Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Shootouts

Intel Coffee Lake vs. AMD Ryzen: This is Intel’s answer to Ryzen

By Koh Wanzi - 11 Feb 2018

Test Setup & Performance

Test Setup

The configurations of the test setups we used for the different processors are listed below. However, the CPU cooler used differed between systems due to compatibility issues across the different sockets.

 

Intel Coffee Lake

  • Intel Core i7-8700K (3.7GHz, 12MB L3 cache) / Intel Core i5-8600K (3.6GHz, 9MB L3 cache)
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240
  • Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7
  • 2 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 at 2,666MHz (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (GeForce Driver Version 385.69)
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

 

Intel Kaby Lake

  • Intel Core i7-7700K (4.20GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240
  • ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula
  • 4 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 (Auto timings: CAS 15-17-17-35)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (GeForce Driver Version 384.94)
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

 

Intel Kaby Lake-X

  • Intel Core i7-7740X (4.3GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240
  • Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 9
  • 4 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 (Auto timings: CAS 15-17-17-35)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (GeForce Driver Version 384.94)
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

 

AMD Ryzen

  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (3.60GHz, 20MB L2+L3 cache)
  • Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4
  • Gigabyte Aorus AX370 Gaming 5
  • 2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 at 2,666MHz (Auto timings: CAS 16-16-16-36)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (GeForce Driver Version 384.94)
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

 

Test CPUs compared
  Intel Core i7-8700K Intel Core i5-8600K Intel Core i7-7700K Processor Intel Core i7-7740X AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  Intel Core i7-8700K Intel Core i5-8600K Intel Core i7-7700K Processor Intel Core i7-7740X AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Launch SRP
  • From S$543
  • From S$818
Processor Name
  • Intel Core i7-8700K
  • Intel Core i5-8600K
  • Intel Core i7-7700K
  • Intel Core i7-7740X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Processor Model
  • Core i7-8700K
  • Core i5-8600K
  • Core i7-7700K
  • Core i7-7740X
  • Ryzen 7 1800X
Rated Processor Frequency
  • 3.7GHz
  • 3.6GHz
  • 4.2GHz
  • 4.3GHz
  • 3.6GHz
Max Processor Frequency
  • 4.7GHZ
  • 4.3GHZ
  • 4.5GHZ
  • 4.5GHZ
  • 4.1GHz (with XFR technology)
No. of Cores
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 8
Base Clock
  • 3.7GHz
  • 3.6GHz
  • 100
  • 4.3GHz
  • 100MHz
Bus Type
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
  • DMI 3.0
Bus Speed
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
  • 100MHz
  • 8 GT/s DMI3
L1 Cache (data + instruction)
  • 6 x 32KB (data)
  • 6 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 6 x 32KB (data)
  • 6 x 32KB (instruction)
  • 4 x 32KB (data)
  • 4 x 32KB (instruction)
L2 Cache
  • 6 x 256KB
  • 6 x 256KB
  • 4 x 256KB
  • 4 x 256KB
  • 4 x 256KB
L3 Cache
  • 12MB
  • 9MB
  • 8MB
  • 8MB
  • 16MB
Memory Controller
  • Dual-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Dual-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR4-2133 or DDR4-2400)
  • Dual-Channel DDR4-2666
  • Integrated Dual Channel (up to DDR4-2667)
PCIe Controller
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0
  • PCIe 3.0
TDP (W)
  • 95W
  • 95W
  • 91
  • 112W
  • 95
Instruction Set Support
  • SSE4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE 4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
  • SSE 4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
64-bit Processing Technology
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) / AMD Cool 'n' Quiet
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Virtualization Technology
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
  • Yes (VT-x)
Packaging
  • LGA 1151
  • LGA 1151
  • LGA1151
  • LGA 2066
  • Socket AM4
Process Technology
  • 14nm++
  • 14nm++
  • 14nm
  • 14nm
  • 14nm
Processor Codename
  • Coffee Lake
  • Coffee Lake
  • Kaby Lake
  • Kaby Lake-X

Next, here’s a list of the benchmarks used:

  • SYSmark 2014 SE
  • PCMark 10
  • SPECviewperf 12.1
  • Cinebench R15
  • Handbrake 1.0.7
  • 3DMark (2013)
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

 

Performance results

 

SYSmark 2014 SE

SYSmark is a general productivity benchmark suite that measures the response times of tasks on a PC using real-world applications like Microsoft Office 2013 and Adobe Photoshop and simulated user input. Task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects actual user experience, so the faster a PC responds to application workloads, the higher its score will be. The method of measuring response times can take many forms, such as the time it takes for an application to show a pop-up completion message, or how long it takes a progress dialog to disappear and for a user to regain application control.

The 2014 SE version of SYSmark adds a new Responsiveness usage model, where the system's ability to react quickly to user input affects the overall user experience. This means situations where the system needs to respond smoothly and quickly, such as with application launches, multi-tab web browsing, file copying, and background app installation.

The Intel Core i7-8700K took the overall lead here, likely thanks to its high Turbo Boost 2.0 speed of 4.7GHz and relatively robust multi-threaded capabilities. Compared to the Core i7-7700K, it was roughly 11 per cent faster, a modest improvement for yet another generation of 14nm processors. It also beat out the quad-core Core i7-7740X, a member of Intel's enthusiast Core X family, by a similar amount, further underscoring the uncomfortable position of the latter chip

The flagship Coffee Lake CPU was also 26 per cent quicker than the Ryzen 7 1800X, despite both chips having relatively similar base clocks. However, discounting the large gap between the maximum speeds that the Core i7-8700K and Ryzen 7 1800X are capable of – 4.7GHz versus 4.2GHz – it's worth noting that the Core i5-8600K also managed to beat the AMD chip by about 9 per cent. 

That's despite having just six cores with no Hyper-Threading, and a Turbo Boost 2.0 speed of 4.3GHz, not that much higher than the 1800X's 4.2GHz. As a result, it would seem that when it comes to the applications used in SYSmark, Intel still has the advantage because of its higher IPC. 

A look at the workload breakdown also hands a clear advantage to the Core i7-8700K over Ryzen in media creation and data and financial analysis-related tasks, even though AMD still has more cores and threads on paper.

 

PCMark 10 Extended

PCMark 10 Extended assesses the performance of systems in a variety of workloads, including basic computing tasks, productivity applications, digital content creation, and gaming. Compared to PCMark 8, it also adds in new test metrics, such as app startup times, which quantifies how long it takes to launch a variety of real-world apps, and a rendering and visualization workload to simulate professional graphics and engineering applications. In addition, existing workloads have been updated to reflect modern usage

We’ve also added in a graph to reflect the low-level breakdown of scores to give an idea of performance in individual workloads.

The Core i7-8700K took the overall lead here as well, and it was followed by the Core i5-8600K. The former showed particular strength in digital content creation tasks, including the more demanding rendering and visualization workloads. The Ryzen 7 1800X fell behind both 8th-generation Intel processors, coming in around 16 per cent behind the Core i7-8700K in overall scores. 

Intel added more cores and threads on its new processors while not sacrificing on single-threaded performance, and this two-pronged approach serves its new chips quite well here. 

 

SPECviewperf 12.1

SPECviewperf is used to assess the 3D graphics performance of systems in professional applications. Each individual workload, called a viewset, represents graphics and content from an actual real-world application. SPECviewperf actually runs a total of eight different viewsets, but we’ve picked the four which have the greatest performance variation across CPUs display here.

The 3ds-max viewset comes from traces of the graphics workload generated by 3ds Max 2016, while maya-04 is derived from Autodesk’s Maya 2013 application. The catia-04 viewset involves the numerous rendering modes from the CATIA V6 R2012 application, and includes things like anti-aliasing, depth of field, and ambient occlusion. Finally, the sw-03 viewset comes from SolidWorks 2013 SP1, and involves various rendering modes including environment maps.

The programs used in SPECviewperf 12.1 don't appear to scale very well with a high number of cores and threads. Results were mixed here, with the Core i5-8600K even coming ahead of its Core i7 counterpart in the 3ds-max viewset. That said, the Ryzen 7 1800X still trailed both Intel chips, perhaps another instance of Intel's higher IPC helping it come ahead. 

 

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is a better indicator of multi-threaded performance because of its ability to utilize up to 256 threads to evaluate a processor’s performance in a photorealistic 3D rendering. We ran both single-core and multi-core benchmarks to evaluate single-threaded performance and multi-threaded scalability here.

Unsurprisingly, the 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 1800X had a field day here, but the 6-core/12-thread Core i7-8700K actually comes quite close in the multi-threaded benchmark. AMD's processor was 14 per cent faster than the Core i7-8700K, a much narrower lead than the 65 per cent advantage it held over the Core i7-7700K. Intel has closed a lot of ground in just a single generation, and it continues to reign supreme in terms of single-threaded performance, where the Core i7-8700K was 23 per cent quicker than the Ryzen 7 1800X. 

The six-core Core i5-8600K also managed to edge out the Core i7-7700K by a hair (just 5 per cent) in the multi-threaded benchmark, which is a nice improvement given that the former doesn't even feature Hyper-Threading. 

 

Handbrake 1.0.7

Handbrake is a video transcoder that converts videos into a format for use on PCs and portable electronic devices, and is a good indicator of a processor’s video encoding capabilities. YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, and other video creators will be most interested in this performance metric. For this benchmark, we used a 1.5GB .mkv file. 

Video transcoding can take advantage of multiple CPU threads quite well, and the Core i7-8700K gave the Ryzen 7 1800X a run for its money here. AMD's chip still took the pole position, but the Coffee Lake flagship is nipping closely at its heels. 

The Core i5-8600K performed closer to the quad-core Core i7-7700K and Core i7-7740X, although to its credit, it again eked out a sliver of a lead over the latter two Hyper-Threaded CPUs.

This time around, Intel is going after so-called "mega-taskers" with its mainstream chips. This refers to those who stream, game, and run multiple CPU-intensive tasks at once. And from the looks of it, the Core i7-8700K is proving itself reasonably adept in this area. At the very least, it's quite a decent improvement over the Core i7-7700K from the previous generation. 

 

Temperature and power consumption

To test temperature and power consumption, we ran the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Stress test and the energy-01 viewset in SPECviewperf 12.1 respectively, taking note of the peak values the chips achieved. For power consumption, this refers to the total system power draw from the power outlet.

It’s difficult to compare temperatures across all the chips given that we used different coolers for the Intel and Ryzen chips, so these figures are better taken as a rough indicator to the temperatures you can expect in a typical gaming scenario (which probably doesn’t stress all the cores anyway).

The higher TDP of the Coffee Lake chips is evident in the power consumption numbers, which reflect the total system power draw from a wall outlet. Both the Core i7 and Core i5 8th-generation processors are 95W parts, and they're proving to be quite a bit more power-hungry than the Ryzen and Kaby Lake CPUs.