
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 ($488)
Intel Core i7 9700K ($374)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3990X ($3,990)
AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI
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 PC Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1909)
RealityCapture 1.0.3.10403
Puget Systems RealityCapture Benchmark

A Note about Power Limits

One thing that our product development team found in their testing, prior to this round of benchmarks in our lab, was that the pre-launch motherboards we received from Gigabyte (and some other manufacturers) were not defaulting to Intel's specified power limits in the BIOS settings. This is something we've seen in past launches as well, but now that Intel is being more aggressive about adding cores and pushing clock speeds higher we are seeing much higher power draw (and therefore temperatures) than we expect from a processor rated at 125W. In this generation, it has gotten to the point that temps can spike quickly - often getting as high as 100C in a matter of seconds under heavy loads. Because of this, we decided to manually set the PL1 and PL2 power limits in the BIOS. Following Intel's specifications, we used a value of 125W for the PL1 (long term) setting on all three Intel 10th Gen Core CPUs we tested, along with the following PL2 (short term) limits:

Core i9 10900K: 250W
Core i7 10700K: 229W
Core i5 10600K: 182W

Setting these power limits ensures that our Noctua NH-U12S is more than enough to keep these CPUs properly cooled and lines up with our philosophy about prioritizing stability and reliability over raw performance in our workstations. Please note, however, that not all reviewers share this perspective - and some may not even be aware of the issues at all! If you see variances between our benchmark results and those on other websites, different BIOS settings and default behaviors may well be the reason.

Test Methodology

For benchmarking photogrammetry applications we now have four image sets that we own the rights to, covering both smaller and larger size Model and Map projects. All of these image sets are available in our public RealityCapture benchmarks, split up to allow quick or extended tests, which you can download and run if you want to compare your system's performance to what we measured for this article.

  • 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

There are a lot of processors in this round-up, so we are color-coding the results to make them easier to sift through:

  • Light blue with glow = New 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs
  • Light blue = Previous-generation Intel consumer CPUs (9th Gen Core)
  • Dark blue = Intel HEDT CPUs (Core X 10th Gen)
  • Light red = AMD consumer CPUs (Ryzen 3rd Gen)
  • Dark red = AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 3rd Gen)

For those who want to dig into the weeds of how these CPUs performed in different processing steps, here is a full table of the results:

RealityCapture 1.0.3.10403 Processor Performance Table

Click to enlarge

Analysis & Conclusion

Performance in RealityCapture appears to be a very mixed bag, without a clear "best" processor like many other applications have. This is due to at least two factors:

  1. Processing of different project types (maps vs models) behave somewhat differently
  2. There is not a very widespread of calculation time across the whole spectrum of CPUs we tested; we measured only 20-25% difference between the fastest and slowest CPUs in each image set

It is apparent that the new Intel Core 10th Gen processors outperform the models they are replacing, which is to be expected, and at their price points, they seem to do better than AMD's Ryzen models - at least when working with the small to mid-size image sets.

What is the biggest takeaway here? Avoid the lower-end models (Ryzen 7 / Core i5) if possible, and skip right over Intel's Core X line.

Is the Intel Core 10th Gen or AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen better in RealityCapture?

Intel's new 10th Gen Core processors, in particular the top-end Core i9 10900K, are as fast or faster per dollar than AMD's Ryzen 3rd Gen chips in RealityCapture. Don't focus on that limited comparison too much, though, as there isn't a lot of performance difference between most of the CPUs we have tested in this application - with $400 and $4,000 chips less than 10% apart in processing time.

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, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel 10th Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, photogrammetry, RealityCapture