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TL;DR: AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series performance in Unreal Engine
For Unreal Engine development tasks, the core count is king. With the AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series, AMD managed to further that lead by 12-15% across all Unreal Engine tasks, including compiling source code, build lighting, and compiling shaders. For users looking for the absolute fastest compile times, AMD’s Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series is the best option.
Over the past few years, the demand for Unreal Engine systems has skyrocketed. Not just driven by tremendous growth in the video game industry, but a wide variety of industries have begun implementing real-time engines into their workflow. This is especially true for the film and television industry, and their pivot to Virtual Production. Many of the biggest performance hurdles faced by Unreal Engine users are improved with high core count CPUs. This is especially true if you are compiling the game engine source code, or compiling shaders while your cast and crew waiting on set. Most of these users have turned to AMD’s Threadripper and Threadripper PRO lines of CPUs. So when AMD announced a new line, the Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series, users were excited to see how much faster they would be, while offering the same high core count.
In this article, we will be using our custom Unreal Engine Benchmark, as well as compiling the engine source code in Visual Studio, to examine the performance of the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 CPUs and compare them to the previous generation of Threadripper Pro, as well as Intel’s Xeon line. If you want to read about what sets Threadripper PRO apart in more detail, we recommend checking out our landing page for Threadripper PRO. If you want to see results from other applications or learn more about our test setup, check out the Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series summary.
Benchmark Results: Code Compile
Compiling code in Visual Studio can really favor CPUs with a large number of cores. This is pretty evident in these results. The more cores and threads a CPU has, the faster it performs. Generally a concern for the Game Developer side of Unreal Engine, but occasionally used by those in the higher ends of Virtual Production to make custom builds of the editor.
On the top end, the Threadripper PRO 5995X compiled the code a little more than 9% faster than the Threadripper PRO 3995WX. In general, Visual Studio seems to be less influenced by the upgrades in these new CPUs than we see in other applications, but even still, 9% is a welcome improvement. Also, Intel offers no real competition here as the Xeon W-3000 series tops out at 38 cores.
Moving down the stack, the new 32-core Threadripper PRO 5975WX is also 9% faster than the previous Threadripper PRO 3975WX. Intel also offers a 32-core with the Xeon W-3365. However, the Threadripper PRO 5975WX is nearly 30% faster than the Intel with the same number of cores.
The new 24-core Threadripper PRO 5965WX does not have a direct comparison with the previous Threadripper PRO 3000WX Series, but we can compare it to Intel’s 24-core Xeon W-3345. The Threadripper is roughly 22% faster than the Intel offering. AMD is really able to squeeze a lot of performance out of these cores.
Benchmark Results: Build Lighting
Baked lighting is somewhat overshadowed by Ray Tracing, but it is still used extensively in games (games still need to support users that do not have hardware ray tracing) and in Virtual Production. While VP users come to Unreal for the real-time features, many turn to baked lighting as a way to drastically improve frame rates in scenes that do not need dynamic lighting. When trying to drive a large LED wall with the equivalent of a 16K resolution with 10bit color space and HDR, every little bit of performance is useful.
The 64-core Threadripper PRO 5995WX is 12% faster at building the test scenes lighting than the existing Threadripper PRO 3995WX. This is a modest improvement, but a bit faster than the Visual Studio code compile test.
Looking at the 32-core CPUs, the Threadripper PRO 5975WX pulls out a 16% improvement over the Threadripper PRO 3975WX. Compared to the Intel Xeon W-3365, the new Threadripper is 34% faster than the Intel with the same core count.
The 24-core Threadripper PRO 5965WX scores a 28% lead over Intel’s 24-core Xeon W-3345. It is worth noting that the 24-core Threadripper PRO 5965WX is even 5% faster than the 32-core Xeon W-3365 at building lighting.
Benchmark Results: Compile Shaders
Compiling shaders is something that every Unreal Engine user experiences fairly often. The more complex your project gets, the more shaders there are, meaning you spend more time waiting for them to compile. If the project is shared among multiple users or systems, then you either need to rebuild shaders after every transfer or also transfer the project’s DDC (Derived Data Cache) which can be 10s of GB and is not a good option for remote workers.
The Threadripper PRO 5995WX is able to compile the test project’s shaders 13% faster. This is the best improvement this CPU has seen in Unreal Engine and is close to what we saw in other applications such as Cinema 4D.
On the 32-core front, the Threadripper PRO 5975WX is only 11% faster than Threadripper PRO 3975WX. This isn’t the strongest showing, but it is still 35% faster than the Intel Xeon W-3365 with the same number of cores.
Moving to the lower end, the 24-core Threadripper PRO 5965WX is 33% faster than the Intel Xeon W-3345, and 30% faster than the 32-core Xeon W-3365. The upper-end Xeon’s did not perform well in this test in the first place, but combined with AMD’s improved IPC and boost clocks there really isn’t a competition between AMD and Intel.
Overall, the 64-Core AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX showed decent gains of 12.4% over the Threadripper PRO 3995WX. This is slightly held back due to only a 9% increase in Visual Studio’s code compile, while the results from within Unreal, such as compiling shaders and build lighting, were a bit higher.
The 32-core 5975WX faired slightly better with an overall improvement of 14.3%. This was greatly helped by a 16% improvement in Build Lighting speeds. Compared to the Intel 32-Core Xeon W-3365, the new CPU from AMD scores over 40% higher.
There is no direct comparison for the 24-core Threadripper PRO 5965WX to the previous generation Threadripper PROs, however, it does score roughly 37% higher than the 24-core Intel Xeon W-3345. It even managed to beat Intel’s 32-core Xeon W3365 by roughly 19% while having fewer cores.
Do note that we did not run any FPS tests this time around. As we’ve shown in past articles, in professional workflows, the CPU makes very little difference in useable framerate. That is a metric specifically for game players, as opposed to game developers.
How well do AMD Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series CPUs perform in Unreal Engine?
For Unreal Engine development tasks, the core count is king. AMD was already the top choice in both the workstation-class CPUs with their Threadripper PRO 3000WX-Series, as well as in the consumer-class CPUs with their Ryzen 9 5950X. With the Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series, they managed to further that lead by 12-15% across all Unreal Engine tasks. For users looking for the absolute fastest compile times, AMD’s Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series is the best option.
Keep in mind that the benchmark results in this article are strictly for V-Ray and that performance will vary widely in different applications. If your workflow includes other software packages (we have similar articles for a number of other applications that can be found in our AMD Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series Review Roundup article), you need to consider how the system will perform in those applications as well. Be sure to check our list of Hardware Articles to keep up to date on how all of these software packages – and more – perform with the latest CPUs.